Prawn dishes are fine, but they tend to be widely available and not very exciting. Even your local pub has a dish on their menu containing prawns, so when you visit a seafood restaurant, give them a miss and try something a little more special. Here's an overview of four seafood dishes that aren't to be missed:
This dish originates in Latin America and is bursting with the flavours you would expect, such as lime, coriander and hot chillies. Fresh raw scallops are cured in a citrus-infused marinade until they are creamy in colour and slightly sweet. Enjoy scooping up these delicate scallops with crunchy, slightly salted tortilla chips and round off your meal with a crisp glass of sauvignon blanc.
Tempura Soft-Shelled Crab
This dish is unlike any other crab dish you'll have tried. Small crabs are selected immediately after their shell has moulted, so you can eat the entire crab as their new shell is still soft. When dipped in light, crispy tempura batter and flash fried, they are sweet and juicy. Enjoy dipping whole crabs into a hot dipping sauce before crunching through the batter to the delicate meat. This dish is a culinary delight.
With its meaty texture and delicate flavour, catfish is not dissimilar to monkfish and tends to be enjoyed by those who don't like strongly flavoured varieties. Catfish pairs well with dark, nutty miso, which is brushed along the top of the catfish fillet just before it's baked. Miso is made with fermented soy beans, and with its umami taste profile, it's perfect on those days you want something salty and hearty. A ginger and spring onion dressing and seasonal leafy greens are ideal accompaniments to this dish.
Mediterranean Stuffed Sardines
Fresh sardines have a bold flavour, are sustainable and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This dish pairs fresh tomato sauce with a mixture of herbs, including basil and parsley, delicately cooked rice and black olives. Whole sardines are stuffed with the rice mixture just before being baked in the tomato sauce. Enjoy this dish with a fresh green salad and baby potatoes.
These are just a few examples of seafood dishes that outdo familiar prawns. So, the next time you visit a seafood restaurant, challenge yourself to try a dish you've never eaten and step outside your comfort zone. If you want to try a few varieties of seafood, check the menu for a tasting platter.