For the general consumer, this may be difficult unless you know your fish seller so here are some tips:
- If it has a strong smell, run!!!!!
- If possible, buy them live. However live doesn't mean that it is good. Check out if there is a lot of "slime" around it. Less is better.
- Check the underbelly. It should be white in color - not slightly yellow.
- The flesh of the fish must be firm. If it is mushy, then it is not fresh.
- If the color of the flesh has a yellow tint to it, it has either been stored incorrectly or not fresh.
- The fat should also be white or the color of milk.
- Hold the fish as in the picture above. Be careful of the side stingers.
- Place it in the freezer.
- Put it in some salt.
The catfish can :
- be cooked from its cleaned, raw state
- be smoked, either salted or marinated previously
- be dried, either salted or unsalted. or marinated
The most often ways of preparing raw, whole catfish are masak lemak cili padi, asam pedas, cooked over charcoal and deep fried. All these options tend to limit the accompaniment - rice. However, if you get good quality fresh catfish which is more than 600g, you can fillet it and produce a nice piece of fillet which you can then cook in many other ways. I have got feedback from people who have tried my filleted catfish that when they had cooked it and served it to other people, they couldn't guess what fish it was. Catfish (keli) was definitely one of their guesses! You can:
- marinate it with a various ways using many combinations of herbs and grill it,
- you can cut it into bite pieces and create fish nuggets, you can dip them in batter and deep fry,
- or you can even just bake it in the oven.
- you can eat it with salads for a light, fresh healthy meal,
- with potatoes - french fries, mash potatoes, baked potatoes
- or even on its own.