Keeping seafood in good condition is a delicate issue, as it is a perishable product that loses quality and freshness in a short time. The main recommendation is not to break the cold chain and, from then on, to consume it within one or two days of purchase. If this is not going to be the case, the best thing to do is to freeze it.
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How to keep seafood in good condition
When seafood is bought deep-frozen, the defrosting process should be started 24-36 hours before consumption, and not directly at room temperature, but transferred to the refrigerator first.
There are some species that should not be frozen at home, such as barnacles. The best way to preserve fresh barnacles is to cover them with a damp cloth. This seafood can last longer in the fridge, four to five days.
To preserve fresh prawns, they should also be kept in the fridge with a damp cloth over them until they are ready to eat, which should be within 24 hours of purchase.
Norway lobsters are more delicate and should be treated as little as possible. Again, cold storage is the best solution when they are fresh, using containers with water and lots of ice.
When asked how to keep cooked seafood in the fridge, the ideal is to use a refrigerated chamber covered with vegetable paper or a cloth dampened with salt water.
This method is perfect for spider crab.
However, to preserve species such as barnacles, we must bear in mind that they are eaten hot, so they should not be kept cooked in the fridge because they would lose their flavour.
Consequences of poorly preserved seafood
Breaking the cold chain, not carrying out a good cooking process or not consuming fresh seafood within a few days of purchase will result in the ingestion of spoiled seafood and subsequent poisoning, with symptoms ranging from nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea to severe headaches and disorientation.
Some species must be bought alive: lobster, lobster, spider crab, crab, crabs, barnacles… And the sign that they are in good condition is that they move and release a kind of “foam”.
In the case of shrimps and prawns, which can be frozen, the sign that they are in good condition is that the head and legs are well attached to the body, without coming loose. In addition, if they emanate any smell, it must be pleasant, like the sea.
This indicator is important, because if the seafood gives off a strong smell, it is very likely to be in a bad state. If this happens, it is best to throw it away to avoid problems.
Practical tips and tricks for preserving shellfish
Seafood, fresh and frozen, is a highly prized product in the kitchen, but to get the best flavour out of it, it is important to preserve it well.
Crustaceans such as crab, spider crab or crabs, once boiled and cooled, should be placed in a cloth soaked in the cooking water and then wrapped in cling film.
Crustaceans, such as lobster, prawns and king prawns, should be preserved in cling film. The option of tuppers and vacuum packed in specially prepared containers is another alternative. With this seafood, it is best to cook it, but it is true that this limits its possibilities in the kitchen.
Molluscs, such as mussels, cockles, razor clams, are preserved alive and uncooked. They should all be wrapped tightly together with cling film, although a packaging machine is preferable.
A good preservation of seafood allows you to enjoy a product with a lot of intensity and flavour. But for this it is essential to have good utensils, like the ones we offer in Monouso.