How can I pack seafood to take to the beach house this Easter?
Every minute fresh seafood is exposed to temperatures greater than 4C reduces its shelf life by an hour. Speak to your fishmonger in advance and ask for the freshest fish. Don't be committed to a particular species, especially if it's wild; work your recipe around the fish, not the other way around. Although it means a little more work, the ultimate way to transport fresh fish is whole - scales on, guts in. But if you want to do the prep before heading off, again, ask your fishmonger for the freshest fish, have them dry-fillet it and then wrap it tightly in Go-Between freezer film, before vacuum-sealing it or wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap; the freezer film will prevent the fillets from sweating. Either way, the fish should be buried in a plastic bag of ice sprinkled with sea salt. Wrap this parcel in a blanket of newspaper, then pack it in an Esky with ice bricks. This will give you a good six-hour headstart on any temperature abuse. Top-notch frozen seafood is also a good option; the key is thawing it slowly in the fridge, ideally in a sealed container with a cake rack or drip tray keeping the seafood up off the base.
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