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May 19, 2008 08:17 AM

Fresh Fish - how long?

I caught a bunch fish (walleye) over the weekend and have the filets sitting in my refrigerator. I'd like to wait until the weekend to eat but I'm not sure they'll last that long.

Anyone know how long fish will stay good without freezing?

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  1. They would be better frozen if you are waiting that long. This is only Monday. Is 'bunch fish' another name for walleye?

    1 Reply
    1. re: sarah galvin

      ooops, I meant to say a bunch of fish...thanks for the tip.

    2. Oh absolutely freeze them. Fresh fish does not keep in the fridge more than 2 or 3 days.
      Here's a good link for this type of reference....

      1. related question, since i'm also in the fortunate position of having too much fish on my hands: is it better to freeze raw and cook later, or cook now and freeze for later?

        3 Replies
        1. re: cimui

          IMO - I would freeze raw, but I think either would probably be OK. The cooked *may* lose "something" in the freezing, though.

          1. re: Gio

            Absolutely. Freeze raw.

            To the OP. You can keep fresh fish looking and tasting fresh longer if you put it on ice. One of the local fish markets near me sells fresh grouper that is off the local boats. They sell full fillets and this little place doesn't like to cut it so I often buy a full fillet which could be a pound and a half to 2 pounds. Since this is more than I want to cook at one time I portion it out and take a plastic container full of crushed ice, lay a piece of plastic wrap over the ice and set my fillets on the plastic wrap. I then cover the top of the fish with more wrap and place in the coldest part of the fridge. I've easily kept fish there like that for 2-3 days with no loss in quality that I could detect. Alton Brown did something like this but use two plastic containers. One with holes in the bottom for the ice set into another container to catch the water as it melts.

            You often buy fish that has been around a lot longer than you will keep your big catch when you buy fish in the supermarket but then again that's why the average supermarket fish taste less than fresh.

            1. re: scubadoo97

              hey, thanks gio and scubadoo97. fish will go into freezer tonight.

        2. You can freeze fish for about a week and it will retain a non frozen flavor. The issue is, that after about a week, there is a cellular change (something explodes at a cellular level because of the exapnsion effect of freezing), and your fish tastes frozen. If you plan on freezing for more than a week, then vaccuum seal it. You'll be fine if you freeze your fish for a few days, and then thaw it out in the fridge two days before you plan on using it. It will still taste fresh caught. I go on a charter every year, and have a massive fish cookout the wknd after the charter. If I need to freeze it for a few days, there really is very little difference than if it were not frozen. I'm a pretty big "snob" when it comes to fresh / frozen fish, and I would not hesitate to freeze it for a few days.

          1 Reply
          1. re: gordeaux

            I grew up on frozen fish and it was always great. My father did a lot of fishing in the summer and we would freeze it for later. Although, back in those days, most people didn't have their own freezer so it went into a locker at the local Locker Plant. They had it down to a very low temperature. It was always hard as a rock when we picked it up.

          2. I agree with everything said and add this: freeze the raw fillets in water if you plan on keeping them very long. Put enough water in your bag to surround the fillets. This seems to preserve the texture and prevent freezer burn. There is nothing like fresh, but home frozen is better than retail fresh - no question. I hope you had a "same day" serving?