Tips for Cooking Seafood: Fish and Lobster

Fish dish
29 Mar
2017

Seafood is just so delicious that everyone will keep coming back for them. However, good dishes do not come out of nowhere. Since the main aim of cooking seafood is to appreciate their ocean flavor and freshness, therefore, sometimes cooking seafood is not as simple as it seems. But you don’t have to worry if you know these following tips!

Fish

Fish dish

Broiling: Depend on the fish’s thickness, we will decide where to place the fish against the heat. Fish that is 1-inch thick or less should be place 2 to 4 inches away from the heat. Thicker fish then should be placed 5 to 6 inches from the source of heat. With dry heat cooking method like broiling, seafood with low fat content like flounder or tilapia should be blasted.

Frying: Commonly, there are 2 ways of frying fish which are pan-fry and deep fry.

Pan-fry: The size and thickness of the fish will determine the cooking time. The oil amount should be 1/8 inch for ideal cooking and the fish will release from cooking surface when it has a nice golden sear. Therefore, you should not turn your fish too often. The fish is done when its flesh turns opaque and shining.

Deep fry: Put fish in single layer so they are not stick to the others. Don’t put too much at one time, a crowded pan will cause uneven heat distribution. Make sure your oil is preheat and at about 3650F. The fish is ready when it turns golden brown for about 2 or 3 minutes. After each batch, remove any burned little pieces in the oil before going to the next batch and make sure the heat temperature remains the same during cooking.

Grilling: Before putting any fish onto the grill, make sure you start to heat the grill 30 minutes. Keep your fire at moderate level, too powerful fire can make your fish burned faster on the outside and undercooked inside. Also, it is important to oil the surface so that your fish don’t stick too much which make it difficult to take them out with nice figure. As grilled fish is usually dry, a foil wrap will keep the juice and give you moist fish.

Shellfish

Shellfish dish

Boiling/Steaming: Put your shellfish in a large pot of boiling water with portion fours cups of water per pound. You know you shellfish is done when they open their shells within three or five minutes. Be caution not to overcook your shellfish which makes them tough and lose of moisture. You can add some citronella for elevating flavor.

Broiling: Watch the time closely when you broiling your shellfish. Scallops, shrimps, shucked clams or oysters need only three to five minutes to be cooked. Rock shrimp will be done faster with only half of time of regular shrimps.

Frying:

            Pan-fry: Shucked oysters and clams will need three to five minutes; shrimp and scallops will need seven to nine minutes to be cooked. You can add small piece of butter if you want.

Deep fry: Remember shellfish is very easy to overcook, therefore, you just need short time to deep fry them. The perfect oil temperature is around 3650F

Marinating: Never marinate your shellfish under room temperature. Put your shellfish in the sauce, wrap the top with plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator. To prevent bacteria and cross-contamination, discard raw juice from the marinate sauce before putting shellfish into the sauce. If you need marinate sauce for basting later, set aside your needed portion before putting raw seafood in it. Moreover, don’t marinate your seafood for too long, shellfish will lose their flavor and texture.

Lobsters

Lobster dish

Lobsters is amazing creatures and cooking lobsters is a beautiful art that with just one minor mistake in timing, you might have to eat a tough or chewy overcooked lobster. Besides, due to expensive price of lobsters, nobody wants to eat stringy meat and you will want your lobsters worth every cent. To help you in that, below are useful tips in cooking lobsters.

There are 4 popular ways of cooking lobsters and each cooking method has their own requirement so make sure you follow tips for particular cooking way for perfect lobster dish.

Boiling:

  • Compared with steaming, boiling will have more even heat distribution so your lobster will be cooked more evenly
  • High, intense heat from boiling water will help to remove the shell easier
  • Add 1 or 2 table spoons of salt in the water before you put the lobsters in (if you have sea water, then skip the salt)
  • The cooking time will be varied with the weight of the lobster. 1 ¼ Ib. lobster will need 6-7 minutes, 2 Ib. lobster need 10-12 minutes. Noticed that the time start when you put your lobster in the water and calculate individual instead of total weight of your lobsters.

Steaming:

  • Steaming will give you tender meat and can keep all of lobster juice which will preserve the lobster fresh flavor and lobsters will taste better than boiling. Timing will be more accurate and there is less chance of overcooking since the process is slower than boiling.
  • Steam the lobster for 8 minutes per pound and 3 minutes for additional pound thereafter.
  • Keep the lid closes tightly to prevent the steam escaping

Grill and Barbecue:

  • Don’t grill lobsters as whole, use a sharp knife and slip the lobster in haft through the body
  • Make sure your grill is clean and oiled. You should set the fire 30 minutes before cooking, set the heat to medium so the lobsters are not burned outside but undercooked inside.
  • Before putting lobsters on the grill, crack both claws to break the shell
  • During grilling, you should constantly brush marinate sauce or a mixture of butter, salt and oil onto the lobsters for beautiful flavor
  • You know your lobsters are cooked when their flesh turns opaque in the thickest part which takes about 6 to 8 minutes. Remember, don’t overcooked lobsters!

Poaching and Parboiling:

This method is used when you need the flesh coming out easier for further cooking. Simply follow the instruction of boiling but the time is just around 2-3 minutes.

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