The new ease of cooking seafood | Lifestyles

Tired of the same old rotation of seafood dishes this Lenten season? It turns out that cooking delicious seafood dishes at home is easier than ever, thanks to some modern technology. With a little effort, it’s possible to create restaurant-quality cuisine at home, without having to foot the restaurant bill.

Although the words “seafood preparation” may seem intimidating and create images of flailing lobsters in your head, most home cooks are more than capable of creating delicious seafood meals at home with a few simple tips. . Everyday kitchen appliances like air fryers and Instant Pots make it easier to prepare fish and shellfish at home. Plus, it’s easier than ever to order seafood online, especially for people living in urban areas. No need to splurge on a fancy fish scaler or worry about bringing live crabs home from the store.

Seafood cooking at home, transformed

From shrimp tempura to calamari, it’s clear that seafood and crispy batter go together like fish and chips. and thanks to the powerful air fryer, it’s possible to enjoy crisp yet tender seafood at home without any of the hassles associated with frying. Gone are the days of leaning over a pan of hot oil while an unpleasant smell of frying permeates your hair and clothes; With an air fryer, it’s possible to create crispy seafood in just a few simple steps.

Air fryers, which use a minimal amount of oil and hot air to cook food, have become a must-have for busy home cooks. “With the introduction of air fryers, cooking seafood has become much easier, thanks to rapid preheating, fast cooking times, and consistent, even heating,” says Diana Alshakhanbeh, whose website Little Sunny Kitchen includes over 50 recipes designed just for air fryers.

For example, traditional methods of cooking cod involve roasting it in the oven or pan, which requires more oil, more attention and more time. Air fryer cod, on the other hand, only takes 20 minutes to cook in the background – just enough time to put on a pot of rice and chop up a side salad. The end result is a flaky, buttery cod fillet that’s not too heavy or too oily.

The best part? There are no greasy, caked-on pots and pans hiding in the sink after dinner. Air fryers are easy to soak and wipe, and only need to be cleaned after a few uses. As Alshakhanbeh says: “This new technology not only simplifies the cooking process, but also ensures easy cleaning, redefining the way we prepare our favorite seafood dishes. »

Popular seafood dishes reinvented

Using versatile kitchen gadgets like Instant Pots or air fryers, it’s possible to reinvent any beloved seafood dish to suit individual tastes, budgets, and time constraints. Some fish and shellfish can even be cooked straight from frozen, minimizing the pre-planning required.

For example, a popular twist on a classic shrimp cocktail is to use an air fryer to cook frozen shrimp. Simply arrange a bag of frozen shrimp in the air fryer basket, then pour some melted butter, lemon juice, and spices on top. To ensure the end result is perfectly cooked, use a meat thermometer to ensure the shrimp has reached a temperature of at least 145 F.

Once cooked, the shrimp is flavorful, juicy, and flavorful enough to enjoy with or without a dipping sauce. Cooking frozen shrimp in the air fryer creates a perfect appetizer without any hassle. It’s also a great ingredient to add to seafood tacos or Vietnamese summer rolls. That is, assuming the shrimp actually makes it to the final dish – and isn’t just devoured while still hot from the basket.

Instant Pot Crab Legs are another easy version of a gourmet favorite, the perfect addition to a seafood boil or to enjoy as a main dish. Traditional methods of cooking crab legs, like steaming, boiling, or baking, involve a lot of fiddling with hot metal and guesswork. An Instant Pot is not only easy to handle; it also allows for a greater degree of precision and timing, minimizing the chances of ending up with rubbery, overcooked crab. Plus, it’s a super-quick process: 10 minutes in the Instant Pot is all it takes to make this tender, buttery delight.

The future of home-cooked seafood

The popularity of seafood, which peaked during the global pandemic, is on the rise again. The seafood market is expected to continue growing in 2024, propelled by growing consumer commitment to sustainability and the rise of pescatarian and Mediterranean diets.

Despite the growing popularity of trendy dishes like prepared seafood and the canned fish craze, there is still one key fish that dominates American plates: salmon. A 2021 survey by the National Fisheries Institute recently named salmon the most consumed fish by Americans. The United States is the world’s second largest market for salmon, with Americans consuming approximately 420,000 tonnes in 2022.

What is special about salmon? For many Americans, its relatively affordable price and versatile nature make it the perfect complement to sheet pan dinners, creamy pastas, and, of course, Emily Mariko’s viral salmon rice bow that went viral on TikTok Last year.

Salmon is also a healthy alternative to red meat that is still rich in high-quality protein. In fact, wild salmon has been dubbed a superfood due to its many nutritional benefits. Ultimately, salmon is just one example of how seafood can combine health benefits, convenience, and delicious taste.

Dive into the world of seafood

Whether it’s testing new trends — like adding canned fish to charcuterie boards — or celebrating classics like maple-garlic glazed salmon, 2024 is the perfect time to welcome seafood in all its forms and flavors.

As home cooks increasingly embrace air fryers and Instant Pots to cook fish and shellfish of all kinds, we’ll likely see an explosion of new seafood recipes and ideas in the years to come. Culinary professionals will love creating elaborate recreations of their favorite dishes, while amateurs will appreciate how easy and quick it is to create lunches and dinners.

Regardless of your skill level, one thing is clear: you don’t need to spend your budget on an expensive restaurant to enjoy a delicious seafood dish. So why not treat yourself to a seafood feast for dinner tonight?

Samantha Erb is the owner of Everyday Family Cooking, a culinary website focused on providing simple meals with few ingredients while still retaining flavor.

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