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Is this fish ok to eat-fishy smell

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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.

            1. Instead of tossing them I would have returned them to the "local fish man" & insisted on a full refund or replacement - hopefully for something fresh.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Bacardi1

                Bacardi, true, I should have but I didn't want the stinky fish in the house and I am in the Caribbean so they would have rotten by the time I went today..he opens at 5 PM...it would have been 24 hours..BUT I will say something when I go back today..fingers crossed

                1. re: phelana

                  Unfortunately the same thing's happened to me a time or two. Once you know it's not worth eating put it in the freezer til it can be returned to the store for a refund. Voila!

                  1. re: FishTales

                    fishtales, the freezer stunk and so I went online and read if you ball up newspaper and stick it in the fridge and freezer, it absorbs the smell..voila, it worked..just a curious note, the fish was tossed wayyy behind my house. Was walking the dogs and noticed not even the iguanas ate it from last night...now, there is a sign it was bad..they eat ANYTHING

                    1. re: phelana

                      Do you normally throw bad food outside your house? Frankly doesn't sound like a good or healthy idea to mea, iguanas nothwithstanding. And aren't Iguanas primarily vegetarian?

                      1. re: Bacardi1

                        I live in what we call the kunuku..yes, I throw fruit peels and veggies peels out back....something ate the fish, perhaps land crabs...dunno. Life in the Caribbean is different in the US. If I put the fish in my trash container, it would sit a week before being emptied and phew, that would be very bad for my yard and neighbors...in the US I could have handled the removal much differently...