Do You Seafood?
Keep your catch as fresh as can be with safe handling and cooking tips, straight from our seafood experts.
The first step in putting the best seafood on your plate is making sure you put the best seafood in your shopping cart. Make the best choices at the store and you’ll enjoy great taste at the table every time.
- When you’re food shopping, make seafood the last thing you pick up before heading to the checkout and tuck it into an insulated bag for the ride home.
- When purchasing clams and oysters in their shells, make sure they are alive. Shells of live clams and oysters may open naturally but will close tightly when tapped, indicating that they are alive. Discard any dead ones.
- Fresh whole fish should have a shiny surface with tightly adhering scales, gills that are deep red or pink, free of slime, mucus and off-odor, and a mild, briny aroma, similar to the ocean.
- Fresh steaks, fillets and loins should have a translucent look, flesh that is firm and not separating, and a mild, briny odor, similar to the ocean.
Shore to store is only one leg of journey. It’s important to continue following safe handling recommendations once you take your seafood purchase home.
- Thaw seafood in the refrigerator, never at room temperature.
- Wash your hands with hot soapy water before and after handling raw seafood.
- Thoroughly wash containers that held raw seafood before using them again.
Now that your seafood is home safe and sound, it’s time to get cooking (within 1–2 days for fresh fillets and shellfish.)
- Keep seafood refrigerated until it’s time to cook.
- A general rule for baking or broiling fish is 10 minutes per inch of thickness at 400–450˚F.
- Fish is done when the flesh becomes opaque and flakes easily at the thickest part.
- Scallops, clams, oysters and shrimp become opaque and firm when fully cooked. Don't overcook as this will result in loss of moisture, which affects texture and taste.
- To boil, place shrimp and scallops in a large pot of boiling water (four cups of water per pound of meat) and simmer three to five minutes.
- Broiled scallops and peeled and deveined shrimp will be cooked in 3–5 minutes.
- Broiled shucked clams and oysters will be cooked in 3–5 minutes.
- Oysters and clams should be steamed until their shells open completely. Discard any that do not open.
- Most seafood should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145ºF. Consuming raw or undercooked seafood or shellfish may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have a medical condition.
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