Defrosting fish and shellfish correctly is important to ensure optimal conditions when preparing fish and shellfish products. But how do you actually thaw fish and shellfish in the best way?
We at Vasafiskerian usually recommend that you slowly thaw the fish and shellfish in the refrigerator to preserve flavor and texture. You should also place the fish or shellfish on a grid or tray where excess water can drain.
How long it needs to stay in the fridge depends on the size, but as a rule of thumb you can count on 12-24 hours. It thus requires a little planning, but the result is worth it!
When the fish and shellfish are thawed, they can be stored for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. You should therefore prepare the product within this time.
By slowly thawing fish and shellfish in the refrigerator, you ensure that as little water as possible is released, which preserves the structure, flavor and texture of the meat. Otherwise, the meat risks becoming dry and tasteless.
Second best method
If you don't have time to wait for the fish or shellfish to thaw slowly in the refrigerator, you can also thaw them in cold water. This is usually a perfectly fine solution that goes much faster, thanks to water's high thermal conductivity.
If you choose this method, it is good if the water temperature is about 2°C or lower. In this way, you can then store that refrigerator for up to 24 hours. If the water is warmer, you should cook it immediately after it has finished thawing.
Usually it takes between 30 minutes to 2 hours to thaw the fish in cold water, depending on the size. If you choose this method, it is important to remember that the fish and shellfish products are completely submerged and have an even cover of water.
In summary, then, slow thawing in the refrigerator is usually the best method for thawing fish and shellfish products. But if you don't have time for this, thawing in running cold water is an alternative, which also gives good results.