Excerpt from Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas


In ancient times, men and women cooked over an open fire as an alternative to eating raw food.

Today, with all our advances and conveniences, we still love to cook outdoors over a flame. And it’s not just burgers and steaks anymore. A meal of fresh seafood, prepared simply outdoors and eaten in the company of friends, is one of life’s real pleasures.

Fish in any market form — drawn, dressed, steaks or fillets — may be cooked over coals. You can grill any fish that you can broil. Shellfish, depending on the recipe, may be grilled in the shell or shucked. Use the freshest fish and shellfish you can find. Lack of quality means lack of good flavor.

Many cooks like to marinate seafood before grilling. Always make marinades in a nonreactive container such as glass or stainless steel, never in aluminum or any other metal that can cause chemical action or add an off-flavor to the food.

If you plan to use the marinade for basting, reserve some before placing the seafood in it. Never baste cooked fish or shellfish with marinade that has been used on raw seafood. The food can become contaminated with harmful bacteria.

To complement your meal, try grilling your vegetables, too. Corn-in-the-husk, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, potatoes and other vegetables cook up great on the grill.

For more seafood tips and recipes, purchase a copy of Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas at ncseagrant.ncsu.edu/bookstore. Or find recipes online at marinersmenu.org and pinterest.com/ncseagrant.



grilled garlic shrimp

Grilled Garlic Shrimp

• 1 pound medium or large shrimp, peeled
• 3/4 cup margarine or butter
• 10 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
• 1/4 teaspoon sugar

Melt margarine in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, lemon juice, cayenne, dill and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer one minute. Remove from heat and cool. Place shrimp in sauce and marinate in refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes.

Thread shrimp on skewers. Grill about 4 inches from coals until cooked on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and repeat on other side. Serves 3 to 4.



Grilled Soft-Shell Crabs

Grilled Soft-Shell Crabs

• 12 soft-shell crabs
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 3 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

In small bowl, combine oil, parsley, lemon juice, nutmeg, soy sauce and Tabasco. Brush both sides of crabs with sauce. Place upside down on grill about 4 inches over moderately hot coals. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn and repeat on other side. Serves 6.



Grilled Marinated Tuna

Grilled Marinated Tuna with Herb Butter

• 8 tuna steaks
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 1/3 cup soy sauce
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• 1 garlic clove, minced

Prepare Herb Butter and set aside.

In small bowl, combine oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, zest and garlic. Blend well.

Place steaks in single layer in shallow baking dish. Pour marinade over them, reserving 1/3 cup. Marinate in refrigerator about 45 minutes, turning occasionally.

Drain fish. Discard used marinade. Place steaks in well-greased hinged grill. Cook about 4 inches from heat until done on one side, about 6 to 8 minutes. Baste with reserved marinade and turn. Cook on other side until done, about 6 to 8 minutes. Spread with Herb Butter.
Serves 8.

Herb Butter

• 3/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
• 2 tablespoons minced green onion
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

In small bowl, combine margarine, green onion, parsley, tarragon and mustard. Set aside for flavors to blend. Serve over tuna steaks.

This article was published in the Summer 2017 issue of Coastwatch.

For contact information and reprint requests, visit ncseagrant.ncsu.edu/coastwatch/contact/.