Freezer tips

So many ways to enjoy fish and seafood

Your fish and seafood will last longer and stay in excellent condition if you keep them frozen at -18°C or below. For this reason, you should regularly check the temperature of your freezer and adjust your thermostat accordingly. Older freezers should be defrosted on a regular basis. It is also advisable to check the rubber seal on your freezer door at the same time. Most modern freezers have auto-defrost, and do not require regular defrosting.

  • Keep a list of everything in your freezer and the 'best before' date. That way you can ensure that you use everything while it is at its best. It will also help you plan when you need your next Donald Russell order.

  • Upright freezers should not be overloaded, as this can prevent them operating correctly.

  • Chest freezers, on the other hand, should be filled up, as this helps to keep the temperature down, so your freezer runs more efficiently.

  • Fridge freezers or freezer boxes are ideal for keeping a few smaller items and should not be used to store large items.

  • Remember to allow enough time to defrost your fish or seafood prior to cooking. Do not re-freeze once defrosted.

Nutritional information


Two portions a week

The Food Standards Agency recommends eating a minimum of two portions of fish every week as part of a healthy diet, and many nutritionists recommend eating more. Fish and seafood are a good source of proteins, vitamins and minerals that are essential for the functioning of the body and brain. They tend to be low in fat overall, as well as low in saturated fat.

Proteins - the building blocks of the body

Eating protein is necessary for the growth and repair of muscle and tissue, and for the effective functioning of the brain.

The best quality proteins, with the right balance of amino acids for the body, are found in lean meat and fish.

As well as protein, fish is also a great source of calcium - the perfect combination for children with growing bones. What's more, fish provides these essential nutrients in their natural state, without the artificial colourings, preservatives and flavour enhancers of processed foods.

Omega-3 and -6

Oily fish like herring, mackerel and salmon are high in polyunsaturated fat, and contain a healthy ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Both omega-3 and omega-6 can help to keep your heart healthy, and are also involved with brain function, memory and the process of learning. They are also used by the body to make a series of anti-inflammatory compounds which help to keep joints working well.

Using How to Fish for Perfection

So many ways to enjoy fish and seafood

So many ways to enjoy fish and seafood

Fish and seafood are wonderfully versatile ingredients. They form an integral part of the diet of many cultures across the globe, from the Americans to the Orient. Their importance in the diet of so many people in so many countries has inspired an endless variety of methods and recipes for cooking fish and seafood.

Tried & tested cooking techniques

In this booklet, we have brought together easy-to-follow recipes which demonstrate the main techniques used for cooking fish and seafood to perfection - poaching, grilling (or barbecuing), oven baking, steaming, deep frying and sautéing (or shallow frying).

You will also find a clear, three-step guide for each technique, which we hope will give you the confidence to try creating your own recipes, and experimenting with different ingredients and flavours.

Fish perfection - a few rules

To achieve perfect results with fish and seafood, we recommend following these simple rules for all fish:

Before cooking, take fish or seafood out of its wrapping and discard any liquid. Rinse carefully under cold running water, pat dry with kitchen paper and allow to come to room temperature for about 10 minutes. This will help the fish to cook evenly all the way through. (Smoked and cooked fish require patting dry only.)

Be very careful not to overcook your fish and seafood, as this can make it dry and rubbery. The flesh should appear opaque and be firm to the touch.

Passion for quality

Quality Fish

Our fish and seafood

All our wild fish and seafood is landed in the traditional fishing port of Peterhead - Europe's premier white fish port. Most of the fish landed in Peterhead is caught in the North Sea or northern Atlantic, where the fish grow strong in the icy cold waters. The resulting firm texture and ocean-fresh taste of these fish make it easy to see why the fishermen of Peterhead have such a great reputation for quality.

Sustainable fishing

We believe that sustainable fishing and fish farming practices are crucial to ensure that future generations can enjoy the same quality and variety of fish that we enjoy today. That's why we insist on sourcing fish from reputable suppliers who meet, and often exceed, the current regulations for sustainable fishing.

All our wild fish is legally caught within EU quotas.


Passion for quality

Our close link with Scotland's fishing community is thanks to the Milne family, who have been involved in the fishing industry for generations. We work with the Milne family because they share our passion for quality. They select only the finest specimens straight from the boat, which they cut and prepare to the same high standards as our meat. The fish is then professionally frozen straight after cutting to lock in quality and preserve the ocean flavour. Because we promise never to compromise on quality, we often pay more than the market value to secure the best fish for you.

Value for money

All Donald Russell's fish and seafood is expertly prepared for perfect results, giving you more for your money. We believe you should be receiving highly trimmed, fully kitchen-ready seafood products without surplus skin and bones that need to be removed prior cooking.

Please note: While we make every effort to remove all bones from our fish fillets, please be aware that some may remain. Herring, Mackerel and Arbroath Smokies contain fine, edible 'feather bones', which cannot be removed without damaging the delicate fillets, while our Whole Lemon Sole is sold with the bones in – the traditional way to serve this fine fish.

Individual size and shape

Because fish is a natural product, there will always be some variation in the size, thickness and shape of the fillets. Please rest assured, however, that our stringent portion control systems mean you will always get what you have paid for.

When you receive your order


Donald Russell packaging

We have pioneered new ways of packaging food to ensure it arrives with you in perfect condition. Most of your goods are packed in sturdy presentation boxes and securely wrapped in bubble wrap. Your order is then placed in a strong, re-usable cool-box which keeps everything frozen during transit, and protects your goods from knocks and bumps.

We are aware that packaging can have an impact on the environment and we are always looking for ways to reduce, re-use and recycle our packaging. If you have any comments or queries, please email

Your products

Most of our fish and seafood comes frozen and packed with dry ice (although occasionally with ice gel). Dry ice is a frozen, natural gas which turns straight from a solid back into a gas with no liquid state in between. It should all have disappeared by the time it reaches you, but your fish will still be frozen. Do not touch dry ice bags with your bare hands - always use gloves. For quality and safety, place frozen products into your freezer immediately and use by the date stated on the label.

Professional freezing

Our fish and seafood is quickly frozen directly after preparation in order to lock in the ocean-fresh flavours, delicate texture and nutrients. We use professional 'freezing' methods, which means that when you thaw them out, they taste as fresh as if you'd bought them from the harbour yourself.


Thawing fish and seafood

Allow plenty of time for your fish or seafood to defrost. Leave in the wrapping and thaw out slowly in a refrigerator overnight. Once the product is completely defrosted, you will usually find some liquid in the bag. This occurs naturally when fish or seafood is frozen, because of its high water content.

Never leave fish or seafood to thaw in a warm environment, such as next to a central heating boiler, tumble dryer, washing machine or fridge, or even a windowsill that catches the sun. This can lead to deterioration of the quality of your fish and seafood.

Defrosting times (approximate)
Individual fish portions & seafood:   12-16 hours
Joints & whole salmon sides:   24 hours
Cook within 24 hours after defrosting. Do not re-freeze once defrosted.

If you are short of time, place the product, still in its vacuum pack, in a clean sink or bowl and leave it under a cold running tap. The more cold water that can circulate around the product, the faster your fish or seafood will defrost. This method can reduce the defrosting time by a third or a half, but for best texture and taste, we always recommend thawing out slowly in a fridge.

We recommend that you do not cook these products from frozen or defrost in the microwave, as this can make fish and seafood dry and rubbery.

If you have a query

Quality, service and above all taste, are of the utmost importance to us. We guarantee your complete satisfaction, so if anything is not to your liking please get in touch, so we can put things right.


How to FISH For Perfection

Fishing has been a way of life in Scotland for centuries and has a reputation for seafood of unsurpassable quality. At Donald Russell we are firmly committed to bringing you the finest fish, whether wild or farmed, for generations to come. However, even the best fish can be spoiled if it is cooked incorrectly.

This section has been prepared by our in-house chef to help you get the most from your fish. Just follow our simple step-by-step instructions and delicious recipes for perfect results every time.