Fresh ingredients are great to have on a daily basis but due to work and other commitments, sometimes, we just don’t have the time to head to the market everyday to but fresh food so we rely completely on our fridge and freezer to do the keeping for us because it is, convenient! So here are some tips on how to store and freeze your ingredients so they stay fresh and perky!
Fish and Seafood
- For oily based fish (mackerel, tuna, sardines etc.) my grandmother use to freeze them whole with their gills and stomachs in tack. She said it helps preserve the fish and keeps the flesh sweet. I didn’t believe her so I tried, freezing a couple of fishes with their stomach in and a couple where I cleaned it and then froze it. Upon defrosting the fish, and gutting the fish with the stomach and then cooking it, I found the fish that had the stomach in it was a lot fresher, flaky and sweet then the one I had gutted and froze. So Grandma -1, Ili -0
- Prawns – what I like to do is I like to clean it, add in some sugar then freeze them in bags. The sugar helps keep the prawns plump and juicy
- Squid – I like to clean and gut my squid before freezing it because I find the guts really fishy so its better to clean and gut your squid before freezing
*NOTE: For all seafood, to get rid of additional fishy smell, i would suggest washing your seafood with some tamarind paste to get rid of any unpleasant odor that happens when gutting seafood
Local Salads (ulam)
The best thing to do is to rinse your salad leaves and then pat it down dry with a clean towel before wrapping it in a damp kitchen towel or banana leaf. Now the moisture in the damp towel or banana leaf will provide enough moisture for the leaves to ‘drink’ in order to stay fresh!
Chicken needs to be kept properly if not it can seriously make you sick. So when buying chicken make sure it does not smell like anything. Try to pat your chicken dry before cutting it up, water actually helps spread bacteria all over your chicken. if you need to rinse your chicken, do but ensure you pat it dry, season with some salt before you store it in freezer bags
My late grandma use to tell me never wash lamb or mutton from the butcher, because if you do, the gamie smell will increase tremendously. Its best to season with salt before freezing.