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How to cook seafood

Need a little help?

Seafood is very versitale. There are many ways to cook it. Follow the tips below and become a pro in no time!

Grilling

Definition: easy, quick and healthy method of cooking seafood in dry heat, either on a grill or using a grill pan

Tips: Place fish on an oiled grill or grill pan over medium heat. Turn the fish only once - halfway through cooking. Try a grill basket if cooking whole fish. Shellfish works well on skewers.

Good for:

  • Fish fillets or steaks
  • All shellfish
  • Whole fish

Baking

Definition: easy, quick and healthy method of cooking seafood in dry heat using an oven

Tips: Preheat the oven to 450o F and place fish skin-side down in an oiled pan. Make some shallow cuts into the fish to allow liquids to soak in and keep it moist. Bake uncovered, and baste if desired. Lean white fish should cook in a bit of liquid or a sauce. Or, try wrapping the fish in foil to achieve a steamed-like result.

Good for:

  • Fish fillets or steaks
  • All shellfish
  • Whole fish

Broiling

Definition: cooking seafood in a broiling pan with heat applied from above; either with oven rack in the highest position or in a broiling compartment

Tips: Preheat the oven to 350o – 400o F, then place fish skin-side down in oiled pan or on a foil lining. Brush with marinade on both sides and broil close to heat, allowing 4 inches for each inch of thickness. Baste often and turn halfway through.

Good for:

  • Fish fillets or steaks, especially firmer fish
  • Shrimp and scallops on a skewer

Poaching

Definition: gently simmering (not boiling) seafood in stock, water, and often wine, in a pan with a lid over low heat, keeping the seafood moist and holding in flavor, especially for leaner, less oily types of fish.

Tips: Use a pot just big enough for your seafood and just enough liquid to cover. Bring the liquid to boiling then lower heat to a simmer before adding the seafood. Turning is not necessary, but it’s a good idea to baste occasionally.

Good for:

  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Squid
  • Shucked oysters
  • Fish fillets/steaks

Sauteing

Definition: cooking quickly in a small amount of marinade or oil over high heat to brown the seafood and cook all the way through.

Tips: Place fish skin-side down in a heated pan. Follow the 10 Minute Rule and turn halfway through cooking. Seafood has a tendency to stick when using this method, so shake the pan a few times while the fish is cooking.

Good for:

  • Small whole fish like trout or catfish
  • Fish Fillets less than 1" thick

Steaming

Definition: cooking seafood in steam, separated from the boiling water, either in a steamer, wok or on a rack over a boiling pot. Steaming keeps seafood moist , and keeps it more healthful by avoiding the oil used in other cooking methods.

Tips: Make an entire meal by steaming vegetables at the same time. For more flavor, steam herbs, scallions, lemon slices, or greens along with your seafood. Take care that the ingredients are not submerged in your boiling liquid.

Good for:

  • All fish fillets or steaks
  • All shellfish
  • Whole fish

Stirfry

Definition: Using a wok and a small amount of cooking oil, seafood is cooked over high heat and continuously stirred. This method uses a minimum amount of fat and results in crisp yet tender seafood.

Tips: Prepare all the ingredients you need before starting to stir-fry. Preheat the wok before adding the oil, which should be just enough to coat the pan. Be careful not to add too much seafood at once as the goal is to have all the fish lay against the wok to cook.

Good for:

  • Catfish, halibut, salmon, tuna
  • All shellfish