weighed before blast freezing

Wild and Pristine Ocean

The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean and is packed with 8 million miles of pristine ocean that stretches over almost 20%
of the globe’s surface. When one sails into her midst, the silent beauty above hides a most wonderful and rich source of wild seafood below. For thousands of years, only the bravest of fishermen dared to venture and reap this aquatic harvest. Today, even with better ships and maritime technology, fishing in this deep ocean is still a matter of skills and courage.

Opika has the privilege of engaging the services of the brave fishermen of Acheh who fish from the Andaman Sea right to the middle of the ocean. Avoiding polluted areas like high sea traffic lanes, these experienced seafarers choose the most pristine fishing grounds to bring in some of the best quality seafood of the region. No inferior seafood for these folks. All their selected catch must be of top quality because they take pride in their prize and sing praises about it for generations.

inspecting wild caught grouper

inspecting wild caught grouper

In spite of its ancient fishing tradition, the fishing industry in Acheh has moved on. Its modern facilities are able to process seafood at a rapid rate. With faster ships, the local fishermen use a method known as ‘Dayboat Seafood’ to provide the freshest catch for you. Freshly caught seafoods are rushed to the modern processing plant within one day as compared with the seafoods caught by trawlers, which have to remain onboard a vessel for 3-5 days. When the ‘Dayboat Seafood’ hit the wharf, they are cleaned, processed, quick-freezed and delivered to Opika.

opika's green fish are direct from these boats

opika’s green fish are direct from these boats

A Healthier Choice

weighed before blast freezing

weighed before blast freezing

What is fresher and healthier than quick-freeze seafoods? Not even the live seafoods that swim in the tanks are fresher than these. Seafoods that take weeks to arrive in the container tanks of seafood restaurants are found to be highly traumatised. Stressed seafoods are not recommended for human consumption.

There is a growing body of evidence that sea creatures do feel pain and can suffer, according to a research by Dr. Robert Elwood, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences at The Queen’s University in Belfast and his colleague, Dr. Mirjam Appel. Crowding fish and other sea animals into seafood restaurant tanks eventually build up stress levels. You should reassess your decision on whether you should eat such stressed live seafoods.

What about seafoods from the local wet market? How do they fare in term of freshness? The truth may frighten you! Seafoods that are sold in the wet market may have come from fishing grounds that are closer to the populated coast. Industrial pollutants such as mercury and lead; chemical wastes such as PCBs, pesticides, chemical fertilisers, DDT and dieldrin, just to name a few, are being dumped into our waterways. These make their way into the coastal sea. It is therefore a big question as to whether the seafoods caught in such areas are fit for human consumption.

Seafoods that are sold locally have to go through many hands before they get to the wet markets or fish shops. There is a usual chain of middlemen and brokers that handle all these transactions. It is common for your seafoods to take 5-7 days of handling before you can even view them. To prolong shelf-life, fish suppliers may resort to chemical preservatives. The bright beady eyes and shining scales will not be a good indicator of freshness and quality.

Quick Freeze Seafoods

Most consumables can be preserved without using chemicals. They can be frozen and kept at a very low temperature until it is time for consumption. However, slow freezing has a drying effect on the seafoods. This process causes the tiny cells of the seafoods to become dehydrated. This affects the texture, flavour and even the colour of the product.
The quick-freeze method provides such a fast freezing process that it prevents the cellular walls of each cell from breaking. Therefore, the freshness is captured in that moment, maintaining the firmness of the meat and keeping the flavour and colour intact.

fishing village children, love the attentiveness

fishing village children, love the attentiveness

Hygienically Packed

Opika Green Seafoods are carefully portioned and packed in a hygienic environment. Only food-grade packaging that can endure freezing is being used. This means that you do not need to repack your seafoods into a different container before putting them into the fridge. As each pack is labelled accurately, you will be able to identify the type of seafoods you want to cook easily.
A quick advice about thawing seafoods – once thawed, the seafoods can last for two days if placed in the chilling compartment of the fridge. Never refreeze the thawed seafoods.

8 Treasure Porridge

Opika’s 8 Treasure Porridge is made with wild caught groupers flown in from Aceh.

 

tuna steak

Pan seared wild caught tuna, marinated in citrus and fresh herbs blend