Have you ever cooked a seafood meal at home, thought you did everything right, but when you sat down to eat, it wasn’t even close to what you expected? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Seafood cooking can be tricky, even when you have the freshest catch and the perfect fish recipes to try.
Many people don’t realize that even the smallest slip-up can sink their seafood dinner. Don’t cook another seafood meal without checking out these tips for cooking seafood perfectly. Plus, we’ll tell you about some potential minor cooking mistakes that could be messing up your meal. Believe it or not a few more minutes on the stove most fish, shrimp, lobster, and other seafood recipes.
Are you ready to take your recipes to the next level? Let’s go!
Tips for Perfect Seafood Cooking
Shop for Quality Fish
The perfect seafood recipe starts with shopping for the best seafood as your base. If you don’t have fresh, quality fish, your meal isn’t going to taste good no matter how many spices and flavors you add.
When you’re shopping for fish specifically, choose fillets that don’t have an overly fishy smell. It’s common to fill your house with flavor aromas when cooking fish, but some fish can smell extremely bad and signal dangers to your health.
You also want to look for fillets that are firm in texture. This is a sign you have a quality catch of seafood.
If you’re cooking frozen fish, shrimp, lobster, scallops, or frozen seafood picks you want to defrost it the right way. This means planning ahead and defrosting it the night before or at least a few hours before cooking to get the optimal taste and texture.
Then when marinating frozen fish, be sure to look at the recipe instructions. Some call for you to add spice rub or marinade while the fish is defrosting while others suggest you wait until the frozen seafood is completely defrosted. Paying attention to little details like this can make the difference.
Use a Fish Spatula
Perfect seafood cooking calls for the right equipment. Using a fish spatula allows you to apply even, firm pressure to your selected meat. It is important to use it skin-side down on the fillet until it lies flat. You’ll also want to press down from time to time until the fish is opaque and nearly cooked, except for a small raw spot in the middle. This is the sign that it’s time to flip it over.
Once you get to the raw side, only cook it for about a minute and you should be good to go.
Choose the Right Oil
If you were ever told that all oil is created equal, you were misinformed. The type of oil you use to cook your fish and the amount can impact the finished product. Using different oils can improve the taste and change the way the fish cooks.
When cooking salmon, tuna, or trout, you only need a small amount of oil because those fish are naturally oily. If you’re cooking a recipe with delicate fillets, you’ll also want to ease up on the oil to prevent the fish from breaking apart.
Meanwhile, catfish is best fried in grapeseed, olive, or canola oil because of its high smoke point. Any nut oils should be reserved for medium-heat sautéing and not deep frying.
Once you determine the type of seafood you’re cooking and how you’re cooking it, you can choose the right oil for perfect seafood cooking.
Common Seafood Cooking Mistakes
Now that you know the tips for cooking seafood that is fresh with flavor, you now want to know which common mistakes to avoid:
- Don’t overcook your fish. Generally, 8-10 minutes of cooking time per inch of thickness is sufficient.
- Check the moisture. Let the fish air dry or pat it down with paper so that it’s not too moist.
- Know the fish you’re cooking; they’re not all the same. You can’t expect to cook tuna the same way you would cook salmon.
Avoiding these mistakes and following our 4 tips above should lead you to the land of perfect seafood cooking that’s full of flavor every single time no matter what dish you’re making.
Let Us Cook For You!
If you’re not in the mood to cook or deal with all the dishes, but still want amazing seafood, let us take care of it! NC Seafood at the Farmer’s Market in Raleigh is the place for freshly prepared seafood meals. Check out our menu and order online for pick up today!