There are multiple health benefits of eating seafood which is why it’s important to know how to cook seafood. For starters, it’s a great source of protein and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. That is why, regular consumption of fish meat benefits brain function, improves eyesight, and helps with your skincare.
There are other reasons why seafood dishes should be included more often in your diet. One of them is the environment. Eating fish that is caught according to seafood sustainability standards instead of beef meat directly helps lower your personal impact on the environment.
So, are you wondering how to cook seafood? It’s actually not that hard. Check out some of the tips on how to prepare tasty seafood dishes in this article.
Key takeaway: Seafood goes well with ingredients like butter, oil, garlic, and white wine. If you want to know how to cook seafood in a main dish, consider combining it with risotto or pasta.
Cooking Seafood: General Tips for Popular Fish and Shellfish
Understandably, we can’t share everything on the topic. We will, however, give you some general tips on how to cook seafood, at least the most popular ones. We’ll share some popular recipes, so you can start planning your next dinner at home.
- How to Cook Shrimp
In most cases, it’s recommended to cook shrimp without removing the shell. This way, most of the flavor is kept.
You should also devein the shrimp. That is done by making a slit down the back of the shrimp and pulling out the dark vein.
Since they are small in size, shrimp cook very fast. So, the main thing you need to worry about when preparing shrimp dishes is not to overcook it or it will become tough.
Popular shrimp dishes are shrimp scampi, shrimp pasta, garlic shrimp risotto, and shrimp skewers.
- How to Cook Salmon
With most types of meat, preparation is very important. Salmon makes no exception. It should be at room temperature in order to guarantee even cooking. After that, it’s 10 minutes of cooking for every inch of thickness.
The cooking time can vary depending on the preferred degree of doneness. Marinating the salmon is also crucial. Most recipes include oil, soy sauce, garlic, lemon, Greek or Italian herbs, or sesame.
There are some extravagant recipes like salmon with BBQ sauce and hot peppers. However, popular salmon dishes are salmon pasta, grilled salmon with vegetable sides, baked salmon in foil, salmon cakes, and rainbow salmon skewers. To complete your meal, look for the best wine to pair with salmon.
- How to Cook Lobster
If you plan to cook a live lobster, boil a large pot of salty water. The lobster itself should be cooked for about 15 minutes. It’s usually served whole with different sides.
If you’re cooking lobster tails or claws, you should grill or boil them for roughly 8-10 minutes. Prepare them by cutting the top shell in order to expose the meat.
Butter, oil, and garlic are among the usual ingredients in most recipes. The most common recipes are lobster rolls, boiled Maine lobster, lobster pasta, and lobster Newburg.
- How to Cook Crab
Similar to lobsters, cooking crabs takes around 12-15 minutes of boiling in salted water. Most crab recipes focus on already extracted and chopped crab meat.
Crab goes well with cream sauces, fresh vegetables, pasta, and mayo. Crab meat is often an ingredient in baked pastry. The most popular recipe is for crab cakes. Other well-known crab dishes include Chinese mitten crab, crab rangoon, bisque, and crab dip.
- How to Cook Mussels and Clams
Many people who know how to cook seafood at home are experts in fish. However, with mussels and clams, it’s a different story.
You need to prepare them by soaking them in salted water for 30 minutes to an hour. After that, clean them one by one in order to remove any grit. Beware of the sharp edges as they might cut you.
Any broken or open mussels and clams should be removed. Next, you want to steam them in a pot with just enough water or white wine. This way, they will open. After that, it depends on the dish.
Mussels are popular for appetizers, salads, and seafood platters. Main dishes containing mussel or clam meat are usually risotto or pasta. Popular recipes are moules frites, mydia, clams casino, clam cake, and clam pie.
- How to Cook Tuna
Tuna is one of the most popular seafood items in the US. That is why, if you’re wondering how to cook seafood, chances are you are looking for tips on cooking tuna.
Since it’s one of the most popular fish, there are numerous tuna recipes. One of Americans’ favorite ones is tuna steak.
Best served rare or medium-rare, it should be brushed with butter or oil and seasoned. Usually, cooking takes about 2 minutes per side on a grill or pan.
Canned tuna is also a great ingredient for salads. It combines well with various types of oils and herbs. Tuna is also used for making nigiri, sushi, and sashimi.
Some popular tuna recipes include poke, tataki, and tuna tartare.
- How to Cook Oysters
In order to prepare the oysters, you need to rinse them under cold water and remove any grit. After that, they can be baked, fried, grilled, or steamed.
Usually, oysters are considered an excellent starter. There are some recipes with oysters as a main dish. The traditional Chinese oyster omelet is a good example.
Ingredients that combine well with oysters include butter, garlic, onion, spinach, lemon, rice, tomato sauce, and white wine. Among the most popular recipes you will find are oysters Rockefeller, fried oysters, oysters Bienville, and raw oysters.
Beware that consuming them raw brings the risk of foodborne illness. Approximately 80,000 people in the US get vibriosis every year from consuming raw oysters. Therefore, it’s not a recommended way to consume them.
Frequently Asked Questions on How to Cook Seafood
If you consider yourself a beginner and have stumbled upon this article looking for ways how to cook seafood easily, the following questions will help you prepare a fine dining experience.
How Do Restaurants Cook Seafood?
Usually, the recipes in seafood restaurants are not so different from cooking dishes at home. Well-established venues offer a variety of entree dishes and main course dishes.
Frequently, they have good seafood pairings like Old World and New World white wines as well as seasonal seafood menus. Some specialized seafood restaurants also have live fish or lobster that are prepared at the moment of ordering. Besides taste, restaurants also offer excellent seafood plating.
It is very important for these products to be fresh. That is why professional managers and owners use technology in seafood restaurants to track their stock and avoid higher food cost due to throwing some away.
What Are the Easiest Seafood Recipes?
Shrimp pasta, garlic butter shrimp, fried rice with crab meat or shrimp, grilled salmon, and oven-baked salmon require very few ingredients and time to cook. Some other options that are suitable for beginner chefs are seafood paella, pan-seared scallops, and a poke bowl.
What Is the Most Popular Seafood in the US?
According to market research, the most popular seafood in the US is shrimp. On average, Americans consume around one pound of shrimp yearly. The next nine most popular fish and shellfish products are salmon, tuna, pangasius, cod, catfish, crab, and clams.
What Drinks Pair Well with Seafood?
The standard seafood pairings are different types of white wine and light beer brands. Some dishes go well with rose and red wine types as well.
What Is the Best Wine for Cooking Seafood?
Sauvignon Blanc is considered the best white wine for cooking as it is light in texture. Other popular options include Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.