Eyesbright, clear, and full
Gills-reddish pink and free from slime
Scales-adhering tightly to the skin, bright
colored with characteristic sheen
Flesh-firm and elastic, springing back when
pressed, not separating from the bones
Odor-fresh, free from objectionable odors
Fresh fillets, steaks, and chunks should also have a
mild, fresh odor, and the flesh should have a fresh-cut
appearance without any traces of browning or drying.
Frozen fish compares favorably in appearance,
flavor, and food value with fresh fish and may be used
interchangeably. Frozen fish should be delivered still
frozen and should remain frozen until just before it is
Frozen fish fillets and steaks should be thawed
gradually under refrigeration and used as soon as
possible thereafter. The ideal temperature range for the
thawing period is 36°F to 38°F. During the thawing
period, the fish should be kept in the box just as it was
received from the supplier. The box furnishes insulation
that permits all the fish to thaw uniformly. If not
properly protected fish is thawed at temperatures that
are too high, the surface may begin to spoil before the
inside is completely thawed. Frozen, breaded seafood
products should not be thawed before they are cooked.
In general, a few helpful rules include the following:
* The amount of fish thawed should not exceed the
amount to be served.
. Fish should be thawed just before it is used; it
should not be refrozen.
. Seafood products should not be thawed under
cold running water.
Shellfish have a partial or complete shell covering.
There are two classes of shellfish. Crustaceans have
semihard to hard shells over the back and claws and soft
shells under the body. Shrimp and lobster are examples.
Mollusks have two very hard shells of the same size,
which are tightly closed when the mollusk is fresh. Sort
and discard any open shells before cooking. Clams,
oysters, and scallops are examples.
The chief varieties of shellfish available from Navy
or commercial sources for use in the GM include clams,
crabs, lobsters, crawfish, oysters, scallops, and shrimp.
CLAMS. Clams are procured as either frozen or
canned minced. They are shucked and packed in natural
juices. Clams are available as either frozen regular or
individually quick frozen (IQF). They should not be
thawed until they are to be used. IQF clams are easier
to handle since only the amount needed is removed from
the container. Once removed, they should not be
refrozen, but they should be drained and used in
chowder. Canned clams should be drained and used like
the frozen ones.
CRAB LEGS. Crab legs are a similar food item
in flavor to lobster. The legs should be split before
cooking. Steam or boil and serve with lemon wedges
and drawn butter.
CRAB MEAT. Crab meat is available in tamed
and frozen forms. It maybe used in crab cakes, salads,
and sandwiches. Both forms are fully cooked and ready
to use. Frozen crab meat, once thawed, should be used
immediately. Do not refreeze.
LOBSTER. Lobster is one of the largest species
of shellfish. There are two types: northern lobster and
Northern lobster, the true lobster, is
distinguished by its large heavy claws.
Whole lobsters are available fresh and frozen.
When cooked, the shell turns a bright orange-red color.
Fresh and frozen lobsters are very perishable. Keep
fresh lobsters alive until ready to use. Do not freeze.
Frozen whole lobsters are commercially available
wrapped in polyethylene film. Do not thaw before
cooking. Keep frozen at 0°F or below. Follow the
AFRS for cooking directions. Be sure not to overcook
or lobsters will be tough and dry.
Spiny or rock lobster is distinguished by the absence
of large claws and by the presence of its long slender
antenna and many prominent spines on its body and legs.
Crawfish or lobster tail is
sometimes called langosta and is nearly worldwide in
its distribution, ranging through the tropical,
subtropical, and temperate waters of the Atlantic,
Pacific, and Indian Oceans. In the United States it is
found in Florida and southern waters.
The meat of the crawfish comes almost entirely
from the tail. The frozen tails of several species
weighing from 4 ounces to more than 1 pound each are
sold on the market.
OYSTERS. Shucked oysters are those that have
been removed from the shell. Shucked oysters should
be plump, have a natural creamy color, have a clear
liquid (natural juices), and be free from shell particles.