Seafood: Secrets to Picking and Cooking Up a Storm


Alright, seafoodies, let’s dive in! Picking and cooking seafood isn’t rocket science, but there’s some inside scoop you wanna snag before you turn on the stove.

1. Fresh is Best – Sniff Test Approved
First rule of seafood club: fresh is the way to go. Hit up your local fish market and do the sniff test. If it smells like the ocean and not like, well, fish, you’re in the right place.

2. Eyes on the Prize
Check out the eyes when you’re buying fish. You want them clear and shiny, not foggy and sunken. It’s like the fish’s way of saying, “I’m ready for your dinner plate, buddy!”

3. Firm to the Touch
Give that fish a gentle poke. If the flesh bounces back, you’re golden. If it leaves a dent, put that guy back. He’s been lounging around for too long.

4. Shellfish Shell Game
Clams, mussels, and oysters should be closed tight when you buy ’em. If they’re open, give them a tap. If they don’t shut, they’re probably dead, and you don’t want that kinda party crasher.

5. Get Crabby the Right Way

Cajun seafood boil with crawfish, shrimp and crab legs for takeout from The Kickin’ Crab in Costa Mesa (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Crabs and lobsters? They should be doing the Macarena when you pick ’em up – full of life and kickin’. Limp ones might ruin the shindig.

6. The Color of Flavor
Salmon should be bright and vibrant. Shrimp? Look for a nice pearly color. Don’t get sidetracked by those that have been sitting under the neon light for too long.

7. Mix and Match
Mixed seafood dishes are like a party on a plate. But make sure you cook the big guys first before throwing in the small fry, so everything’s ready to tango at the same time.

8. Don’t Overcook; It’s a Sin
Cooking seafood too long is like burning a good joke – it just leaves a bad taste. Fish is done when it’s just opaque. And remember, it keeps cooking a bit even after you take it off the heat.

9. The Simpler, The Better
When you’re cooking seafood, keep it simple. A little lemon, butter, and herbs are like the Three Musketeers for fish – they make everything better.

10. The Perfect Sear
For a great sear on scallops or fish, pat ’em dry and get the pan screamin’ hot. A hot pan is like a hot date – it never fails to impress.

11. Safety First, Flavor Second
Keep it safe, folks. Seafood should be cooked to 145°F. You’re not looking for adventure in the ER with a side of food poisoning.

So there you have it – a treasure chest of tips for your next seafood feast. Remember, with seafood, you’re not just cooking; you’re on a flavor voyage. So set sail and enjoy the ride!