How to Grill Seafood

This is the second entry in DailyXY’s summer barbecue series. Check out our previous post about buying a barbecue in Canada.

In a world where burgers and steak exist, why plumb the briny depths for some scaly, slimy shell-inhabiting creature? Because they’re delicious.

Not only is BBQ seafood damn tasty, it’s also surprisingly easy. We spoke to Kristin Donovan, co-owner of Toronto’s Hooked, which specializes in sustainable seafood. With her tips, even the most landlubberly meathead can serve up an endless feast of fruits de mer guaranteed to satisfy craven grill fiends and cavernous, beef-starved stomachs.

Know Your Fish
Like most good things in life, the thicker, the better. Fish is more delicate than a porterhouse and cooks quickly. You want something that can stand up to the flames (not to mention your clumsy manhandling) and won’t fall apart. Beginners should tell their fishmonger that they plan to grill and look for thick salmon, halibut, Ahi tuna or swordfish steaks with the backbone attached and skin holding everything together. Chill in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes, preheat grill to medium-high and cook with lid open, skin side down for a few minutes then flip for a couple more.

Shelling Out
You don’t have to be Paul Hogan to appreciate the effortless joy of shrimp (prawns, really) on the barbie. Indeed, the shell of any crustacean conveniently keeps everything neat and tidy (not to mention moist and delicious). Skewer them with some sliced pepper, a sprinkle of parsley and a squirt of lemon for an effortless all-in-one feast. Grill oysters and mussels right in their shell and their reservoirs of salt water poach them to perfection.

The Angler’s Tools
We weren’t lying when we said that barbecuing seafood doesn’t take a rocket scientist or even an Australian. Brush everything in quality olive oil (also helps prevent sticking) and pour on plenty of salt and pepper. While some might try to convince you to run out and buy a specialized “Professional-Grade Fish Turner”, all you really need is a long spatula and a gentle hand.

Go Sustainable
Sustainability is a must. Without practices that ensure a healthy population and environment, a disturbing future of lab-grown fish-like substances is inevitable. Hooked is an Ocean Wisecertified partner and deals only with co-operatives and small fishers who don’t harm the surrounding marine environment. Sustainable doesn’t mean you’ll go wanting for selection. Hooked reels in sought-after catches like fresh Copper River red sockeye salmon and grill-ready wild B.C. octopus.

Image courtesy of Sandro_Lacarbona.

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