When walking into a seafood restaurant or any kind of food stall, the first thing you have to take notice is the quality of the dishes and the source of the ingredients. You should know how the preserve the raw materials before processing and the methods used to turn the ingredients into delicious cuisine. It depends on how fresh the ingredients are. Keeping the freshness of your food is one of the most important part that have to be acknowledged well by any cook no matter who you are – a housewife or a famous chief. Below is the information about some easy and simple ways that you can use to protect the freshness of your seafood.
How to Deal with Shrimps and Prawns?
Preserving the shrimps and prawns right after they are harvested is very crucial so as to improve their taste and the quality of this type of seafood. Before harvesting, you have to prepare some essential equipment’s such as plastic canvas, a bucket and the ice box. Don’t forget the water and ice so as to kill the shrimps and protect them from being spoiled quickly by the environment.
- Method 1: Preserve living shrimps
This is a complicated way to preserve the quality of this animal, but the quality would be protected and meets the requirements of customers. Most of the restaurants use this way to keep their food fresh and delicious. They only kill the shrimps right before taking them to the kitchen for further processing.
The density of shrimp preservation has to be below 300 individuals per cubic meter. The tanks where the shrimps are kept have to be equipped with air excavator. However, the limited time of this method should not exceed 5 hours. After that, the shrimps have to be transported to other places for further food processes. Nowadays, there are types of vehicles which specialize in providing living shrimps for restaurants and supermarket within a day.
- Method 2: Fresh preservation
Choosing and washing the shrimps: After harvesting the shrimps, they have to be chosen and washed carefully with fresh water in dry and cool place. The shrimps have to be placed on clean plastic canvas or buckets. Never put them directly on the ground, even though they are wooden or cement.
Kill the shrimps by using the cold ice water: After washing the shrimps carefully, kill them by using the cold water. The ratio of them are: 2 part of shrimps must be killed with 1 part of ice mixed with 1 part of cold water (it means that if you have 20 kilograms of shrimps, you must you 10 kilograms of ice and the same amount of clear water). Pour the water into the bucket or the ice box then put the same amount of ice into it with 1:1 ratio. Stir them for about 10 minutes, so that the water can decrease to nearly 0 degrees, then pour the whole bunch of shrimps into it. Close the ice bucket and keep the water for about 30 minutes.
Marinate the shrimps: After killing the shrimps with ice water, use the racket to take them out of the water and move them to the ground ice to marinate. The ratio depends heavily on the route and the time of transportation.
Preserve The Crabs
According to the seafood professionals, crabs are one of the most notorious ingredients and easy to preserve. Dead crabs can still keep their flavors and freshness if you know the right way to do, even if they are dead 3 hours ago.
However, this won’t work if the crabs were caught about 10 hours ago. The quality can’t be saved anymore, even if you use the frozen technique to remove the bacteria and strengthen the quality of the meat inside the crabs. When being frozen at low temperature, it is quite difficult to find out the quality of the same type of seafood. We don’t know whether they are freshly caught or were stored for a couple of days. Therefore, the simplest solution is using the point of a chopstick to poke the belly of the animal so that we can partly find out the freshness of them. However, the accuracy of this way is not proved to be excellently right in most of the time.
Seafood specialists warn that frozen seafood brings along some kinds of dangerous bacteria such as Coliforms, E. Coli… Dead seafood provides favorable conditions for them to develop and multiply quickly.
So as to reserve the quality of seafood such as crabs and shrimps in 3 hours after being caught, we can use some preliminary treatments and then put them into the cold chamber for about 2 hours. This method helps the food to stay dry and cool so as to prevent the activities of harming bacteria in normal environment.
Apart from it, we have to take care of the temperature of the cold chamber. With crabs, the temperature would be -25 to -18 degree. Remember that the cold it could be, the longer the food be can preserved. If the temperature can go down to -36 degree Celsius, the seafood can be stored within 18 months.
Before using the seafood for cooking, defrost them naturally by using warm towel and wait for the food to restore to its basic state. Normally the temperature of the refrigerator is -4 to 4 degrees. Never use the microwave to defrost the seafood because it can immediately lose the nutritions inside the meat and the elastic quality of the meat.
When preparing seafood, you must remember that the freshness and the meat quality decide more than 80 percent the succeed of your dish. With all the methods mentioned above, we hope that you have learnt a lot about preserving shrimps, lobster, crabs and ocean fishes so as to make the best cuisines for your family. If you have anything to ask, feel free to visit our blog about seafood and marine cuisine. We are very happy to solve your problems about these types of food. Have nice meals with seafood!