Li Qing | Fishmonger Tips

Fresh vs Frozen Fish: Which is Better?

It’s the age-old debate: Is it better to buy fresh fish or frozen fish? Naturally, most people will assume fresh fish is better by default, as fresh usually equates to better quality. But let’s not jump to conclusions. Did you know that over 90% of the food consumed in Singapore is imported from overseas suppliers? As farming land is scarce, local farms only produce about 9% of all fish consumed. Thus, frozen seafood serves a vital role in maintaining our country’s food supply.

So, as far as seafood is concerned, both fresh and frozen fish have their own set of benefits. Read on to discover what makes each of them great!

Benefits of Fresh Fish

1. Moisture & Nutrition

Fish is a highly nutritious food that is packed with vitamins and minerals. In the process of defrosting frozen fish, some of the natural water content may be lost, resulting in flesh that is not as moist as fresh fish after cooking. It is possible for water-soluble vitamins in the fish, such as vitamin B12, to be dissolved and lost through thawing, though fat-soluble vitamins will remain. Hence, fresh fish generally retain more nutrients than their frozen counterparts and result in more tender flesh after cooking.

2. Taste

This one is a no-brainer. The fresher the fish, the better it will taste! Fresh fish that was just caught will have an incomparable texture and taste. All the top five-star restaurants only use the freshest fish and you deserve the same.What’s more, available fish varieties will change with the season too, so you can keep things interesting in the kitchen by buying what’s in season.

3. No Thawing Needed

You need to plan ahead with frozen fish if you’re planning to cook it as it requires overnight thawing. If it does thaw, you can’t change your mind and refreeze it; you have to consume it. As for fresh fish, you can buy, cook, and enjoy it straight away — no waiting around necessary.

Benefits of Frozen Fish

1. Extended Shelf Life

Most fish are frozen using flash-freezing technology either directly on fishing boats or within a short time span after being caught. This method effectively preserves the fish, allowing it to last much longer than fresh fish. For comparison, fresh fish can be kept in the refrigerator for about 2 days, while frozen fish can retain its quality for up to 6 months.

Fresh fish straight off the boat will inherently have the best quality, but most of us rarely have access to such a luxury. Frozen fish allows you to enjoy delicious fish from around the world and in any season so that you can have summer or winter fish at any time of the year!

2. Consistent Quality

As long as the fish was frozen quickly using appropriate methods, the freshness of the fish is frozen in time. The quality of the fish doesn’t get too affected and is comparable to that of fresh fish. Apart from the potential loss of water-soluble minerals, freezing preserves the fish’s quality and most of its nutritional value.

Fresh fish is also a little more tricky to handle and transport, plus they are susceptible to bacterial contamination. Meanwhile, as long as they are kept properly chilled, frozen fish is easier to transport safely, and you can be confident that their quality will be kept consistent from the fishing boat to your plate.

3. More Cost-Effective

Frozen fish are usually cheaper than fresh fish, as fresh fish are more time-sensitive and require faster transport methods to get to market. Fresh fish that are in season also cost higher as they are available in smaller supplies. Hence, frozen fish can be a great option if you plan to buy them in bulk or save money. Frozen fish can also be less wasteful for home cooks, since you can just thaw out the amount you need from the freezer when you are cooking.

Which Should You Choose?

At the end of the day, both fresh and frozen fish have their pros and cons. Whether you should be buying fresh or frozen ultimately boils down to your preferences and lifestyle! That aside, remember that other equally important factors, such as where the fish came from, can significantly affect its quality too.

Feeling like quite the afishionado on fresh and frozen fish? Whichever floats your boat, Greenwood Fish Market has got you covered! We’re stocked with premium options of both from around the world that we import directly to Singapore. From all-time favourites like cod and salmon to seasonal catches, there’s something for every fish lover. Check out our online fish market and order now to enjoy islandwide home delivery in Singapore!