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25 Apr 2022
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Is there anything better than fresh seafood? No we didn't think there was either and if you agree with us you are going to love your Oak Island beach vacation. Why you ask? Because not only is Oak Island known for beautiful quiet beaches and its warm small town charm, we also happen to be a great place to get fresh local North Carolina seafood. So go ahead and plan on taking a few walks during your vacation because you'll want to be able to have a few extra delicious calories. Don't know how to cook seafood? No problem we have five simple tips that will make cooking incredible seafood as easy as putting on sunscreen. 

Shop local seafood like a pro

No matter how great a recipe sounds, or how expensive a grill you the end, the quality of the seafood is what is going to make your dish great. It is a simple formula great ingredients make great dishes. Seafood isn't something to bargain shop for, you get what you pay. This is the time to splurge a little on the best and freshest seafood you can find. Follow these helpful tips while shopping to ensure you get the best seafood. 

Shrimp- Avoiding dry dull shrimp is all about locking in the moisture. To do this, buy fresh whole shrimp with the head still attached.  If those are not available, by frozen shrimp with the shell still intact. The shell, like the head, helps the shrimp retain its moisture. A little biology; shrimp rot quickly, so really fresh or frozen is the only way to go. If it looks old, then it is old. 

Whole Fish- Grilling a whole fish is one of the best and tastiest ways to enjoy fish, it is also super easy. When shopping for a whole fish, look for clear bright eyes and clean metallic looking skin. Skin which has a dull color is a bad sign. Fish should never smell. Fresh fish smells almost briny or like clean water. 

Shell Fish-  Mouth watering grilled Oysters are simple and delicious to grill. However, with any shell fish, there are a few things to look for. Shell fish are sold alive and should behave that way. A good test is to place clams and mussels on the counter and tap the top of them. If they are fresh they should close tighter than they did prior to being tapped. 

Fillets- Look for a nice clean fillet absent of any milky looking fluid. The fillet should not smell fishy. If it does, move on because the fish is of poor quality. If allowed, gently push your finger into the fillet. In high-quality fresh fish fillets, the indentation will disappear. 

1. Parchment paper makes it easy to cook fillets

Use parchment paper when cooking fish. It makes the cooking process a whole lot easier, especially if you are not used to cooking fish. The little packets made of parchment paper trap moisture and gently steam the fillet, preventing it from drying out. This is a great technique to start with, as it's both easy to make and very forgiving. Load the packet up with lemon slices, herbs, and garlic, and you're on your way to perfectly cooked fish.

2. Add flavor while cooking

Unlike steak or chicken the best way to add flavor to seafood is while cooking. Don't marinade a fish fillet or shrimp like you would a steak. If you do the result will be mushy and soggy seafood...yuck! Fish and shrimp take on flavors easily so choose some thing bold and fun. Pinterest is a great place to find all sorts of awesome recipes. Citrus flavors always go well with almost any seafood. A splash of lemon on fresh snapper or shrimp. Now that is something to get excited about. 

3. Use a little Mayo

One prop tip is to brush your fish with a little coating of mayo before grilling it.  By brushing his fish with mayo before throwing it onto the grill it will prevent the fish from sticking to the grill and helps promote even browning. It sounds weird, but mayo is basically just fat, so it's not actually that weird.

4. Use the right tools

Fish baskets, wood planks and a fish spatula make life a whole lot easier when cooking seafood. Don't forget skewers for shrimp and scallops. Wood ones work great and are disposable. Many of these can be purchased very inexpensively at local Oak Island stores and groceries. With these handy tools you look like a pro from your very first dish. 

5. Make sure the seafood is dry

Generally when searing seafood you want to make sure that it is dry. This can be an issue if you thawed the fish earlier in the day. Remember frozen seafood is a great way to get awesome fresh seafood. Seafood lends itself well to being frozen so don's be put off by frozen seafood. 

Before searing or placing on the grill place the seafood on a couple of paper towels and then use a couple on top to absorb as much of the moisture as possible. 

Are you ready to visit one of the most beautiful locations on the east coast? If you are and you would like to learn more about booking an Oak Island summer beach vacation now is the perfect time. Give us a call today at  910-278-1147 to speak with one of our friendly reservationists today. Of course, you can always book online by clicking the button below. See you soon!

 5 Tips for Cooking Seafood Like a Pro