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Style Chefs share the best and worst seafood to buy from the grocery store

05:40  03 april  2021
05:40  03 april  2021 Source:   msn.com

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a store filled with lots of food: There are a lot of seafood options to choose from at the grocery store. Stefan Malloch/Shuttershock © Provided by INSIDER There are a lot of seafood options to choose from at the grocery store. Stefan Malloch/Shuttershock
  • Insider asked chefs about the seafood options you should and shouldn't buy from the supermarket.
  • Red snapper and flounder are family favorites with versatile, mild flavors.
  • Tank lobsters and stuffed fish fillets may not be as fresh as you think.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Buying fresh fish from the grocery store can sometimes be intimidating since there are so many different cuts, varieties, and preparations.

Insider asked professional chefs to share their favorite types of seafood to buy from the supermarket and which kinds they tend to avoid.

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Red snapper is a mild and tender fish

a close up of food: Red snapper is great grilled or broiled. Rosa M. Reynoso Robiou/Shuttershock © Rosa M. Reynoso Robiou/Shuttershock Red snapper is great grilled or broiled. Rosa M. Reynoso Robiou/Shuttershock

Celebrity personal chef Jamie Hunt told Insider that red snapper is a favorite of hers to buy at the grocery store.

"Red snapper is a white fish with a beautiful flaky consistency and a mild flavor that goes perfectly with Old Bay seasoning, garlic, and onion," Hunt said.

Hunt recommended broiling red snapper with a brush of lemon and pepper marinade or serving it grilled with a side of smashed potatoes.

Flounder is a great fish for kids

a plate of food: Flounder is delicious when breaded. danceswithwords/Shuttershock © danceswithwords/Shuttershock Flounder is delicious when breaded. danceswithwords/Shuttershock

When picking out fish for kids, you should consider flounder.

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"Flounder has a lightweight flavor that's not too 'fishy,' so kids tend to like it," Hunt said. "It's my go-to fish for fish sticks for kids."

To make fish sticks at home, simply bread strips of fresh flounder with panko breadcrumbs or cornflakes and bake until golden.

Black-bass fillets are a tasty option

Grocery stores typically offer whole black bass, but searching for the filleted alternative instead can make for an almost foolproof, fancy dish.

"Black-bass fillets can be a little pricey but are worth it," Hunt said. "It's a really nice cut of fish that usually turns out delicious no matter how you cook it."

Hunt added that her favorite ways to prepare the option include tossing the fillets on the grill or pan-searing and finishing them in the oven.

Thin cuts of white fish are great for beginner cooks

a tray of food: Thin cuts of white fish are easy to cook at home. Red Lobster/Associated Press © Red Lobster/Associated Press Thin cuts of white fish are easy to cook at home. Red Lobster/Associated Press

Chef Faisal Ahmed Aldeleigan told Insider that he recommends novice home cooks to buy thinner cuts of white fish.

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"Thin cuts of white fish, such as tilapia or cod, are my personal favorite to cook at home," Aldeleigan said. "Steaming is a foolproof method to prepare this type of fish."

Use a steamer basket to cook seasoned fish until it is flaky and has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Look for fish caught in specific countries

Chef Kysha Harris of The Spruce Eats told Insider that one of her top tips for shopping at the fish counter is to ask where the order was caught.

"Look for fish caught in America, Canada, Iceland, or New Zealand," Harris said. "These countries have the best fishing management practices in the world."

Packaged fish often lists this information on the label, but feel free to ask the staff at the fish counter about the product's origin.

Opt for tuna packed in oil rather than water

a close up of a sandwich and a salad: Tuna canned in oil has more flavor than that stored in water. Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock © Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock Tuna canned in oil has more flavor than that stored in water. Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock

When shopping for canned tuna, choose the kind packed in oil instead of water.

"Tuna packed in water may save you a few calories, but it's generally much worse tasting than tuna packed in oil," Harris said.

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Harris added that locally smoked whitefish, trout, or salmon can also be flavorful and a good value.

Skip the lobsters in the tank

a plate of food with rice meat and vegetables: It's best to buy lobster from a local, coastal fish market to ensure ultimate freshness. Juli V/Shuttershock © Juli V/Shuttershock It's best to buy lobster from a local, coastal fish market to ensure ultimate freshness. Juli V/Shuttershock

Buying a live lobster doesn't guarantee you'll get a fresh-tasting meal.

"Lobsters lose a lot of quality when they languish in the tank," Harris said. "Lobster stock tends to move faster on the East Coast, but a lobster in a tank in Iowa could have been sitting there for weeks."

In the case of lobster, buying frozen or fresh from a local, coastal fish market may be your best bet.

It can be difficult to prep salmon steaks at home

a close up of food: Bones can make for an unpleasant eating experience. New Africa/Shuttershock © New Africa/Shuttershock Bones can make for an unpleasant eating experience. New Africa/Shuttershock

Cooking a salmon steak at home may require extra time in the kitchen.

"Salmon steaks look impressive on the plate but require additional work since they might still have tiny bones in them that need to be removed before cooking," Aldeleigan said.

Your best shot at getting a thoroughly deboned salmon steak is to buy it at the fish counter.

Avoid packaged, presliced fish

If you're looking to save money at the grocery store, avoid prepackaged fish slices.

"When purchasing any fish, do not get the presliced, packaged pieces," Hunt said. "You'll end up paying more than if you asked the fish counter to just cut up a whole fish."

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Getting your fish sliced at the grocery-store counter also means you'll need to spend less time cutting and cooking at home, all in the name of optimal freshness.

Steer clear of naturally oily frozen fish

When shopping for frozen fish, it pays to select varieties that don't lose their texture or flavor when stored.

"Oily fish such as yellowtail or some tuna generally don't freeze well, and even salmon can suffer if frozen too long," Harris said.

Harris recommended opting for frozen pacific cod, tilapia, catfish, swordfish, walleye, pacific halibut, or pollack instead.

Prefilled fish cuts aren't always ideal

a close up of food: It's better to stuff the fish yourself to make sure it's fresh. Azra H/Shuttershock © Azra H/Shuttershock It's better to stuff the fish yourself to make sure it's fresh. Azra H/Shuttershock

Cuts of fish that come prefilled or stuffed may seem like a convenient way to get dinner on the table, but they're not always tasty.

"I'm not a fan of pre-stuffed fish portions, because you don't know exactly what's in them, when the stuffing was made, or if it was previously frozen," Hunt said.

Making your own stuffing at home may require more time in the kitchen, but you'll know the result is fresh and delicious.

Read the original article on Insider

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