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Chef John's 16 Best Seafood Recipes

Here they are, Chef John's best seafood dishes. These top-rated recipes cover all our favorite fish and shellfish preparations. You'll find baked salmon, grilled shrimp, broiled trout, fish stew, seared scallops, crab cakes, fisherman's pie, grilled tuna and halibut, and much more. Enjoy!

1. Chef John's Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon

This baked salmon recipe uses lots of fresh lemon juice and black pepper, plus a little mustard, yellow miso paste, and mayo. "You don't need the broiler to make great salmon fillets," says Chef John. "A hot oven can produce tender, moist, flaky meat every time."

Chef John's Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

2. Chef John's Grilled Garlic and Herb Shrimp

So easy, so delicious. Fresh herbs and crushed garlic lively up both the marinade and the serving sauce in this classic grilled shrimp recipe. Chef John recommends the extra-large shrimp here "so they can grill longer and get maximum caramelization."

Chef John's Grilled Garlic and Herb Shrimp

Photo by Chef John

3. Chef John's Crab Cakes

Chef John's trick for making incredibly tasty crab cakes is to use almost no filler -- just large chunks of delicious fresh crab. "These are what crab cakes are supposed to be like," explains Chef John. "They are basically a fried lump of crabmeat, held together with a minimum of filler. Delicious!"

 

4. Veracruz-Style Red Snapper

This classic Gulf Coast fish dish bursts with vibrant flavors. The recipe calls for red snapper. But Chef John says any flaky white fish works. You'll cook the fillets with a Mexican-inspired mixture of tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, olives, and oregano. "Excellent recipe," raves Sidekick. "Quick, healthy, and so tasty."

Veracruz-Style Red Snapper

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

5. Grilled Salmon with Bacon and Corn Relish

Here grilled salmon is served with a warm corn relish starring crisp bacon, red bell peppers, and green onions, finished with rice vinegar and a healthy drizzle of olive oil. "An exciting and vibrant new way to use salmon," says Chef John, "dressed up with an easy, summery relish. Did I mention there will be bacon? Oh, yeah."

 

6. Chef John's Fisherman's Pie

A beautifully browned crust of buttery mashed potatoes tops off this top-rated seafood casserole. Beneath the potatoes, flaky cod mingles with baby spinach in a garlic and lemon-scented white sauce. "This was the ultimate in comfort food," says Alison. "Simple, easy, delicious. I really can't rave enough."

Chef John's Fisherman's Pie

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

7. Chef John's Broiled Trout

This is a great recipe for anyone, but especially so for people new to cooking fish. "It's so simple, it doesn't even have a name," says Chef John. "I just call it Trout." Just season, broil, and serve the trout with the simplest butter and lemon sauce. Amazing!

Chef John's Broiled Trout

Photo by Deb C

8. Pan-Roasted Halibut with Clamshell Mushrooms and Lemon Butter Sauce

Here's another super-simple fresh fish recipe. This one combines mushrooms and halibut. "Those two ingredients have a natural affinity for each other," explains Chef John. "And both are wonderful with the lemon-parsley butter sauce."

 

9. Chef John's Salmon Cakes

This is a great recipe for using canned salmon. Chef John explains the benefits of canned salmon: "Every grocery store carries canned salmon, and it's almost always wild salmon, which is more eco-friendly, tastes better, and is more nutritious." Canned salmon is also easy and inexpensive. Of course, you can use leftover cooked salmon here, too.

Salmon Cakes

Photo by Meredith

10. Seared Scallops with Jalapeno Vinaigrette

This recipe is quick and easy but still elegant and absolutely bursting with flavors. Seared scallops are served with fresh orange segments and a mild but versatile jalapeño vinaigrette. "Delicious," says lovestohost. "The vinaigrette was nice and light and allowed the flavor of the sea scallops to shine."

Seared Scallops with Jalapeno Vinaigrette

Photo by Kim's Cooking Now

11. Chef John's Crab-Stuffed Sole

Oh yes, Chef John's got soul! Crab-stuffed sole, no less. The stuffing is a simple combo of crabmeat, green onions, diced poblano pepper, lemon juice, and breadcrumbs. The sauce? A quick mixture of mayo, lemon zest, and a dash of cayenne. "Sole is cheap and easy to find," says Chef John. "It also has a mild, unremarkable flavor -- which means it's the perfect candidate for jazzing up by stuffing with crab."

 

12. Sea Bass a la Michele

Here's a real crowd-pleaser. Thick fish fillets are coated in a highly seasoned vinaigrette (starring sherry wine and smoked paprika) and baked on top of a warm potato salad. Serve with a drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice and chopped oregano or parsley. "Another 5 star fish from Chef John," raves KimcheeMomma.

Sea Bass a la Michele

Photo by The Gruntled Gourmand

13. Chef John's Brazilian Fish Stew

Here's Chef John's interpretation of moqueca, the classic Brazilian seafood stew. "I'm calling it the weeknight version," says Chef John. "It's ready to serve in less than 30 minutes." You'll simply poach chunks of fish in a coconut milk sauce with sweet and hot peppers.

Chef John's Brazilian Fish Stew

Photo by Chef John

14. Grilled Halibut Steaks with Corn and Chanterelles

With this recipe, Chef John goes full-on Surf-and-Turf. Grilled halibut steaks pair up with a sweet corn and sautéed chanterelle mushroom relish. Add a little fresh tarragon at the end and top it off with a handful of baby arugula or microgreens. "So delicious," says JDPFIF. "The fresh tarragon was a delightful treat."

Grilled Halibut Steaks with Corn and Chanterelle

Photo by Chef John

15. Grilled Tuna with Fresh Horseradish

Tuna's a terrific choice for fast, high-heat grilling. This quick-and-easy recipe was inspired by the simplicity and flavors of sushi. Grilled tuna steaks are spiced up with freshly grated horseradish root. The flavorful horseradish sauce is also delicious with swordfish, salmon, and mahi mahi.

Simply Grilled Tuna

Simply Grilled Tuna | Photo by Meredith

16. Coquilles Saint-Jacques

With this recipe, Chef John gives a nod to elegant old-school dining. "But for something so fancy, this is pretty easy to make," says Chef John. "It's rich and decadent, and yet still light." You'll serve these tender, plump sea scallops in real scallop shells along with sautéed mushrooms, a creamy sauce, and a topping of Gruyere cheese.

Chef John Coquilles Saint-Jacques

Photo by Chef John


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Carl Hanson

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