Li Qing

So you’ve done your seafood shopping at the market, having picked out the freshest catches.

Of course, it’s always best to cook and enjoy your fresh seafood haul within a day or two of reeling them home. But maybe you’ve bought too much, or you just want to save some to satisfy your seafood cravings another time. Here is where proper seafood handling and storage come into play.

The last thing you’d want is to open your fridge door and go “Oh my cod,” having been greeted with the undeniable stench of seafood that’s well past its shelf life. Safely storing your seafood is vital not only to retain its overall freshness, but also to reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses. Don’t worry — your favourite friendly fishmongers at Greenwood Fish Market are here with all you need to know about seafood storage!

1. Refrigerate or Freeze as Soon as Possible

Considering Singapore’s warm and humid climate, time is of the essence when transporting fresh seafood home. Try to pick up seafood as your last item and head home immediately. One way to avoid this entirely is to shop for seafood online so that you can get chilled seafood sent right to your door from the supplier.

How long seafood lasts in the refrigerator or freezer varies depending on the product. Here is a general storage guide:

Item Refrigerator (4°C) Freezer (-18°C)
Fish 1 – 2 days 2 – 4 months
Clams, Oysters, Mussels, Squid 1 – 2 days 3 – 4 months
Crab, Prawns, Lobsters, Crayfish 2 – 3 days 2- 3 months

However, we’d recommend you always double-check the freshness of each item before consumption, even if it is still within the safe time frame.

2. Store Fish in Airtight Conditions

When it comes to storing fish, exposure to air, moisture, and warmth is your number one enemy. These three elements encourage bacteria to multiply rapidly. In addition, direct exposure to frigid temperatures can also cause fish to dry out.

To refrigerate fresh fish, start by removing it from the store packaging, washing it in cold water and drying it with paper towels. Recreate an in-store ice bed by placing it in ice inside an airtight container in the fridge.

As for freezing fish, rinse and dry it similarly. Then, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and place it in clean freezer bags or airtight containers. If you have bought vacuum-sealed packs of frozen fish directly, check to ensure the packaging is intact (no tears or holes) before storing them in the freezer.

3. Shellfish Need to be Stored Differently from Fish

Live shellfish need air and moisture to stay alive. Store live oysters, clams and mussels in a shallow open bowl or container in the fridge. Keep them damp by loosely covering them with a moistened cloth or paper towel.

Alternatively, you can rinse oysters under cool running water and carefully shuck them, then freeze them in tightly sealed bags together with the oyster liquid. Clams and mussels can be rinsed and steamed over medium heat, before shucking and packing the meat in freezer containers, covered in a brine solution or the cooking liquid.

4. Keep it in the Coldest Section

More often than not, the coldest part of your fridge or freezer is the bottom-most rack. Store your seafood there instead of the middle or top shelves, preferably away from other items to avoid cross-contamination. Doing so also prevents juices or melting ice from dripping down to lower racks, although it’s best to place them on a tray to collect any accidental drips.

5. Do Not Refreeze Thawed Seafood

The golden rule of frozen meat — never refreeze once thawed! Ever heard of the “temperature danger zone”? 5°C to 60°C is where bacteria multiply rapidly, so remember to immediately use or discard unused thawed seafood.

A top tip is to divide fillets and wrap them in individual portions before freezing. As such, you can easily retrieve what you need without taking the entire bag out of the freezer.

Net the Freshest Seafood in Singapore Now

There’s no better place to stock up on fin-tastic fresh and frozen seafood than right here at Greenwood Fish Market. Swim over to our online seafood market and get exceptional seafood delivered anywhere in Singapore.

If you have any questions about how to best store your seafood purchase, feel free to reach out to us — our specialists are more than happy to help!

Oyster Tuesdays return