Seafood is one of the most popular foods in the world, and it’s no surprise. From fresh fish to crab legs, you can find seafood at almost any grocery store or restaurant. But with so many choices, how do you know which seafood to buy? Can you cook it yourself? And what should you pair it with?
Well, we’ve put together this guide on how to cook seafood like a pro so that next time someone asks you these questions—or even if they don’t ask and just offer their suggestions—you’ll be ready!
Prep the Seafood Well
Prep the seafood well. Before you get cooking, it’s important to make sure your seafood is as clean and prepared as possible. ere
Hare a few steps that will make this process easier:
- Remove the shell from a crab. Place the crab on its back and use a knife to pinch the joint between the body and legs together, then twist it off. Repeat for each leg until all are removed. Remove any remaining pieces of shell on other sides of the body by pinching them loose with your fingers or using kitchen shears.
- Fillet fish fillets from their bones using a sharp knife or kitchen shear—and if necessary, remove any skin or bones before cooking them.
- Headless shrimp may be cooked whole in stews or soups; deveining isn’t necessary since they’re so small.
Use a Food Thermometer for the Perfect Internal Temperature
Using a food thermometer is the best way to ensure your seafood is cooked all through. To do this, you need to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of your fish and wait until it reads 135°F (57°C) for white, flaky fish like cod or sole; 145°F (63°C) for medium-firm fleshy fish such as salmon or tuna; and 150–160°F (65–71°C) for oily fishes like mackerel, herring and sardines.
This can take anywhere between 10 minutes to 20 minutes, depending on how big your fillet is and how hot your pan is.
Get Creative with Your Oils, Herbs and Spices
While many cooks like to stick with tried and true seasoning combinations, the truth is that there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be creative in the kitchen. The trick is to get a variety of oils, herbs and spices on hand so that you can experiment with different flavors.
Herbs work best when added toward the end of cooking time, so they retain their crispness and freshness—they also pair well with seafood because they complement its natural sweetness nicely!
Clean Up the Cooking Area When You’re Done
When you’re done cooking, clean up the cooking area. This includes cleaning any mess you made, as well as cleaning all cooking utensils and dishes that were used.
Keep in mind that preparing seafood is a delicate process since the food must be handled with care and attention to detail at all times. The same goes for cleanup: if your workspace is not cleaned properly before moving on to another task or project, it could result in cross-contamination of food ingredients and lead to contamination of other foods stored nearby—or even cause illness or injury!
With a little bit of preparation, you can make the best seafood dish ever. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start cooking!