Hot take: seafood is just as versatile as other proteins.
In fact, we’ll do you one better: seafood is just as versatile as other proteins, and it’s easier to prepare.
For the sake of keeping this blog post a readable length, let’s focus on a few of our top favorite types of seafood and the best ways to prepare them: fish, shrimp and crab. All three of these proteins boast a delicious natural flavor and cook quickly, so even the most novice of home cooks can make an impressive seafood meal.
First, you’ll have to pick your method — and warning…there are a lot to choose from.
Boiled or Steamed
A common way to prepare shrimp and crab legs, boiling or steaming your seafood is a quick, low-mess option. While it is harder to impart extra seasonings and flavors, a simple steam or boil really lets the natural flavor of the seafood shine. Plus, there’s a reason the classic seafood boil is so popular.
A popular option for fish, baking allows you to easily include a marinade and seasonings to ramp up the flavor. However, it’s important to time this correctly since seafood — especially shrimp — cooks very quickly. The last thing you want is well-seasoned seafood that is overbaked and rubbery.
Sautéed or Pan-Fried
This method is ideal for shrimp, but can also be a great choice for fish. While thicker pieces may need to be finished in the oven to avoid cooking unevenly, preparing your seafood in a pan on the stove allows you to get a nice sear, which can be especially pleasant for a piece of fish with skin you want to crisp.
Keep your kitchen clean and enjoy your seafood with a side of grill flavor. This is a great option for warming up pre-cooked crab legs, but fish and shrimp aren’t likely to be as successful directly on the grate. However, shrimp skewers work great and you can try planks to cook fish without risking crumbling.
Battered or breaded, fried seafood is a tasty indulgence. Just make sure to take note of how this affects the nutrition profile of your fish or shrimp — and be careful around hot oil!
Popular for fish like salmon and trout, smoking delivers a unique texture and flavor. While you don’t necessarily need a smoker to achieve this method, having one will make for better, more authentic flavor.
Mixing up your cooking method is a great way to try new recipes and keep your seafood meals fresh. While every method may not be right for every type of seafood, don’t be afraid to experiment to find what you like.