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Nothing can beat the sensation of using high-quality fresh ingredients in cooking. Whether you have bought some fruit and vegetables from a local farmers market, or if you have gotten some fresh fish or meat from your fishmonger and butchers. Using fresh ingredients really does go the extra mile to make sure that the dish turns out brilliantly. The only issue with using fresh ingredients is that after a while, they are no longer fresh. Today we will discuss how long the fish tilapia can last in the fridge, or in general storage methods.
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What Is Tilapia?
Tilapia is a freshwater fish that is most commonly found in the United States and Asia. In a culinary sense, it is very similar to other light and flakey fish such as cod and bass. While some people only eat cooked fish, others enjoy raw fish such as the Asian dish sashimi. Raw tilapia can be used in this dish and works very well, provided it is fresh and does not have a sour smell. Other than this, tilapia can be battered, cooked, fried, and all sorts just like most other fish. The flavor is not too pungent so it works in a lot of meals too. The fish is better eaten immediately as that is when it is the freshest but if you have to start preserving fish for a bit longer then there are some ways you can do this.
How To Store Tilapia
On a lot of food such as baked goods, chocolates, and chips you can see a sell-by date that indicates when they will start degrading in quality. A lot of people ignore these dates when it comes to something small like a packet of crisps but you should never buy or eat fish that is past its sell-by date as it will be gone off similar to dairy and will leave you feeling unwell thanks to bacterial growth. It is also worth mentioning that when storing your tilapia, whether it is raw or cooked, it is best to separate it from any other meats to avoid cross-contamination.
Storing Tilapia in The Fridge
One of the best ways to store raw tilapia is by placing it in the fridge before use. This keeps it nice and cold so it maintains its freshness and is immediately ready to use when you need it, To store it in the fridge you will want to place it either on a plate and then wrap it in plastic wrap, or place it inside of a big airtight container.
If your tilapia is cooked, you do not have to worry as much about covering the fish as it is now cooked and will not spread any bacteria. Before placing your cooked tilapia in the fridge, wait for it to fully cool down to room temperature so that it does not start breeding bacteria once in the fridge.
Raw tilapia can last up to two days in the fridge before it should be used, and cooked tilapia can be stored in the fridge safely up to four days before being used. When you are wanting to use your raw tilapia, it is recommended that you take it out of the fridge half an hour early and allow it to come to room temperature so that it feels fresh again.
Storing Tilapia in The Freezer
The shelf life of any food immediately increases once they have been frozen, this also works for the tilapia fish. It is not recommended to freeze the cooked fish, so we will just be talking about storing the tilapia when it is raw. Frozen fish is incredibly common, and does not ruin the freshness as much as you would think, as long as they are stored properly and then thawed before use.
Freezing fish is also super easy but you might want to take some precautions to avoid freezer burn. To freeze your tilapia you will want to place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag or a large airtight container. If you place it in the container, it is best to wrap it in plastic wrap first as this will prevent freezer burn. When placing your fresh tilapia in the freezer bag, it is important to squeeze as much of the air out as possible as this will also help prevent freezer burn. If you are trying to store tilapia fillets, you should wrap and store each of them separately as the contact between pieces can lead to freezer burn. Once frozen, tilapia can last between 6-8 months in the freezer before it starts degrading in quality. This is the longest shelf life possible for this fish and is worth doing if you do not intend to eat it within the next four days. The only downside of freezing fish is that you have to thaw them before you cook them, which can be a bit of a hassle if you are hungry or low on time.
How To Thaw Tilapia
Once your frozen tilapia has waited long enough to find a use, you can thaw it. This can be done in a couple of different ways. Firstly you can leave your tilapia in the fridge for 24 hours and let it gradually defrost and thaw, or you can place it in a shallow bowl of cold water overnight. Both of these will thaw the fish gradually and gently, ensuring the freshness is preserved. It is important to note that you should not refreeze tilapia and that you should also not let it defrost at room temperature as this could risk spoiling the fish.
Storing Tilapia; The Do’s and Don’ts
Raw tilapia is the easiest to store and can last either 4 days in the fridge or up to 8 months in the freezer. Cooked tilapia can either be left on the side for up to 2 hours or can also be placed in the fridge for a few days. It is important to make sure you do not freeze cooked tilapia or refreeze tilapia after you have successfully thawed it. Now that you have a fresh tilapia ready to eat, maybe you want to pair it correctly with some wine and have a nice enjoyable dinner.
FAQs On Tilapia
How can you tell if tilapia is bad?
If your tilapia is giving off a particularly pungent smell that is significantly worse than fish normally is, then it has probably gone bad. Eating bad fish is not at all worth it, so if you are even slightly suspicious, it might be worth throwing it away and staying safe.
Is tilapia good in the fridge for 3 days?
Raw tilapia is fine in the fridge for up to 4 days, and cooked tilapia is fine for up to 4 days in the fridge. Any longer than this and you might want to consider freezing the fish.