Seafood can be intimidating for new cooks. But, with just a little bit of know-how, fish and shellfish can be some of the most flavor-packed and healthy foods you’ll ever eat. So, today, we’re bringing you a quick-and-dirty guide to cooking some of the seafood you’ll find in Anybody Can Chef!’s recipes.
In our Crispy Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Yogurt Sauce, salmon is the star of the show. Although many home cooks find this beauty particularly intimidating, it’s actually one of the most forgiving fish to cook. It is full of healthy fat which melts as the fish is cooked, meaning that even overcooked, salmon is still going to be perfectly juicy.
When cooking salmon (or anything really), you should always season with salt and pepper before cooking. For salmon, use a cast-iron or nonstick pan, and heat a drizzle of cooking oil over medium-high heat.
Then, place your salmon skin-side down in the pan. With skin-on salmon, you’ll want it to cook almost entirely on the skin side before flipping. This should take about 4-6 minutes, and will allow the skin to get nice and crispy.
To tell if the salmon is ready to flip, look at the edges of the fillet. If they are turning opaque and light-orange, it’s good to go! Once flipped, you’ll only need to cook the other side for about a minute (at the most). Salmon cooks very quickly. Be sure to let salmon rest for 1-2 minutes after cooking, and then dig in!
Bonus: If you don’t like salmon skin, don’t try to remove it before cooking. Instead, cook the salmon with the skin on. Then, when the salmon is cooked, the skin will easily pull away from the meat.
In Anybody Can Chef!’s recipes like the Sriracha Shrimp with Charred Broccoli and Lemon Garlic Israeli Couscous, we provide “P+D” shrimp. This stands for “peeled and deveined”, and these shrimp will save you a whole lot of work. There aren’t many tasks in a kitchen that are as tedious as peeling and deveining whole shrimp — trust us.
Fun Fact: When buying shrimp in the store, you may see a set of numbers on the bag, like 21-25 or 36-40. These numbers show how many individual shrimp it takes to make a one-pound bag. So, the smaller the numbers, the larger the shrimp.
As always, make sure to season the shrimp before cooking. You can also remove the tails of the shrimp, but they are often left on for a more ‘restaurant-y’ presentation.
For shrimp, use a cast-iron or nonstick pan, and heat a drizzle of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Place the shrimp in the pan for 2-3 minutes. When they have started to turn pink, flip the shrimp over, and cook for about 30 more seconds. The result will be plump, juicy shrimp that are perfectly cooked through!
Tilapia is a lean, mild fish that makes great fish tacos. On top of that, it’s super easy to cook!
Season the tilapia, and then in a cast-iron or nonstick pan, heat a drizzle of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Cook the tilapia fillet for 3-5 minutes on one side, and then 1-2 minutes on the other. That’s it! When the tilapia begins to turn opaque, it’s ready to go.
Cod is a popular fish for its mild flavor and firm, meaty texture. As with our other kinds of seafood in this article, season your cod liberally before cooking. We again suggest a cast-iron or nonstick pan (noticing a trend here?).
Heat a drizzle of olive oil over high heat, and then place the cod gently in the pan. Cook the cod for 4-5 minutes, or until one side has lightly browned. Using a fish spatula or tongs, flip the fish. If the cod feels stuck to the pan, don’t force it! This simply means it has not cooked long enough on that side. As the cod cooks, a crust will develop and it will release from the pan without sticking. If the fish is sticking to your pan, simply let it cook more.
After flipping, cook the cod on the other side for 3-4 minutes. When the cod appears to separate into segments and turns an opaque white, it’s ready.
In recent years, barramundi has risen in popularity to become something of the ‘it’ fish. It’s a sustainable type of sea bass that is easy to cook, and mild in flavor. It’s very similar to cod, and can be cooked in much the same way. Because of its mild flavor, barramundi is a very versatile fish and allows other ingredients like salsas and veggies to shine. For a particularly zesty barramundi dish, check out our Smoked Paprika Barramundi with Chorizo, Broccoli, and Tomato Orzo.
To cook barramundi… you guessed it. Season the fish, and heat a drizzle of cooking oil over medium-high heat. From there, cook it for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until the meat is opaque and white in color.
But before you try cooking these yourself…
Everyone at Anybody Can Chef! Believes that sustainable sourcing is a key part of any well-prepared seafood dish. In our increasingly globalized and fast-moving marketplace, the world’s oceans are becoming more and more susceptible to rampant overfishing. And in all honesty, a world without fish is no world for us.
This makes it extremely important to find sustainably-harvested seafood. At Anybody Can Chef, we’re proud to say that all of the seafood ingredients found in our dishes are responsibly and sustainably sourced. But, to find a sustainable seafood tracker and more information on sustainable seafood, we recommend visiting The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s website at Seafoodwatch.org.
To check some of our deliciously mouthwatering recipes and for the easiest seafood dishes in town, click here!