With a mellow and clean flavor, catfish is one of the most versatile and healthy seafood ingredients on the market. It’s important you not only cook it correctly, but that it’s stored properly so it maintains freshness and flavor.
Shopping for Catfish Products
Catfish is sold fresh and frozen. Fresh catfish can be pan fried, deep fried, baked or grilled. It’s important for fresh catfish to be kept cold during distribution and while in retail stores to prevent bacterial growth.
Follow these tips when shopping for fresh catfish:
- Make sure it’s the last thing you put in your grocery cart before checking out
- Put the catfish in a disposable plastic bag. This will prevent contaminating other foods with leakage.
- Once the fresh catfish is purchased, immediately put it in a refrigerator that is 40 degrees F at most. The catfish should be cooked within 1 to 2 days or frozen at 0 degrees F.
Tips for Freezing and Thawing Catfish
According to the USDA, catfish can be frozen indefinitely in its original packaging or it can be repackaged. If you plan on storing the catfish in the freezer long-term, follow these guidelines to prevent freezer burn.
When it comes time to thaw your frozen catfish for cooking, the Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recommends these three approaches:
- Slow thawing in the refrigerator
- Submerging the catfish in cold water, while changing the water every 30 minutes
- Defrosting in the microwave, making sure to cook the fish immediately after
However, make sure to follow directions on the catfish packaging and avoid thawing breaded catfish that is purchased frozen!
For more details about thawing, visit the USDA website here.
Storing Leftover Catfish Meals
Once you’ve thawed your frozen fish and cooked it using your favorite recipe, it’s ready to enjoy! But what about storing leftovers?
If you have leftover catfish, it can be immediately stored for 3-4 days in the refrigerator or 2-3 months in the freezer. Once it’s time to reheat leftovers, we recommend avoiding the microwave because it’s likely to dry out the fish. The best method is using the oven. For more tips on reheating fish, checkout this LiveStrong article.
At Heartland Catfish, we strive to consistently deliver great-tasting and healthy catfish to our customers. We strictly regulate our entire agricultural process, ensuring our catfish is safe for you and your family to eat. Next time you’re preparing catfish, make sure to follow these tips for proper preparation and storage of your Heartland catfish!