Seafood is known for its flexibility, allowing everyone from amateurs to executive chefs to get creative in the kitchen.

It can be boiled, broiled, baked, sautéed, fried or grilled. No wonder then when you combine the myriad of delicious preparation techniques with a wide selection of fresh ingredients, the results are magical.

Deep-fried foods are a classic in the South, and for several reasons. Fried oysters retain a nice moisture that complements the crunch of breading. A plate of fried oysters might be a suitable replacement for fried chicken at football season’s first big-screen viewing.

For those not as interested in fried finger foods, buttery shrimp could be what the mariner ordered. Garlic, parsley, butter and shrimp sizzling in the pan fill the kitchen with a nice aroma. Try pairing these shrimp with something green and flavorful, such as collards. This classic dish will draw everyone to the table with smiles on their faces.

Those seeking their next Sunday cookout or dinner party entrée should look no further than grilled tuna with lemon mayonnaise. The beautiful grill marks on the fish are sure to impress guests. The rich flavors of mayonnaise are enhanced by the tang of lemon. A simple salad or loaded baked potato is all that’s needed to turn this fish into a complete meal.

Shrimp, oysters and tuna are readily available in North Carolina seafood markets in autumn, so these recipes are not only delicious, but they’re seasonal too. Whether your personal tastes skew down-home and southern-fried, or light and buttery, these recipes are sure to leave you satisfied.

Find these recipes and more in Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas by Joyce Taylor. Order a copy from or pick up at your local bookstore.

Visit the Mariner’s Menu blog at for more recipes and photos.

Information on seasonal seafood can be found at  — Emily White



southern fried oysters

Southern-Fried Oysters

• 1 pint shucked oysters, standard or select
• Bisquick (or similar baking mix)
• oil for deep frying

Drain oysters and pat dry. Roll in baking mix. Deep fry in preheated 375 F oil until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serves 4 to 6.



buttery shrimp

Buttery Shrimp

• 1 pound large shrimp
• 1/4 cup margarine or butter
• 1 teaspoon pressed garlic
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
• 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Shell and devein shrimp. Melt margarine in large skillet. Add garlic, salt and pepper and mix well. Stir in parsley. Add shrimp to hot mixture and sauté on one side until done, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and repeat on other side. Serves about 15.



grilled tuna with lemon mayonnaise

Grilled Tuna with Lemon Mayonnaise

• 4 tuna steaks, about 1 inch thick
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• salt
• freshly ground black pepper

Prepare Lemon Mayonnaise and set aside.

Brush steaks with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill about 4 inches from coals until done on one side, about 6 to 7 minutes. Turn and repeat on other side. Spread with Lemon Mayonnaise. Serves 4.

Lemon Mayonnaise

• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 3 tablespoons lemon zest

In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, juice, cayenne, salt and zest. Set aside for flavors to blend. Serve over cooked steaks.

This article was published in the Autumn 2016 issue of Coastwatch.

For contact information and reprint requests, visit