Shellfish Recipes



Sometimes there's nothing better than a fresh lobster roll or a shucked oyster on a beachy summer day. The world's obsession with shellfish has a lot to do with flavor, of course, but it's also tied to health. Shellfish are lean and rich in iron, zinc and vitamin B12. Plus they cook up quickly and usually go from the ocean to your dinner table in record time. F&W's guide to shellfish includes great wine pairing ideas, delicious global recipes and new cooking techniques.

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Lobster Thermidor

Classic lobster thermidor stuffs gently cooked lobster meat back in its shell with a wine-based sauce and a touch of cheese before coming together under the broiler. The natural sweetness of lobster still shines through the rich, but not heavy, cremini mushroom and dry Sherry laced creamy sauce. A touch of cayenne adds warmth, not spice, that brightens the whole dish, while Parmesan cheese gets bubbly and brown under the broiler to finish each impressive stuffed lobster tail. 

Pickled Shrimp-and-Field Pea Lettuce Wraps

F&W Editor in Chief Hunter Lewis uses a broth spiked with Old Bay Seasoning, fennel seeds, and red pepper to flavor field peas and shrimp before giving them a quick soak in a lemon-sherry vinaigrette. "I love shrimp boils and earthy field peas," he says. "So why not combine them in a snappy, succulent, and refreshing salad?"

Barbecued Oysters with Smoky Uni Butter

Briny uni and acidic lemon, mixed with smoky paprika and rich butter, combine to make an extraordinary flavored butter to top oysters before roasting. If shucking oysters isn’t your thing, you can ask your fishmonger to do the job for you. 

Honey-Garlic Shrimp with Scallions

Rating: Unrated
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These quick-cooking shrimp are the ideal weeknight go-to. A gently sweet honey-garlic marinade, enriched with soy sauce and fresh ginger, delivers fast flavor—and does double-duty as a finishing sauce for the shrimp, too. Mirin, a staple in Japanese cooking, helps add depth and balance to the umami-rich flavors. The shrimp are especially delicious over simply steamed rice with a side of sauteed greens.

Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Scampi

Although “scampi” are technically langoustines, in the United States the term has come to describe the famous dish of shrimp cooked with butter, garlic, and white wine. Here, the use of tequila, cilantro, and fresh lime juice offer a bold twist on the classic. Tender cilantro stems mellow slightly after a quick sauté, accenting the fresh cilantro leaves used to finish this dish. Serve it with a torn baguette to sop up the juices.

Shrimp Toast

In this Night + Market dish by Kris Yenbamroong, blending fresh shrimp with pork fat creates a juicy, tender paste to spread on springy milk bread. Pork fat, from the back or belly (not rendered, like lard), can be easily chopped after freezing until quite firm, about 20 minutes.
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Thai-Style Shrimp Cocktail

Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market invites a quick garlic aioli and super spicy fish sauce–based dipping sauce to the shrimp cocktail party. Using a fork to crush the garlic for the aioli leaves it sweeter and less pungent while still breaking down the fibrous cloves for a creamy dipping sauce. Serve the shrimp alongside ramekins of aioli and nam jim seafood sauce for dipping, or arrange the shrimp around the rim of a coupe glass filled with nam jim for more intense flavor.

Clam and Mussel Conserva

Clams and mussels—steamed with white wine and butter and then shucked and smothered in a lemony dressing—make for a luxurious first course of a leisurely lunch. The result is fresh-tasting shellfish in a briny, bright sauce, perfect for scooping up with lettuce or spooning over toast.

Red Shrimp Snacking Tamales

Each two-bite, egg-shaped tamal cradles a shrimp encased in masa seasoned with chiles, garlic, and dried shrimp. At her holiday tamal-making parties, Paola Briseño González likes to make these ahead of time, for snacking on while drinking Guava Ponche with Sweet Vermouth and making main-course tamales with friends.