Simple pan-fried prawns seasoned with garlic butter are certainly delicious, but prawn dishes are so common you can find them on the menu in just about any restaurant across Australia. Everyone's eaten prawns at some point, so when you visit a seafood restaurant, opt for a speciality dish for a real treat. Here are five seafood dishes worth looking out for:
Tempura Soft-Shell Crab
Soft-shell crab is a culinary delight. Crabs are caught just after they have moulted their shell and before their new shell has had a chance to harden. This softness enables you to eat a crab whole, and when they are cooked whole the crabs retain their naturally sweet flavour. Coating soft-shell crabs in tempura batter and flash frying them creates a juicy dish with a crisp, satisfying bite. Enjoy tempura soft-shell crab with a citrus dressing or chili dipping sauce.
Catfish has a firm, meaty texture with a delicate flavour, so it pairs well with the strong flavour of miso. Made with fermented soy beans, miso has nutty undertones and an umami taste profile, so it will satisfy a craving for savoury, salty food. Enjoy miso-glazed catfish with steamed greens and a ginger dressing.
Ceviche is a Latin American dish that consists of raw seafood spiced with fresh chilies and cured with a citrus marinade. The dish is served with tortilla chips to scoop up the seafood. Curing scallops in coriander-infused lime juice gives you a delicately sweet and creamy dish that's refreshing and pairs well with an ice-cold blonde beer.
Mediterranean Stuffed Sardines
Sardines are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, are sustainable, and have a rich flavour that's slightly bolder than salmon or trout. A fresh tomato sauce balances the richness of this fish, so it's often served stuffed with a herb-infused tomato sauce and a rice, pine nut and olive mixture. It is also delicious with boiled baby potatoes.
Squid and Octopus Stew
Delicate, lean squid and octopus are cooked in a flavourful broth of tomatoes, fish stock, smoked paprika, peppers and garlic. The stew is served with seasonal vegetables and crusty bread for mopping up the juices. Enjoy this dish with a dry white wine, such as a sauvignon blanc.
These are just a few suggestions to consider if you're looking for a seafood dish with a bit more pizzazz than butterflied prawns. Seafood restaurants also often offer a tasting platter, so this can be a good option if you want to try a variety of seafood you've not eaten before without committing to one entree. Find a restaurant in your area like Maisie's Seafood & Steakhouse to get started.