5-Minute Crafts
5-Minute Crafts

How to Cook and Eat Seafood

For people that live far from the sea, seafood might be something unusual and cooking it might look like art. But in fact, anyone can cook mussels or shrimp to make them taste great.

We at 5-Minute Crafts are going to explain how to cook and eat seafood correctly.

Oysters

Fresh oysters have a buttery, salty taste with a seawater flavor. Depending on the region, they might have other flavor notes (sweet, creamy, saltier, metallic and so on).

Good oysters never smell like fish and don’t taste like it. They should look dry and wrinkly. Also, if you don’t find seawater inside the shell, the oyster is probably dead.

How to serve:
Oysters can be served both fresh and cooked. Fresh oysters are usually serves with lemon juice or a cocktail sauce. They can also be fried, baked, steamed, or stewed.

How to cook:
1. Fresh.
Wash the shells before opening them. After that, use an oyster knife or a small fork to open the upper flat part of the shell from the bottom. Using the same knife or fork, separate the oyster from the shell. Holding the lower part of the shell horizontally, add a condiment, such as horseradish or lemon juice. Tilt the wider part of the shell to your lips and put the oyster into your mouth together with the juice. You can just swallow it or chew it to feel a richer taste.

2. Fried.
Shuck the oysters, bread them, and deep-fry them. Serve them on a baguette with marinated cabbage, spicy sauce, or remoulade.

3. Steamed.
Wash the shells and steam them for 3-5 minutes. You can eat the oysters right away or add them to other meals, such as linguini.

Mussels

Mussels have a light, salty-watery flavor and a tender texture. Their flavor should also be fresh, a bit sea-like. It’s better not to buy or cook mussels with a strong flavor. Only the mussels with completely closed shells without any cracks or dents are edible.

How to serve:
Mussels can be fried, baked, or steamed. Steaming is used more often than other ways.

How to cook:
Wash the shells in cold tap water, turning them from side to side. It will help you find the opened shells you can’t eat. If you want, you can scrub the shells more to clean them. Remove the hairy things from the bottom of the shell.

Cook the mussels the way you want. You can put them on a dry pan and fry them on medium heat under a lid until the shells open. You can serve such mussels with crunchy bread, oil, and black pepper.

Octopus

Fresh octopus should smell like seawater and not anything else. There shouldn’t be any strong fish smell.

Before buying fresh octopus, you should know that it’s usually sold with the intestines you need to remove before cooking. Frozen octopus is sold peeled and gutted.

How to serve:
Octopus can be eaten fresh, but when it’s cooked with a sauce, it’s much tastier.

How to cook:
Clean and wash the octopus if you bought it fresh. Defrost it if it was frozen. A completely peeled octopus should look like a deflated balloon with tentacles.

The easiest way to cook an octopus is boiling it. Fill a pot with water, add a bit of salt, and wait until it boils. Put the octopus in the water, decrease the heat and boil it for 45-60 minutes. After that, try piercing one of the tentacles with a knife. If it’s easy to do, it’s done.

You can add olive oil, lemon, parsley, tomatoes, and fennel.

Squid

Squid has thin and soft flesh, less thick than that of octopus or cuttlefish. Fresh squid is smooth and hard but when it’s cooked right, it becomes soft and flavory.

How to serve:
There are many ways to cook squid: fry, boil, grill, deep-fry, and others. The basic rule is: squid should be cooked either at very high temperatures for a short time, or very low temperatures and a long time. Otherwise, it will taste like rubber.

How to cook:
It’s better to buy gutted squid in order not to do it yourself. Just cut them in rings or ribbons if you don’t want to cook them whole.

1. Grill.
It’s better to grill whole squid to prevent the pieces from falling through the grates. Use a grill pan for cut squid. No matter where you do it, use maximum heat. Add salt or pepper and fry for 2-3 minutes.

Squid, like many other types of seafood, is great with lemon juice. They can also be served with aioli or tartar sauce.

2. Frying pan.
Cut squid into ribbons or cook it whole with salt and pepper. Fry it for 2-3 minutes at maximum heat. When it’s done, you can serve it with pasta, rice, vegetables, or as an addition to salad.

3. Boiled.
Cut squid into rings or ribbons and blanch it in boiling water for a minute. After that, put it into icy water and mix with finely cut herbs and vegetables (fennel, celery, or shallot), add sauce, and it’s ready to serve.

You can also add squid to soups: put the pieces into almost complete soup several minutes before serving.

Shrimp

Shrimp offers a soft, salty taste and tender texture. It should have a very mild ocean taste.

How to serve:
You can boil shrimp, fry it on a pan, grill, or deep-fry.

Shrimp is very easy to ruin and make it taste rubbery. One of the best ways to check if it’s cooked is to look at the shape. An uncooked shrimp is straight. When it curves perfectly into a C-shape, it’s ready, and if it’s gone so far as to curl in on itself into an O-shape, it’s overdone and will taste rubbery.

How to cook:
1. Boiled.
Peel and boil shrimp following our recommendations.

2. Grilled.
Remove the shell but keep the tail intact. Remove the black intestinal vein and put the shrimp onto a wooden skewer that has been soaked in warm water for at least 20 minutes. Heat the grill and put a layer of tin foil onto it. Put the skewers onto the grill with spaces between them. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Grill for 3 — 4 minutes or until the shrimp has turned pink.

3. Fried.
Rinse the shrimp in cold tap water and dry it with a paper towel. Melt some butter and mix it with olive oil on a big frying pan. Put the shrimp on a hot pan with some garlic pieces. Add salt and black pepper. Fry for 3-5 minutes until they are pink. Remove and serve right away.

4. Deep-fried.
Fill a deep fryer or wok with a few inches of vegetable oil and heat to 375°F. Peel the shrimp but leave the tails. Dip it into milk, add flour, and put into the deep-frier. Give it 2-3 minutes until it becomes browny-gold.

5-Minute Crafts/Food/How to Cook and Eat Seafood
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