The ocean is a vast environment, not one we often interact with on a day-to-day basis. So when we’re confronted with the endless options to choose from when deciding on dinner, it’s no wonder many get intimidated. Pile that onto the fact that they’re slippery, slimy, and sometimes scary looking, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. The good news is we’re here to help make that decision a little easier and with a little more certainty (and we have some nonthreatening recipes, too.)
Salmon is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, fish you can find. It’s mild in taste, has a nice smooth texture, and is extremely versatile. Salmon comes in a number of different cuts, from steaks, to fillets, to strips, or if you’re feeding a few, whole. Salmon steaks and fillets are great pan fried with fresh herbs and a couple sides, strips are simply thinner fillets that fry up quickly and are great for topping salads, and the whole salmon is great stuffed (though it’s a bit much even for two - see Sea Bream below.)
Over the past few years the popularity of whole Sea Bream has risen, and it’s for good reason. There’s something about laying down a whole fish on your plate and being able to devour it. It’s impressive to onlookers and as a personal achievement. That said, it’s the perfect size, so it’s not uncouth to have an entire fish to yourself. The best part is that it’s extremely easy to cook, just make sure you get the fishmonger to clean it for you first.
The days of the shrimp being limited to a frozen ring at a snack table are behind us (thankfully.) Nowadays you can find multiple types of shrimps and prawns at your local super market, and if you explore a fish market you’ll be surrounded by a sea of them. Depending on the size you pick you can serve a few of them as a main or toss a few smaller ones on top for texture. It should be noted that shrimp are known to retain more of their natural flavor if they’re cooked in their armour, but if you just want to dig in when the dish is done, there’s no need to lose sleep over removing it.
Scallops are delicacy that are far too often forgotten when considering seafood for dinner. Though they come in a variety of sizes, they’re typically smaller in size. The beauty of scallops is that you can dress them up with a fancier cream sauce, or you can keep it simple and cook them with a little butter and garlic. Overcooked scallops become very rubbery, so make sure to only cook them for a couple minutes a side (depending on size) to keep their creamy texture. Otherwise you’re better off using them as hockey pucks.
Though we’re only scouring the surface when it comes to seafood, the most important take-away is that there are a variety of options to choose from and one of the best ways to learn more is to experiment in the kitchen. The more you explore the less intimidating it will be, and the more courageous you’ll become. In short: you don’t need to be Jack Sparrow to be master of the seas.