Can You Freeze Marinated Fish?

Can you freeze marinated fish

A lot of people believe that freezing marinated fish is weird and impossible. However, because of the convenience of this process, it is still found in family cooking. So can you freeze marinated fish? What effect does the freezing process have on marinated fish?

This article will give you instructions for the most effective freezing of marinated fish.

Can you freeze marinated fish?

Marinated fish has a more robust flavor than fresh fish. Marinated fish will tend to be softer, so you should not marinate the fish for too long to avoid the fish becoming mushy. This phenomenon occurs due to the reaction between the acid in the marinade and the fish meat.

Freezing marinated fish is a very convenient way and does not cause any harm to your fish. However, the freezing process of marinated fish can cause the texture of the fish to become less firm than it is with fresh fish. So you should keep this in mind when choosing to freeze marinated fish for a long time.

Most marinated fish can be quickly frozen for a long time without spoiling. If you do not need to use the marinated fish for a short time, you can put the fish in the freezer. Leaving fish at room temperature for longer than 2 hours will cause fish to rot and spoil due to bacterial attack.

Freezing marinated fish is entirely possible and does not bring any harm
Freezing marinated fish is entirely possible and does not bring any harm

Further reading: Best Containers for Freezing Food

How long can you freeze marinated fish?

Marinated fish has many options to use, depending on your needs. If you want to use it right away, you can leave it at room temperature for no more than 2 hours. You can also put the marinated fish in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life up to two days in a refrigerated environment. Refrigeration helps marinated fish without much change in texture, keeping the firmness of fish meat significantly.

As for freezing marinated fish, you can keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. During this time, you can use the marinated fish whenever you want without worrying about its quality. After three months, you should no longer use the frozen fish.

You should pay attention to the steps of freezing marinated fish to avoid destroying the texture of the fish and making the fish meat mushy. The concern in marinated fish for freezing is the amount of marinade. Long-term contact between fish and sauce can quickly destroy ice crystals and cause fish meat to lose its firmness.

Marinated fish can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months
Marinated fish can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months

Further reading: How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Pork Last in the Freezer?

How to freeze marinated fish

Freezing marinated fish is quite simple. However, it also needs some notes and tips when freezing so that the marinated fish is delicious and has a better texture. You should not just put the marinated fish directly in the refrigerator, as the frozen fish will not meet the desired requirements. When freezing marinated fish, you can follow these steps:

  1. Wash the fish and wipe off the water on the fish meat. Then you put the fish in a bowl or pan to marinate with spices and a dose suitable for your family’s taste.
  2. Wait for the fish to absorb the seasoning and remove it from the bowl. Try to let the marinade leave as much of the fish as possible. This keeps the acid in the sauce from reacting during freezing, damaging the texture of the fish.
  3. Put the marinated fish in a ziplock bag or a box with a lid. Seal these bags and boxes, minimizing the amount of air inside.
  4. Mark the storage date on the bag or box, then keep it in the freezer.

If you marinate fish in bulk, you can divide it into several servings when freezing. It will be easier to defrost and use each portion as needed. Especially when the marinated fish has been defrosted, it should not be frozen again.

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How to defrost frozen marinated fish

There are many ways to defrost marinated fish. If you have plenty of time and plan to cook the marinated fish the next day, you can defrost it by taking it from the freezer and placing it in the fridge for up to 12 hours. Don’t forget that this way of defrosting will make your fridge smell fishy. If the fish is thick or large, you need to put it in the refrigerator to freeze for a longer time, up to 24 hours.

If you want to defrost the marinated fish as quickly as possible for immediate cooking, you can place the frozen fish in a large bowl of cool water. Marinated fish is still kept in sealed plastic bags or boxes with lids. The water level needs to be enough to cover the fish thoroughly, or else the fish will defrost unevenly and freeze in places not exposed to water. Depending on the thickness of the marinated fish, its defrosting time will last from 30 minutes to 1 hour. When the water becomes cold, you can change the water.

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Do not defrost fish at room temperature or use warm water. These environments will cause bacteria to multiply faster and spoil the marinated fish during defrosting.

Further reading: What Are the Best Cheap Freezers for Home?

Tips for better marinating fish or seafood

  1. Prepare about half a cup of marinade per pound of fish or seafood. Marinate them for 15 minutes to an hour.
  2. Use acidic marinade to tenderize the meat and help deepen the flavors. Acidic ingredients can be listed as vinegar, wine, yogurt, citrus juices, or buttermilk.
  3. Use oils such as peanut, canola, safflower, or soybean in your marinade. These oils have high smoke point that helps flavors absorb into the fatty tissue.
  4. Always marinate in the refrigerator. Marinating at room temperature can encourage dangerous bacteria to grow and lead to foodborne illnesses.
  5. Turn the fish or seafood several times while marinating to ensure that all surfaces make full contact and maximum flavor is preserved.

Common mistakes when marinating

  • Over marinate the fish: Once marinated for too long, the fish can become mushy. You should marinate seafood from 15 minutes to an hour.
  • Use too much salt: The salt will draw moisture out of the meat, causing it to dry out. It also prevents the flavors from seeping into the fish. You should add salt later, after cooking to taste.
  • Reuse the marinade: You should be aware that marinades can contact raw ingredients that may contain harmful bacteria. It’s best to always discard your marinade after use.
  • Do not try new flavors and ingredients: You need to try new things as marinades provide endless opportunities for taste.
  • Using metal containers: Because metals can react chemically with acids in marinades and make the flavor changes. Therefore, you should use glass, plastic food containers, or heavy-duty zippered plastic storage bags.

Further reading: How Long Can You Keep Frozen Food in the Freezer?


Can you freeze marinated salmon?

Yes. You can freeze salmon overnight or up to 3 months. The marinade will become cloudy but may not completely solidify. This is normal. Even if you plan to eat the salmon within a few days, it’s recommended to freeze it, so it doesn’t get too marinated.

Can frozen fish be eaten raw?

Frozen fish should not be eaten raw because the fish may bring the foodborne illness. It’s best to cook seafood thoroughly to reduce the risk. However, if you want to eat raw fish, a general rule of thumb is to eat fish that has been frozen before. It’s very common that some fish species may contain parasites, and freezing process can kill these harmful parasites.

Is it possible to defrost fish in water?

Soaking fish in cold water is a quick and popular way to defrost fish. Fish must be kept in an airtight bag for safety and preserve the flavor when submerged in water until it’s defrosted. You should never defrost fish at room temperature or in warm or hot water because this is where bacteria can grow and spread rapidly.

How long does it take to marinate fish?

Fish will need from 30 minutes to 2 hours for marinating. To have the flavor you want from your fish, you won’t need more than this time.

For example, with steaks from firm fish, they need approximately 1 or 2 hours of marination time. Shrimps or Fillets from firm fish or flaky fish usually need about 30 minutes. You should cook the marinated fish in less than 2 hours to enjoy its best quality.

Can you marinate fish overnight?

Yes, it’s possible for you to marinate fish overnight in the refrigerator. But you should not do that. Because fish should be marinated less than 24 hours before cooking. If marinated for too long, it will become mushy and unsafe to eat.

In addition, fish should only be marinated in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. If you notice that the fish is starting to change color, it means that the marinade has overcooked the fish. It’s better to throw the fish away immediately.

How do you marinate fish with lemon?

Make a mixture by combining ½ cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice and fresh herbs (such as cilantro, basil, rosemary, or thyme) de-stemmed and diced. Brush the fish with the marinade and wait for about 5 minutes before cooking.

How long to marinate fish in lemon?

The marinating process takes about 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the amount of sauce remaining and whether additional ingredients are added.

Do you marinate fish before grilling?

You should marinate fish and shellfish before grilling or any other high-heat cooking method. A good marinade both adds flavor and keeps the meat tender. The marinade will provide extra moisture that keeps the seafood from quickly drying out.


Freezing marinated fish is an excellent method to preserve marinated fish for a long time. To achieve high efficiency, you need to pay attention to freezing and thawing marinated fish.

I hope the article gives you new and valuable information to use every day.


How do I marinate frozen fish,, Retrieved on May 29, 2022


Jenny Brown
Hi, I’m Jenny. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, a compact fridge or freezer becomes one of the essential items in many homes. On my blog, you will find helpful advice about using and organizing these kitchen appliances. You will also receive the recommendations on choosing a compact refrigerator or freezer that best fits your demands. Besides, frozen meals from the freezer bring many incredible benefits because they ensure freshness, deliciousness, and full nutrients. Many helpful tips from experts on frozen meals will also be found.