Fish is extremely popular & is used in many dishes across the globe.
Packaged raw fish & also freshly caught fish needs to be kept in the freezer or else it will promote the growth of different microbes in it & eventually rot.
When we cook the frozen fish, we need to defrost it for even & faster cooking.
Using a microwave is the quickest method of doing it & also the healthiest as it prevents any bacterial growth that may occur while following any other methods.
So, here’s a detailed article with tips & instructions on how you can safely defrost fish using a microwave & have a smooth cooking experience.
- Quick Answer: How to Defrost Fish in the Microwave?
- How to Prepare the Fish for Defrosting in a Microwave
- How to Defrost Fish in a Microwave
- Tips to Remember while Defrosting Fish in a Microwave
- How to Defrost Shellfish in the Microwave
- Alternate Ways to Defrost Fish
- How to Store Defrosted Fish
- Bottom Line
How to Prepare the Fish for Defrosting in a Microwave
Remove any ice chunks that may be attached to the fish. This can be done by keeping the fish under running tap water so that the ice detaches itself.
Separate any pieces that may be frozen together for even defrosting. If that is not possible due to the hardness of the frozen thing, then proceed with the process anyway.
Make sure to keep the pieces separate once the hardness is gone after few seconds of defrosting.
- A microwave-safe dish or bowl, something made of glass or ceramic
- A lid with vents
- Kitchen flipper or tongs
- Set the fish inside the microwave - Place the fish in a microwave-safe bowl, preferably glass or ceramic ware & cover it with a vented lid to retain moisture & place it inside the microwave rack
- Defrost settings - Now press the ‘defrost’ button & defrost it for a minute. Flip the fish to the opposite side & defrost again for a few minutes.
Remove any melted ice or water that may form after a few minutes of defrosting to prevent sogginess.
- Flip the fish - During the process, keep flipping every minute if you feel any side needs more heat than the other.
Check every 30 seconds to prevent any explosion or accidental cooking .
- Stop defrosting - Stop the timer before the set time when the fish is bendable but still a little cold.
Let the heat formed in the microwave melt rest of the ice that may be present on the surface or the sides of the fish.
- Remove the fish from the microwave - No need to take the fish out immediately after stopping the timer.
After a few minutes, wear thick cotton gloves & take the bowl out of the microwave & the fish is ready to be cooked.
Temperature: No need to set.
Tips to Remember while Defrosting Fish in a Microwave
Please follow the tips while defrosting fish in a microwave safely & easily:
- Use microwave-safe containers – Use glass or ceramic bowls & plastic (not disposable ones) also can be used. Please check the bottom of the container to read labels that indicate whether it’s safe or not to use it in the microwave.
- Refrain from using metal or foam – Don’t use any metal container in the microwave. Avoid using foam trays or plastic & paper wraps, aluminum foils, paper napkins & colored paper plates as they can melt or release toxins.
- Use vented lids – Always make sure to cover the bowl of fish with a vented lid to avoid any splash. This is also helpful in getting rid of any pungent smell that may arise while defrosting & it helps to lock in the moisture.
- Keep flipping – Keep checking so there’s no case of explosion or burning. Keep flipping every 30 seconds to prevent accidental cooking.
- Don’t defrost for long – To prevent accidental cooking & hotspots from forming over the fish, stop the timer in advance of the set time . Check whether the fish is pliable or not. If yes, stop defrosting.
- Avoid removing the fish immediately – Do not remove the fish immediately after stopping the timer. Let the heat already formed work on it.
How to Defrost Shellfish in the Microwave
Place the frozen shellfish apart from each other in a microwave-safe bowl & keep it inside the microwave, defrost it for 3 minutes & keep flipping every 30 seconds. Take it out once it is slightly cold but malleable.
Place the shellfish in a microwave-safe bowl
Remove any ice chunks attached to the shellfish & sprinkle some water on it to prevent it from getting dry & losing texture then place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Avoid piling up.
Set the defrost settings
Now press the ‘defrost’ button & set the timer for a maximum of 3 minutes.Check after a minute & flip to the other side & defrost for another minute. Keep doing this for 3 minutes.
Flip the fish
During the process, keep flipping every minute if you feel any side needs more heat than the other.Check every 30 seconds to prevent any accidental cooking or explosion.
Stop the timer before the set time when the fish is malleable but still a little icy.Let the heat formed in the microwave melt rest of the ice that may be present.
Remove the fish from the microwave
No need to take the shellfish out immediately after stopping the timer. After a few minutes, wear thick cotton gloves & take the bowl out of the microwave & the seafood is ready to be cooked.
Alternate Ways to Defrost Fish
Another easy & efficient way to defrost fish is to keep the fish in a sealed bag or a covered bowl & put it inside the refrigerator, below the frost-line temperature overnight.
This prevents the fish from rotting & also inhibits frosting. You can also pack the fish in an air-tight bag & submerge it in cold water for an hour till it thaws.
Running a steady stream of tap water over the packed fish for around 10 to 15 minutes can also help in defrosting it easily.
Check out how to easily & safely defrost fish in this video by Consumer Reports
How to Store Defrosted Fish
According to USDA, the only way to store fish defrosted in the microwave is by cooking it before refreezing it again. Try to cook the fish immediately to avoid spoilage due to bacterial growth.
If the fish is defrosted in the refrigerator overnight then it is safe to refreeze it for a few more days without cooking but make sure to not keep the defrosted fish outside the refrigerator for more than 2 hours.
Yes, it is safe. According to the USDA, defrosting in a microwave is safe but it brings the food to a temperature (40°F-140°F) that is optimum for bacterial growth, so it is advisable to cook it immediately .
Hope you found this useful & please share this with your friends & family who may want to use a microwave to defrost fish.
If you know of any other method to do this, please share it with us.