Wild caught seafood is delicious, healthy and unfortunately, perishable. We snap freeze our premium seafood on site, shortly after being caught, to lock in maximum freshness and flavour, before delivering it to your door. The question is, how do you thaw your Chatham Island seafood quickly and without sacrificing quality?
How to defrost frozen seafood
The number one rule when thawing seafood before cooking is to avoid large changes in temperature. Naturally then, the safest and most common method of defrosting frozen fish and seafood is to pop it in the refrigerator the night before you intend to cook it. Ideally, this would be at least 12 hours in advance — enough to ensure it's properly thawed.
If you are short of time and need a faster thaw, the next best method is to submerge your seafood under cold tap water in a sealed plastic bag. In the kitchen sink with a weighted plate on top will do fine. Defrosting seafood in the microwave, on the countertop, or under hot water is not recommended. The temperature difference in these environments is large enough to compromise the texture, flavour and level of undesirable bacteria on seafood.
Can you cook frozen seafood?
If, for whatever reason, you are unable to use these methods, it is possible to cook fish directly from frozen using your oven. One popular ‘from frozen’ recipe entails tin foil wrapping fish with a marinade and then slow-baking it. Just be aware that this requires a longer cooking time, and that frozen fish tends to dry out faster than thawed fish.
How long does frozen seafood last?
Upon receiving your frozen seafood, we recommend storing it in the coldest part of your freezer. Usually this is on the bottom shelf and as close to the rear as possible. Generally speaking, it’s best to consume your frozen seafood within six months of purchase. This will ensure maximum taste and quality — which is why you purchased Chatham seafood in the first place. However, because our seafood is snap frozen on site shortly after being caught, you can expect it to be safe to eat until it's recommend expiry date.
Why frozen seafood is fresh and healthy
Proteins, oils, and vitamins such as A and D contained in fish are not altered during freezing. Moreover, as noted in our ‘Fresh vs. Frozen’ blog here.
“modern freezing processes allow freshly caught fish to be frozen quickly, thoroughly and at temperatures far below those in the home freezer. So long as seafood is transported and processed correctly, it can be delivered to your door complete with the flavour and nutritional benefits of a freshly caught fish.”