04/09/2014 12:16 BST | Updated 03/11/2014 05:59 GMT

How to Get More Fresh Fish in Your Diet


Do you love cooking and eating fish but live quite a distance away from a fish shop?

Since relocating, my closest fish shop is now over an hour's drive, and I've found that I'm not eating as much fresh fish as I'd like.

However, there are secrets to extending the 'freshness' of fish for as long as possible. You can keep getting the healthy benefits from fish even when you live far from the seaside.

1. Make sure you keep your fish as cold as possible.

Ask for a bag of ice to put in with the fish when you buy it. Fish loses freshness rapidly unless kept close to freezing. When you get it home, pop the fish in the fridge with the bag of ice.

2. Partially cook the fish in some sort of liquid, then refrigerate until you're ready to eat it.

For example, you can poach the fish in olive oil or water until it's about half cooked. It will then keep in the fridge for a few days, so you can have fish again later in the week. The fish finishes cooking during the reheating process, avoiding the common problem of mushy, overcooked fish.

Also, the liquid is important for ease of reheating. So we're talking things like a simple fish stew (recipe below), curries or soups. The partial cooking stops the fish from going bad and also means it doesn't get completely overcooked when you go to reheat it.

You can still have fish cooked on the BBQ or pan fried on the day you arrive home. Then later in the week you can pull out the fish cooked in liquid for a second fresh fish dinner.

Simple Fish Stew Recipe

serves 3-4

Serve this stew in deep bowls with a fresh green salad on the side or crusty bread if you prefer.

This recipe is written for those that want to make this in advance and reheat. Of course if you're ready to eat it straight away, just simmer until the fish is just cooked. Then serve.

2 onions, peeled & chopped

1 large bulb fennel, trimmed & finely sliced crosswise, green fronds reserved

1 jar commercial tomato pasta sauce or tomato puree (about 1 1/2cups)

large pinch saffron threads

500g (1lb) white fish fillets such as flathead, chopped

1. Heat a generous glug of oil in a large pot. Add onions and cook over a medium low heat, covered for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the fennel and continue to cook, covered and stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes or until the onion and fennel are soft but not browned.

3. Add the tomato puree, 1 1/2 cups water and saffron. Bring to a simmer.

4. Add fish and cook for about 1 minute. Then remove from the heat. Cool and refrigerate until you're ready to serve (will keep for 3-4 days, possibly longer).

5. To reheat, bring back to a gentle simmer and cook until fish is cooked through. Taste & season. Top with reserved fennel fronds.