11 tips for storing seafood at home

The Sydney Seafood School has some tips to show you how to keep seafood fresh.

Whether you're buying for you or for the whole family, if you're stocking up on seafood you will face one big hurdle: how best to store it.

We spoke to Sydney Seafood School to get their tips on making sure the seafood you buy stays fresh in your fridge or freezer. Read on for some great seafood storage hacks:

Refrigerating tips

With all fresh seafood, you will need to place on a plate or tray or in a lidded container and cover with a damp cloth. Then you should place some plastic wrap over the top and/or place the lid on top and store in the coldest part of your fridge. Here is where things differ:

  • Fresh fish: If you've bought (or caught!) a fresh whole fish, first you will need to scale, clean, and gut the fish. After storing correctly (as outlined above), eat within 2-3 days.
  • Squid, cuttlefish and octopus: clean and rinse it before you store in the fridge.
  • Prawns and other dead shellfish: These should be consumed as soon as possible. If you are storing in the fridge, follow the instructions above but you can forego the damp cloth.
  • Live crustaceans: Like prawns, you should eat these ASAP after you buy them. Before consuming, keep them in a container in a cool place with a damp cloth over the top, making sure the cloth remains damp!
  • Live molluscs (mussles, oysters etc.): Unlike the other seafoods, store these guys in the warmest part of the refrigerator - usually the cripser - optimally at 5°C. Place a damp cloth over it when storing. Before cooking, discard any where the shells are open, and don't close when tapped or gently squeezed.


Remember, it's vital to jot the date on any seafood you're storing in the freezer. When placing in airtight bags, keep a pen or texta handy to write the date on the bag, then make sure you consume within the time frames provided below.

  • Whole non-oily fish: Freeze for up to 6 months.
  • Whole oily fish, all fish fillets, steaks and cutlets: Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Meat from molluscs (such as squid and mussels) can be frozen for up to 3 months. Remove from shells before freezing in an airtight bag.
  • Crustaceans (except prawns): Freeze for up to 3 months. Place crustaceans (other than prawns) in an airtight freezer bag, extract as much air as possible, label and date.
  • Prawns: Place unpeeled prawns in a plastic container appropriate to the volume of prawns. Cover with water, seal and freeze. This forms a large iceblock, which insulates the Prawns. Do not add salt as it draws out the moisture. Freeze for up to three months.

Classes at Sydney Seafood School can be viewed at www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au. Classes can be booked online and gift certificates purchased from the website. 

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