Seafood, to me, includes all things from the sea except for salmon and white fish fillets. I don't know why I classify these foods that way, but it works for me! Salmon is an entity unto itself, and fish fillets are just used differently than shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, and even fish like tuna.
When you buy seafood, always give it the sniff test. Seafood should smell fresh and briny, like the sea.
There should be no off odors: no fishiness, no rancid smell, and nothing that smells like bleach or iodine. Most of the shellfish and seafood you buy has been frozen at one time, unless you're buying it right off a boat, so don't freeze fresh seafood. Bring it home and cook it within a day or two.
Frozen seafood is usually a better buy than fresh. To thaw it, let it stand in the refrigerator overnight. Never thaw shellfish or seafood on the counter. You can thaw shrimp and scallops by running cold water over them until they're thawed.
And be careful when cooking these delicious foods. Cook shrimp just until they curl and turn pink. Cook scallops until they're opaque. Clams and mussels should be cooked just until the shells open (discard any that don't open). Some people like to eat tuna and swordfish rare or medium rare, but I prefer them well done. Doneness for those types of seafood are up to you.
Remember, these five ingredient recipes don't count olive oil, flour, sugar, or seasonings. Fresh herbs are included in the recipe count because most people don't keep them on hand at all times, but you should have a good supply of dried herbs and spices in your kitchen.
Five Ingredient Seafood Recipes
- Bay Scallop Scampi
Sugar snap peas, grape tomatoes, and garlic are the ingredients that bring tender bay scallops to life in this super simple recipe.
- Mussels in Apple Cream Sauce
Apple cider and sour cream make a delicious sauce with some steamed mussels. Serve this dish with lots of garlic bread and some grilled or roasted asparagus.
- Grilled Swordfish with Tomato Salsa
Swordfish has a wonderfully meaty taste and texture. It's delicious grilled and served with a fresh homemade salsa.
- Microwave Shrimp Scampi
Lots of butter, garlic, and lemon juice make this delicious recipe flavorful. The recipe says it serves four, but if you're serving shrimp lovers, you may need to double it!
- Tuna Alfredo Casserole
Tuna is an excellent meat to use with mafalda pasta, pesto, and Alfredo sauce. This super simple casserole is ready in minutes.
- Tuna Artichoke Skewers
Tuna or swordfish steaks are wonderful cut into chunks, threaded onto skewers, and grilled with a flavorful marinade. I'd serve this recipe with a rice pilaf and a fruit salad for a wonderful dinner.
- Tuna Tortellini
Tuna canned in olive oil used to be exotic, but it's really pretty easy to find these days. If you can't find it, substitute some garlic or basil oil (purchased please - not homemade) for the tuna oil.
- Crab Bisque
This delicious and quick soup uses frozen imitation crab (surimi) but if you can find some good fresh lump crabmeat, by all means use it.
- Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry
A frozen broccoli and red bell pepper combination is the secret ingredient in this super fast recipe. If you can't find that particular blend, any frozen vegetable combo you like will work just fine.
- Shrimp Kabobs Five Ingredient Meal
This recipe is for an entire meal! Italian salad dressing is the marinade for the shrimp and the dressing for the salad. You can have dinner on the table in about 20 minutes, start to finish, with this super fast idea.
- Seafood Mixed Grill
Shrimp and scallops are grilled to tender perfection using this packet method. It tastes a lot like Shrimp Scampi, but the flavors are more complex. Yum.
- Pasta and Clam Chowder
Leftover Clam Linguine is the base for this delicious soup.
- Pasta Crab Salad
Gemelli pasta and mangoes are the secret ingredients in this delicious main dish salad recipe. You could make it with shrimp too.
- Scallops with Dill
Fresh dill weed adds lots of flavor and color to this pretty dish. If I didn't have to limit myself to five ingredients, I'd add some garlic to this one.
- Baked Shrimp Scampi
Oh heck, this is technically six ingredients if you count the fresh parsley (which I often leave out), but it's so good I couldn't omit it.
- Shrimp Fried Rice
Use leftover cooked rice for this beauty, or buy some rice from a take-out place on your way home and use that. I love this recipe.
- Grilled Bacon Scallops
Bacon and seafood are natural partners. I particularly like bacon with scallops because the mild flesh of the scallops is beautifully accented by the smoky, salty bacon.
- Shrimp and Tomato Rice Salad
This super fast and easy salad recipe is perfect for really hot summer (or spring) days. Add any other fresh vegetable you'd like to the mix; sugar snap peas or baby peas would be delicious.