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Seafood Cooking 101

Think fish is out of your wheelhouse? Think again! With a little kitchen know-how, seafood can be just as simple as your go-to weeknight staples. If you’re looking for a special type of seafood, be sure to talk to one of our seafood teammates about special ordering in-season seafood.

Seafood Cooking 101

7 Ways to Cook Seafood

1. Poach

Defined: to cook by fully submerging food in a barely simmering liquid such as wine or olive oil.

Tip: The lower temperatures used in poaching help to prevent overcooking. To infuse even more flavor, try adding sliced produce, herbs and spices to your cooking liquid.

2. Bake

Defined: to cook by surrounding food in even, dry heat.

How to: Brush fish with oil, season as desired and arrange on a prepared sheet pan. Bake at 350-450 degrees (depending on the size of your fish) flipping fish halfway through cooking.

3. Sauté

Defined: to cook using a small amount of butter or oil in a shallow pan over medium to high heat.

Tip: Sautéing creates a crispy crust while leaving the center tender and moist—just be sure to get the pan nice and hot before adding your fish.

4. Fry

Defined: to cook by partially or fully submerging in hot oil.

When to use: Frying is best for seafood with a neutral flavor like shellfish and lean white fish. Pan-frying works well for fillets whereas deep frying is a better option for small, irregularly shaped varieties.

4. Boil

Defined: to cook by exposing food to direct, radiant heat from above.

How to: Place an oven rack a few inches from the broiler. Brush fish with oil or a glaze, season as desired and arrange on a prepared sheet pan. Broil, flipping once halfway through, until crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside.

6. Grill

Defined: to cook by exposing food to direct, radiant heat, commonly from below.

How to: Grilling works very similarly to broiling, except the heat is coming from the opposite side. Instead of arranging on a sheet pan, place fish directly onto the grate of a preheated grill.

7. Steam or Boil

Defined: to cook by heating in a boiling liquid (like water, stock or bloody mary mix) or its steam.

When to use: While these methods are traditionally reserved for shellfish, steaming can be used as a lighter way to prepare most seafood. To steam, simply place a steaming basket into a pot above a couple inches of boiling liquid.

Nothin' Fishy Here

Fish doesn’t have to smell… well, fishy. Follow these tips to keep your food (and your home) smelling fresh.

Choose the Right Fish

Oily fish will produce stronger smells while cooking than their leaner counterparts; see our chart on the right.

Call on Citrus

Citrus is great at cutting through odors. Try including options like lemon juice, lime zest or orange slices in your next meal.

Start Fresh

Seafood should smell light and sweet. When shopping or defrosting, keep in mind that fish should be prepared sooner rather than later.

Consider Your Method

High-heat cooking methods like frying and sautéing tend to produce a stronger scent. To minimize this, opt for poaching or steaming.

Beat It With Bleach

An open cup of bleach in the kitchen will combat all kinds of odors—just make sure to keep it far away from the food.

Let's Go Fishin'


Crab, crayfish, lobster, mussels, oysters, scallops, shrimp

White, Firm & Oily

Albacore tuna, white sea bass, Chilean sea bass

White, Lean & Flaky

Black sea bass, flounder, red snapper, tilapia, rainbow trout

Medium & Oily

Arctic char, mahi-mahi, yellowfin tuna

White, Lean & Firm

Catfish, haddock, cod, halibut

Dark & Oily

Anchovies, herring, mackerel, sockeye salmon, sardines

Seafood Recipes