Citrus Pairing 101: The Best Pairings for Seafood
As legend has it, lemon and fish weren’t originally introduced as the perfect pair on account of flavor. Rather, people ate them together as a safety precaution, believing that a mouthful of lemon juice would dissolve any bones that were accidentally swallowed.
No matter the origin story, citrus and seafood are a match made in heaven. The acidic and sweet flavor of citrus beautifully balances the briny flavor in seafood — it can even act as a neutralizer for some of the more “fishy” dishes. (And that’s one reason why waiters will recommend a citrusy wine with your fish.) Ahead, we’re breaking down which fruit pairs best with various seafood selections.
Crab with Grapefruit
Grapefruit may feel like a surprising match, but the tangy flavor is a fun addition to the buttery taste of crab. Although your steamed or baked crab legs may pair better with a squeeze of lemon, grapefruit is a fantastic (and unique) complement in a dish like crab salad.
Salmon with Orange
You know what they say: You eat with your eyes first! The bright pop of an orange is such an appealing look, not to mention how tasty it is. Whether you opt for vibrant blood oranges or sweet tangerines, orange pairs well with a firm fish — like salmon — that can stand up to the bold flavor without getting lost in it. Try topping your salmon with an easy glaze of orange, soy sauce, and honey.
Lemon with White Fish
Ahh, lemon. You simply can’t go wrong with this classic seafood pairing! Squeezed on top or incorporated into a sauce, lemon adds an unmistakable freshness to any seafood dish. Change it up and try a ceviche with your cod or halibut. The acid in the citrus does more than taste good — it will actually harden the fish through a process called denaturation, which effectively “cooks” the fish. You only need to chill your fish in the marinade for 20-30 minutes before it’s ready to eat.
Shrimp with Lime
The light, delicate flavor of shrimp is an ideal match for the zestiness of lime. Try sauteeing your shrimp and then topping with loads of avocado, lime juice, and cilantro. You won’t find a fresher combination anywhere!
Whether you want to go for a more traditional citrus combination or branch out and try something new, don’t forget that the key to a top-tier seafood experience is starting with the best catches available. We can help you there — stock up on seafood now!