Cooking Questions: Seafood Article -
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Cooking Questions: Seafood

Browse our collection of frequently asked cooking questions for advice on preparing seafood.

  • How can I tell if the fish is fresh?

Your senses are your best tool for choosing fresh fish. First choose a likely specimen, and look at it closely. It should look as if it is about to swim away. The skin should be bright and shiny with close fitting scales. A layer of transparent mucus allows the fish to glide through the water when alive, and makes the fish gleam on the shelf. Dry, dull flesh is a sign of age, as are loose scales. The eyes should be clear and bulging; if the fish has sunken or cloudy eyes look for a fresher specimen. Gills should be reddish and damp, not sticky. 

  • What is the best fish for batter frying--as in 'fish and chips'?

Usually, inexpensive white fish is used to make fish and chips. However, you can use almost any firm fleshed fish for batter-fried fish. Cod, haddock, halibut, dogfish, catfish, red snapper and flounder are good choices. 

  • What oils are best for deep frying?

When deep-frying, it is best to use neutrally flavored oil with a high smoke point, such as safflower or corn oil. The smoke point is the stage at which heated fat begins to emit smoke and acrid odors, and impart an unpleasant flavor to foods. The higher the smoke point, the better suited a fat is for frying. Because both reusing fat and exposing it to air reduces its smoke point, it should be discarded after being used three times. Though processing affects an individual fat's smoke point slightly, the ranges for some of the more common fats are: butter (350 degrees F); lard (361 degrees to 401 degrees F); vegetable shortenings (356 degrees to 370 degrees F); vegetable oils (441 degrees to 450 degrees F)-corn, grapeseed, peanut and safflower oils all have high smoke points, while that of olive oil is relatively low (about 375 degrees F).

  • What is the difference between bay scallops and sea scallops?

There are many scallop species, but in general they're classified into two broad groups--bay scallops and sea scallops. Bay scallops, generally found only on the East Coast, are very tiny (the muscle is about 1/2 inch in diameter). They average about 100 per pound and their meat is sweeter and more succulent than that of the sea scallop. The muscle of the larger, more widely available sea scallop averages 1 1/2 inches in diameter (about 30 to the pound) and is not as tender as the smaller varieties. Though slightly chewier, the meat is still sweet and moist.

  • How do I clean shrimp?

Firmly grasp the shrimp with your thumb and forefinger. Carefully rip off its legs. Gently peel away the shell (if you leave the tail on, the shrimp won't curl up). Using a sharp paring knife, cut a shallow line down the back of the shrimp. Using the tip of the knife, find the vein, and pull it out.

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Feb. 15, 2010 4:50 pm
Big squids should only be grilled 3 minutes on its side. Over grilling will have a rubbery effect. Make sure you make a lot of slits and cuts before marinading.
Mar. 27, 2010 9:17 pm
with the recipe like any seafood can i put it in a slow cooker pot and live it in for hours if it is on low from kristina
May 1, 2010 7:43 am
I purchased a bag of mixed frozen seafood from Sams club. Now that I have it home I dont know what to do with it. Any suggestions??
Jun. 30, 2010 9:05 am
Can I use the Citrus Salmon baked in parchment recipe with yellow fin tuna steaks? If not, what's the tastiest way to cook the tuna steaks?
Aug. 20, 2010 9:31 am
place in pot of water2 or 3cups add celery,onion garlic .parcelyly.add mixed frozen sea food.let it cook slow.add veggies .like making a soup....salt & pepper to taste
Aug. 20, 2010 9:34 am
place in pot of water2 or 3cups add celery,onion garlic .parcelyly.add mixed frozen sea food.let it cook slow.add veggies .like making a soup....salt & pepper to taste
Aug. 20, 2010 9:57 am
Feb. 22, 2011 12:03 pm
Great tips. "Bulging eyes...", I never thought to check the eyes. Also did not know how to get the vein out of fresh shrimp.
Tinn Mann 
Aug. 18, 2011 7:50 pm
I just had a weird thing happen, maybe someone can shed some light on it. I made a peppered seafood alfredo from the Allrecipes reciped and the shrimp never cooked. The sauce was hot (simmering) and the pan as well but after fifteen minutes the shrimp was still translucent and raw. Any ideas?
Jan. 17, 2012 1:33 pm
I'd like to start adding fish to our dinner rotation, however hubby doesn't like a "fish" taste. Any suggestions? Thanks =]
Jul. 27, 2012 1:22 pm
All Shrimp Are Not The Same: Each type or species of shrimp have their own characteristics with flavor, texture, cooking times, and a best cooking method for them. You have Gulf Shrimp, Farm Raised Shrimp, Tiger Shrimp, Imported Shrimp, and Coldwater Shrimp. In fact, there are over 300 species of shrimp in the world. The flavor and texture of each type of shrimp are influenced by the waters they come from or are raised in, plus from what they eat or are fed. Wild shrimp feed on seaweed and crustaceans which gives them a more enriched flavor and thicker shells. The ability to swim freely also makes the meat firmer. Shrimp are found abundantly in America, off the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards in inshore waters, wherever the bottom is sandy. Shrimp are in season from May to October and 95% of the shrimp caught come from the warm waters of the South Atlantic and Gulf states. How To Purchase Shrimp Fresh shrimp is highly perishable! Fresh shrimp should ideally be eaten within
Jul. 27, 2012 1:24 pm
How To Defrost Frozen Shrimp: Never defrost any type of shellfish at room temperature and it is best not to defrost them in the microwave either. Defrost shrimp either in the refrigerator or in ice cold water. Do not defrost in a warm place or microwave. Should shrimp be de-veined? The black "vein" that runs along the back of the shrimp is actually its digestive tract. These veins are in fact edible but if eaten they can taste gritty and dirty, particularly with larger prawns or shrimp. While it isn't necessary to remove the vein, some people say the shrimp look and taste better when de-veined. This is pretty much a question of aesthetics. Most cooks won't bother de-veining medium-sized or smaller shrimp, unless they look particularly dirty. You can see the vein through the shell and meat, so use your own judgment. Deveining shrimp: Shrimp cook well in or out of their shells, but they're easier to de-vein before cooking. Run the de-veiner or the tip of a s
Jul. 27, 2012 1:25 pm
How To Brine Shrimp: Brining is very easy and economical, and requires no special cookware. Brining is like a marinade as it keeps food moist and tender. Brining or salting is a way of increasing the moisture holding capacity of shrimp resulting in a moister product when it is cooked. Brining is a process to be used if you want to put a little more "snap" to shrimp. Brining draws extra moisture out of the shrimp flesh, thus firming it's texture. Brining turns potentially mushy shrimp into shrimp with a chewy texture similar to lobster tail. Brining can be used with either peeled and deveined raw shrimp or shell on raw shrimp. Do not brine raw shrimp if they are to be used for poaching and other wet cooking techniques. ests and found that the brining lets the shrimp retain more moisture when cooked with a dry method (grilling or pan frying, for example). Kosher salt and table salt (without iodine) are the most common salts used in brining. Sea salt can be used, but it tends to
Jul. 27, 2012 1:26 pm
How To Freeze Shrimp - (Raw or Cooked) Select high-quality, fresh shrimp for freezing. Shrimp can be frozen cooked or raw, in or out of the shell. For maximum storage life and quality, freeze shrimp raw, with heads removed, but shells still on. Shrimp may also be frozen in water in a freezer container or wrap it well in plastic and place it in the coldest part of the freezer where it will keep for about one month. Shrimp Etiquette Shrimp Cocktail: If large shrimp are served in a stemmed glass, pick them up with an oyster fork or whatever fork is provided and bite off a mouthful at a time, dipping into the sauce before each bite Large Shrimp: If large shrimp are served on a platter with sauce and no fork, pick up with your fingers, dip into sauce and put to your mouth. When eating shrimp with the tail still on, hold the shrimp by the tail and dip it into the sauce once. Eat it in one bite if it is not too large. Otherwise, eat it in two bites. Do not dunk the second bite int
Sep. 14, 2014 6:32 pm
Looking For A Receipe for Fresh Caught Pacific Ocean (So. Cal.)Bonito, any Suggestions
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