Hacks to Preparing Fresh Seafood On a Budget

One of the perks to living on the Delmarva Pennisula is the accessibility of fresh seafood. Whether you love shrimp and king crab legs or oysters and clams, satisfying your craving was as simple as heading to a nearby restaurant or ordering takeout. Unfortunately, the national health and economic crisis have put a monkey wrench in such luxuries. As many people have had to spend more wisely, seafood is often the last thing on the menu.

Though seafood can be more expensive than other types of foods, you don’t have to skip out on it altogether. These shopping and cooking hacks will show you how to prepare your favorite meals on a budget.

Buy Smart

The first tip to preparing fresh seafood dishes at home is buying smart. If you’re going to find the best deals, you have to be willing to do the research. You can use the internet to compare prices online from your local grocers. Some of the best deals are offered at fish markets and docks, where you can negotiate with the vendors.

If purchasing fresh seafood isn’t an option, buy it frozen. Always look to see if the seafood was wild-caught. Lastly, to get a good deal, you may have to sacrifice. For example, instead of going with jumbo shrimp, you might have to purchase large. Snow crab legs are a lot more affordable than king crab legs.

Invest in the Right Supplies

Seafood is delicate. When cooking your favorite dishes, it is vital to have efficient tools to keep things from breaking apart, overcooking, or sticking to the pan. You’ll want to invest in things like a wok, fish spatula, large pots, and non-stick frying pans or skillets. You should do some research to find brands that offer the most affordable, durable, and easy to use products. Companies like Made In Cookware have detailed descriptions and videos on tips to explain the type and quality of products.

Always Serve With Starch and Veggies

If you want to keep the costs of preparing seafood to a minimum, remember to always serve it with starch and vegetables. That way, the meal stretches further and gets you fuller. If you’re preparing crab legs, a side of steamed broccoli and potatoes works perfectly. You can cook fish, shrimp, scallops, or mussels with pasta or rice and steamed vegetables. Fried fish, salmon, or crab cake goes well with a hero roll and a side of french fries.

Choose Simple Recipes

If you’re not well-versed in the kitchen or simply don’t have the time to prepare a culinary masterpiece, you’ll be pleased to know that most seafood dishes don’t require that much experience or time. You can find links to recipes or videos for everything from fried shrimp and chips to seafood lasagna.  Since many of the recipes require you to steam, bake, and lightly-season the seafood, you’ll be in and out of the kitchen in no time. That is, of course, as long as you prep in advance.

Take Your Time With Seafood Prep

The most time-consuming process of preparing seafood is the prep. It is vital to you, and your family’s health and safety to thoroughly clean and store seafood. From cleaning and deveining shrimp to cutting the head and removing the bones from fish, you’ll have to get your hands dirty. If you don’t have the time or stomach for it, you can always ask the fishermen to complete this for you or purchase pre-cleaned seafood in the frozen section. Though it will cost a bit more, it may be worth the time you’d sacrifice.

Whether you’re craving a delicious crab cake from the Crabcake Factory in Maryland or a tasty sandwich from Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls in Delaware, you can recreate your favorite seafood cuisines without leaving the house. It’s much safer, a lot more affordable, and a great food choice for small family dinners and gatherings.

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