Like fish, shellfish are available in an assortment of ways. Shrimp comes in a variety of sizes and is offered fresh, frozen or canned, uncooked or cooked, peeled or in the shell.

When purchasing fresh shrimp, choose those with firm textures and mild aromas. They should be eaten the day you buy them, but can be held for 24 hours if they're refrigerated on ice and covered with moist paper towels to prevent them from drying out.

Nearly all cooking methods are suitable for shrimp. No matter which one you use, keep in mind that shrimp cooks quickly, turning from translucent to pink in mere minutes.

Scallops also come in different sizes and are usually sold shucked (without their shells), either fresh or frozen.

Buy fresh scallops that are shiny, white and moist with a sweet smell. Fresh scallops should be kept refrigerated and used within a day or two of purchasing. Scallops offer the benefit of a short cooking time. Small ones can cook in just 3-4 minutes or until opaque, depending on the cooking method.

Snappy Fish Substitutions

Use the following when you'd like to make substitutions in seafood recipes. For example, if a recipe calls for flounder, you can easily substitute halibut, sole, turbot or even another mild-flavored fish with similar results.

  • Mild-Flavored Fish: grouper, sea bass and ocean perch
  • Cod-type: cod, haddock and pollack
  • Flatfish: flounder, halibut, sole and turbot
  • Miscellaneous: orange roughy and red snapper
  • Full-Flavored Fish: Mackerel, tuna, swordfish, salmon and arctic char
  • Shellfish: Shrimp, lobster, crab and scallops

Fin-Filled Glossary

Dressed: A whole fish whose internal organs have been removed. It is best baked.

Pan-dressed: A whole fish whose internal organs, head and tail are removed. It's ideal grilled, steamed, poached and pan-fried.

Steak: A thick, single-serving cut, usually from a large fish. It's good baked, broiled, grilled, poached, sautéed or steamed.

Fillet: A boneless piece of fish. It can be baked, broiled, grilled, pan-fried, poached, sautéed or steamed.

Butterflied: Two fish fillets connected by the uncut belly skin.

Seafood recipes from the Taste of Home Recipe Finder.

Fish recipes from the Taste of Home Recipe Finder.

In this Story

  1. Make Sensational Seafood a Speedy Standby
  2. Choosing Fresh Fish
  3. Checking for Doneness
  4. Shrimp and Scallops