How To Cook Seafood

Cooking seafood at home


Certified sustainable seafood is a healthy protein option for you and the ocean too. In fact, many registered dietitians recommend you incorporate it into your meal rotation at least twice a week.

However, many people are intimidated to cook seafood at home; but with its quick cook time and light flavor, seafoods are easy to pan fry, oven roast, and throw on the bbq – all while adding your own personal touch.

The MSC is here to help answer your frequently asked questions about cooking seafood at home. Enjoy these tips and tricks and be sure to use MSC certified sustainable seafood options when cooking.

How do I incorporate ready-to-use seafood into my meals?

If you’re new to cooking with seafood, try to incorporate pre-cooked, canned, or smoked options into your meals by simply swapping them out as your go-to protein. Throw smoked salmon into a pasta, put it in a grilled cheese sandwich, or incorporate it as a garnish on your pizza. Canned seafood options – like tuna, salmon, mackerel, or even lobster – make quick and easy additions to salads and casseroles. Or, for a quick snack, simply grab a pouch of pre-mixed seafood and put it on a cracker or mix it into a dip.


How do I freeze and thaw seafood?

Frozen fish is an easy, shelf-stable way to pick up seafood and enjoy it later. Additionally, freezing seafood doesn’t reduce the nutritional content of fish; in fact, it seals in the freshness, so there is no degradation of nutrients.


How do I cook seafood?

There are many different methods for cooking seafood. Your preferred method may depend on what you are more familiar with when it comes to cooking other proteins, what texture you want the seafood to have, or the desired healthiness of the meal you are preparing.


How do I grill seafood?

When it comes to cooking seafood, searing it over hot coals or on an open grill adds a whole new dimension and flavor to your favorite dishes. Open flame cooking is not only the most exciting way to cook, it's the only method that's going to give your seafood a crispy charred coat, smoky flavor, and restaurant-cred grill stripes.

Grilling fish

Firm, robust fish stand up best to grilling. Halibut and swordfish are good candidates. More delicate types of fish, such as cod and salmon, can easily flake and fall through the grates, although with a little prep and care when cooking, most fish can be grilled.


Grilling Shellfish

Shellfish is just as easy, if not easier, to cook than fish on your backyard grill. In the case of lobster, crab, and shrimp, their built-in shell protects them from intense heat and prevents them from falling apart.

Squid and scallops meanwhile have hardy muscular textures that withstand heat well.

While grilling shellfish is simple, each type has different steps to follow. Read A Foodie's Guide: Five of the Best Shellfish for the Grill for a few simple steps to follow when grilling shellfish and enjoy sweet, smoky, and sensational meals.


Easy seafood recipes

It's time to get crafty in the kitchen! Check out this curated collection of easy-to-make dishes that feature MSC certified sustainable seafood.

Don't forget to share your recreations (and original fish dishes!) with the MSC on social media by using the hashtags #FeelGoodSeafood and #MSCbluefish.



  • 3 large russet potatoes 

  • 1 medium spanish or white onion 

  • 340 g (3/4 lb) MSC certified cold water shrimp, thawed and drained  

  • 200 g (3/4 cup) full-fat sour cream 

  • 1 small bunch each of fresh thyme, fresh basil, fresh flat-leaf parsley, fresh oregano 

  • 2 cloves of garlic 

  • ¼ cup of olive oil 

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon 

  • Salt to taste 

  • Capers, caper berries, microgreens, or pickled onions (optional garnish suggestions) 

  1. Make sure shrimp are thawed and drained. Remove any excess liquid and store in fridge until you’re ready to use.

  2. Peel onion. Using the rough side of a cheese grater, grate into a bowl.

  3. Grate the washed but not peeled potatoes using the same side of the cheese grater. Add to bowl with onions. Tip: grating the onion first helps keep the potatoes from oxidizing.

  4. Season grated mixture with a little bit of salt and mix together well. The mixture will start to weep liquid once you add salt – don’t worry, that’s exactly what you are looking for.

  5. Preheat your frying pan to medium heat and get your baking sheet and spatula ready to go.

  6. Using your hands, take a bit of the mixture, about the size of a ping pong ball, and squeeze as much liquid out of it as you can. Place this in the heated frying pan and press down so it is flat. Continue to do so until the pan is filled with potato cakes.

  7. Cook until golden brown on both sides and add more oil if they start to stick to the pan.   

  8. Set aside cooked potato cakes and let rest while you prepare the cold water shrimp.

  9. Roughly chop all the herbs, zest and squeeze juice from the lemon and mix together in a bowl. Add the olive oil, cold water shrimp, and season to taste.   

  10. To assemble, place potato cakes on a platter, top generously with sour cream and add the final touch – a generous spoonful of the marinated shrimp. Garnish and serve.  

Watch Video

Cold Water Shrimp Recipes

Get to know MSC Ambassador Chef Charlotte Langley

Chef Charlotte Langley hails from PEI, Canada where she cultivated a ‘Maritime Chic’ style of cooking and a deep love for the oceans. Constantly challenging herself and what it means to be a chef, Charlotte founded Scout Canning, Canada’s most trusted tinned fish company, and through her role as ambassador for the MSC, she champions the importance of choosing seafood that keeps our oceans healthy and full of fish for future generations.

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