Conventional wisdom would have you believe fresh fish is always better than frozen. But thanks to modern freezing techniques, frozen fish is often superior in quality and taste to their fresh fish brethren.
However maximum freshness isn’t necessarily about being fished straight out of the water. It’s about fast-freezing followed by controlled thawing. In fact, in some instances, wild-caught fish are frozen at sea specifically to preserve their quality and taste!
Flash-freezing locks in the fish’s full flavor, texture, and nutrition at the peak of its freshness. And these days, it’s possible to flash-freeze fish right on the boat within minutes of being caught, effectively freezing in the freshness.
What is Flash-Freezing?
Flash-freezing uses ultra-low temperatures (far colder than your average freezer) to freeze fish solid in a matter of minutes. Freezing fish rapidly prevents the formation of ice crystals, which can impact flavor and cause fish to dry out. SteakChop fish are flash-frozen shortly after being caught, preserving all the nutrients, moisture, and taste. It’s as close as you can get to eating fish that’s been pulled straight out of the water unless, of course, you’re eating fish as it’s pulled straight out of the water.
Additional Benefits of Frozen Fish
Flash-freezing extends the season and range for many fish. If you have a craving for wild salmon in December, for example, buying it frozen is as good as buying it fresh in the summer months when it’s actually in season.
Flash-freezing has other, broader, and more impactful advantages as well. Fresh fish must be shipped by air, whereas frozen fish can travel by boat, rail, or truck, which requires less energy. Flash-freezing also helps wild and smaller fishing operations and fisheries mitigate volatility inherent in the fresh fish market. And for consumers, frozen fish, if stored correctly, will keep for at least six months and up to a year, which significantly reduces waste.
Not all Frozen Fish are Created Equally
The fish you see on ice at the market most likely didn’t come straight off the boat early that morning. Stores often sell thawed fish in the “fresh case” that was caught, processed, frozen, and then thawed out again to sell. What’s more, it may have been frozen and thawed out more than once, which is really when quality, texture, and taste become suboptimal. And it goes downhill from there once you take home the thawed fish and toss it back in the freezer to cook later.
SteakChop’s flash-frozen fish are individually vacuum-sealed and packed with enough dry ice to stay frozen for 12 hours after delivery, ensuring the same peak freshness as when it was caught.
If you locally-caught fresh fish isn’t regularly available to you, frozen fish, frozen appropriately, is a delicious and nutritious — not to mention, convenient — solution to dinner.