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How to Cook Seafood–Cooking Tips

“Line-caught salmon, nothing less than the best!!! Grilled it plain, seemed like it just came out of the Sea.” –Barbara, Bainbridge Island, WA

When working with premium-quality seafood, use minimal seasonings. Let the fish’s natural flavors stand out. We offer these basic tips to help you get started.

What is different about cooking fish versus other meats is that it cooks faster than other meats. Salmon, in particular, can dry out quickly and its character is lost if too dry.

Remember: Fish continues to cook after removed from the heat source.

Cedar plank salmon
Cedar plank salmon.

We recommend not cooking our sashimi-grade albacore tuna and serving raw as sashimi or poke. You can also sear on each side for 2 minutes or less. When serving sashimi, cut to desired thickness while still partially frozen.

Seafood Preparation/Thawing tips: When you’re ready to cook, take the number of vacuum-sealed portions you’d like to eat out of the freezer—you can use one at a time, or more. Thaw under refrigeration for 24 hours. Before mealtime, take the portion(s) out of the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Use scissors to take the fish portion(s) out of  the vacuum-sealed pack(s). Wipe the fish down with a paper towel.

Seafood Grilling Tips: Oil grill once it heats up. Grill marks look great in pictures, but one way to prevent your fish from drying out is to wrap in tin foil. Another way is to use a cedar or alder plank. See this cedar plank salmon recipe.  Cook until just opaque throughout.

Seafood Baking Tips: Baking seafood is really easy! Preheat oven to 350 F. Place seasoned fish in baking dish and cook for 8 to 10 minutes up to 20 minutes depending on thickness of fillet or portion and/or quantity of portions used. Remove fish when it begins to flake easily.

Slow Oven Roasting Seafood Tips: Slow roast larger pieces like our king salmon fillets (sides) and coho salmon fillets (sides). Preheat oven to 250 F. Place seasoned fish in roasting dish on center rack for 20 minutes. Look for it to easily flake. And pull from the oven. The nice thing about slow roasting is that it is more forgiving and won’t cook as much after removing.

Poached Salmon
Sake-poached salmon. Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood

Poaching Seafood Tips: Poaching salmon, particularly coho salmon, is a popular option. In a large, deep, straight-sided skillet or heavy pot, heat enough water to just cover the salmon. You can also use broth or a combination of vegetables like carrots, celery, onion, lemon, a splash of wine, and several pinches of salt (there are many other options for flavoring). Bring the water or broth combination to a boil. Add salmon seasoned with salt and gently lower into pot. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 5-8 minutes. The key is to cook the salmon just under boiling, a very slow simmer. The salmon is done when opaque throughout. Use spatula to remove.

Pan-searing and Sautéeing Seafood Tips: Pan-searing salmon is easy and quick. Heat a cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan. Here’s how to pan-fry and sauté without the sticky mess and oil spatters. Dry your fish as much as possible with a paper towel.Use just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook at a medium-high heat and make sure the pan is HOT before you add fish (320 degrees). Time: use the 10 minute rule! For every inch cook for 10 minutes flipping half way through.

See our pan-seared halibut recipe.


pan-seared halibut
Pan-seared halibut