The Tastiest Ways to Cook Salmon, Shrimp, Tuna, and Tilapia
Buy Center-Cut Fillets for Uniform Thickness
Tail pieces are thinner and tend to overcook and may taste fishier due to the more prominent blood line.
Know the Differences Between Farm-Raised and Wild-Caught
Farm-raised salmon tends to be fattier, which helps it stay juicy. Its flavor is also milder than wild, which veers more savory and complex. In terms of sustainability, check seafoodwatch.org, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch site, for up-to-date recommendations on all the seafood featured here.
Bourbon-Glazed Salmon With Firecracker Slaw
This recipe hits all the notes of a classic barbecue dish, but with omega-3-rich fish. Use an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan.
Simply Steamed Salmon and Corn With Dill Yogurt
Steaming is a gentle cooking method that preserves the natural flavors of all the components of this 15-minute meal.
Sautéed Salmon with Chimichurri and Potatoes
Salmon’s high healthy-fat content helps it stay moist under high-heat cooking, unlike flaky fish, which might dry out.
The majority of shrimp sold in the seafood case at the supermarket was previously frozen. Since you don’t know how long the shrimp have been defrosted, you’re better off buying frozen and thawing them yourself at home. Look for shrimp that’s free of sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP), a preservative that jacks up sodium.
Buy Medium or Large
Shrimp is sold by size, and the sizes are expressed in counts per pound. The smaller the count, the larger the shrimp’s size. A 36/40 label means that there are 36–40 shrimp in a pound (considered medium-large), which is the most versatile size.
Steamed Shrimp and Watermelon Salad
Steaming the shrimp helps prevent overcooking and keeps it succulent. Watermelon makes a surprisingly good pairing.
Thai Pineapple Shrimp Curry
Green curry paste is the base of the flavorful sauce—look for it in the Asian foods aisle of your supermarket.
Simple Lemon, Shrimp, and Prosciutto Pasta
Salty, umami-packed prosciutto complements the sweet shrimp and tomatoes in this streamlined 20-minute main.
Look for Vibrancy
Tuna ranges from deep red to pink (tuna closer to the belly will be more pink due to the higher fat content). Regardless of hue, coloring should be vibrant, not muted.
Check for Tight Musculature
Tightly striated tuna flesh is another marker of freshness. The fish should appear firm and meaty (similar to a steak), not soft and flaky.
Be Selective About Where You Buy
Fishmongers, Asian groceries, and reputable fish counters have higher seafood turnover, so you’ll likely find fresher fish important when you’re cooking to rare.
Grilled Tuna With Tapenade Salsa
Two classic dips, tapenade and salsa, join forces for a fish topper that is salty, scoopable, and summer-fresh.
Spice-Rubbed Tuna Steaks With Caramelized Fennel
Fennel is a natural match for tuna’s richness. We use fennel seeds in the spice coating on the fish and serve the fillets with roasted wedges.
Soy-Marinated Tuna Kebabs
Our Asian spin on kebabs pairs fresh tuna with hearty veggies in a weeknight main that’s also great for entertaining.
Purchase From the Fish Counter
We’ve noticed that fresh tilapia fillets at the fish counter tend to be thicker and more evenly sized than what you’ll find in the freezer case.
Survey for Signs of Freshness
A red blood line running down the crease of the fillet and seeping into the surrounding flesh is a sure sign of freshness. The blood line will turn brownish-gray the longer the fish sits out and is exposed to oxygen. Look for fillets that are bright and shiny, not dull.
Tilapia and Summer Squash Tacos
Summer squash adds a fresh seasonal element that makes for a sumptuous fish taco filling. Use Fresno chiles instead of chipotles for less heat.
Blackened Tilapia Po’boys
In place of fried shrimp, spice-rubbed tilapia lightens the calorie load while still harnessing classic Cajun flavors.
Crispy Fish With Scallions and Peppers
Tilapia is pan-fried (think crispy breaded chicken, but in less time) before being tossed in a sticky-sweet sauce.