The Right Way To Defrost Frozen Fish: Warm, Cold Water or Microwave?

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defrost frozen fish

Can you cook frozen fish?

Yes, you can cook a fish from frozen and it is completely acceptable to cook raw foods from a frozen state. The timing of cooking will be slightly longer than usual recipe because of the lack of thawing. Depending on the type and thickness of the fish, thinner and leaner fish like tilapia and cod can be easily cooked as usual, whereas thicker and fattier fish like salmon would need longer time and should be avoided to cook from frozen. You can steam, bake, broil, poach or even grill fish straight from the freezer, just allocate additional ~50% of your cooking time for it to be cooked entirely through.

Should you cook frozen fish directly?

If time allows, you should always safely defrost a frozen fish before cooking for the best result instead of cooking the frozen fish directly from freezer. Defrost a frozen fish would help on the cooking process because there will be less additional moisture or water that could interrupt the cooking process. You will also be likely pan-frying a crispier fish skin with fish that has been thawed.

Can you defrost the frozen fish at room temperature?

Never defrost a fish at room temperature or on the counter because bacteria will multiply rapidly in warmer temperature and the fish will turn bad quickly.

Can you defrost a fish in warm or hot water?

Although it is going to thaw a fish quicker in warm or hot water, you should never defrost a frozen fish in high temperature water. Not only that bacteria on the surface will multiply quickly, it will also potentially cause damages to frozen food texture due to rapid change of the cell structure.

How to thaw a frozen fish safely?

thaw frozen fish in the refrigerator

There are various methods to defrost a fish. The easiest and safest method to thaw a frozen fish is to bring the fish out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator the night before you want to use it. Normally, it will take up to 24 hours to defrost a bulky frozen item in the refrigerator. Do not forget to place the frozen food inside a clean container to catch the liquid or water released from the frozen food as it thaws.

How to thaw a frozen fish safely and quickly?

If you need to defrost a fish quickly, the best way is to place the frozen fish in a pot of cold water. The fish must be placed inside a sealed bag or zip bag before submerging it into the pot of cold water for thawing. Place some weight on top of the fish if the fish is floating on top of the water for a more even thawing process. The defrost time is typically three to four hours per kg. Avoiding the frozen fish being submerging directly into the water will help to preserve the flavour and texture of the fish. You can also place the sealed bag of frozen fish under running cold water for a quicker defrost process.

How to thaw a frozen fish in the microwave?

To defrost a fish in the microwave, place the fish on a microwavable plate, cover with a lid and defrost it for a minute. Flip the fish over and continue defrosting for another minute or until it is fully thawed. Keep the microwave defrosting time to a minimum helps to avoid overcooking the fish. Although thawing a frozen fish in a microwave is fast, it is not recommended because it is hard to control the defrosting process of the fish and often ending up with part of the fish being overcook and others not even properly defrosted.


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