Craving a meal that’s filled with seafood? You’re in luck! Despite the rumors to the contrary, seafood is very simple to heat and eat. You just have to understand how to use the seafood cooking tips the pros rely on to make perfect dishes every time.
Here are some tips for cooking the best seafood:
- Start with the freshest fish you can find. Fresh fish just tastes amazing, and it’s more flavorful than frozen-then-thawed varieties. In a pinch, you can use a frozen filet, but it’s much better to pay a little more and get the catch of the day from your local seafood market. Remember that most seafood shouldn’t have a strong odor when it’s fresh. It will have an aroma, but it shouldn’t be unpleasant.
- Choose your cooking method based on the seafood. Dying to use your grill? Don’t choose a flaky fish like tilapia, or you’ll end up with a complete mess that falls apart the moment you try to move it. Grilling requires a sturdier fish, like a shark steak or piece of meaty swordfish. If you have a tender piece of fish that’s known for flaking off with a fork, it’s best baked or gently sautéed.
- Don’t overcook your fish. One of the biggest mistakes even seasoned cooks make is to overcook their fish. This leads to dry, flavorless or tough seafood. Rather than risking serving or eating an overcooked piece of salmon, cod or trout, be very cautious and check the fish regularly. Remember that seafood, especially light and tender varieties of fish, will usually continue to cook when you remove it from the heat. Even though it may seem slightly underdone when you remove it from the stove, oven, grill or broiler, it isn’t quite finished.
- Don’t serve raw fish. Of course, you don’t want to have undercooked fish, either. Leave that to the sushi chefs who have experience safely handling uncooked seafood!
- Season your fish appropriately. The beautiful aspect of seafood is that each type of fish or shellfish has its own unique flavor and essence. Why would you want to mask it with heavy sauces, too much garlic or a ton of butter? Learn to season your fish the right way by holding back. Pair bold tastes with a fish that can hold up to a strong seasoning or sauce, like salmon or swordfish.
- Deep-frying calls for the right temps. Rather than risking a burned piece of fish, always keep your oils between 350 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature will help your tasty morsels cook evenly, while reducing the risk of having a fish with a blackened exterior.
- Use the right utensils, pots and pans. Finally, always choose the proper tools to cook fish. The last thing you want is to have your fish fall apart or stick to the bottom of a pan.
Now that you know how to prepare seafood, you’ll soon be enjoying the reputation of being a chef extraordinaire!