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Aug 14, 2012 05:03 PM

Is this fish ok to eat-fishy smell

I bought frozen red snapper today from the local fish man. He said it was fresh then frozen. I have it in the fridge thawing but it stinks so bad, not bad bad but fishy. Is this normal? The fish are whole, cleaned but not scaled

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  1. Not ok. Fish should not stink. I would take them back, especially if there's even the faintest whiff of ammonia about them.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rcallner

      i tossed them...will go back tomorrow for something fresh...what a smell...not ammonia but old fish...

      1. re: phelana

        Go back and get your money and then change fishmongers. Fish should not have a funky smell.

    2. Being that it is whole, and with scales it's going to smell "fishier".

      1. Some hints on selecting fish that's been filleted. Unless you buy your fish with skin and scales intact it's sometimes difficult to know how fresh it really is. Some folks who sell fish call it "fresh" if it's only recently been removed from the crate it was delivered in.
        Once you've defrosted the fish, look at the liquids in the meat. It should be clear, not cloudy. Cloudy puddles that develop after you press your finger into the flesh and remove it are a good indication that the fresh is rotten, or nearly rotten and, if it has been frozen and thawed, probably wasn't fresh when it was frozen.
        How the fish smells is probably the best test. It doesn't take fish long to develop a slight "fishy" odor so I wouldn't throw out every fish that has a slight odor to it but if it's pungent and if you'd describe the smell as "stink" then it's not fresh enough to work with.
        If you guy fresh fish that isn't frozen just press it with a finger and release the pressure. It should rebound; your finger impression should not remain in the meat.

        1. If it smells bad, it is bad. I don't mean "bad" as in it will harm you. I just mean that what we call "taste" is predominantly smell, and you can't separate the two. If you don't like the way it smells, it's not going to taste good. I would also note that truly fresh fish does not smell bad or fishy. I know this from countless fishing expeditions and trips to sushi bars.

          Finally, I would note that fish might be fresh, then frozen, then thawed and rotted in the store.

          1 Reply
          1. re: AlkieGourmand

            Well, they did not smell bad just fishy...I tossed them in the wayyyy back yard for the iguanas. Awell..their eyes were pure glassy..I guess I panicked and blew it..

          2. Fish smelling of fish is a sure sign that it's not fresh.