WHY buy frozen seafood?

If done correctly, freezing any food is a fantastic way to secure the quality and nutrients. Once thawed, you’re getting the same quality you would if you used freshly caught seafood.


As frozen seafood can get spoilt if the fish thaws during transport or if it is being left at a temperature that is too warm for too long before cooking, it is important to check a few things before buying frozen seafood. Don’t buy the pack if you notice the following:

  • Open package: If the packaging looks like it is open, torn, or crushed on the edges.
  • Signs of frost or ice crystals: This may be a sign that the product has thawed during transport and has been refrozen.
  • The no-bend test: If frozen fish is bendable, avoid it. The flesh should be hard and properly frozen.


In South Africa, we often end up buying frozen prawns and if you’re lucky, a fresh (legal!) crayfish. Avoid buying thawed seafood that has been lying around for a while.

  • Smell: It should have a clean sea smell. An overly fishy or sour smell is bad.
  • Colour: clean-looking colour.

Other tips

  • Buy Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) as this means the product was frozen immediately after capture, which provides you with a fresher product.

How much to buy per person

Here are some suggested portion sizes:

  • Fish: 200-250 grams per person
  • Prawns: 200-400 grams per person
  • Calamari/Squid: 200-400 grams per person
  • Mussels (with shells): 250-500 grams per person
  • Mussels (without shells): 200-400 grams per person
  • Clams: 200-400 grams per person
  • Seafood mix: 200-400 grams per person