Cooking Tips

Cooking Fish

  • A general rule for baking or broiling fish is 10 minutes per inch of thickness at 400-450° F, turning the fish halfway through the cooking time. This rule does not apply to microwave cooking or frying.
  • Fish less than 1/2" thick do not have to be turned.
  • If fish is cooked in a sauce or foil, add 5 additional minutes to the cooking time.
  • The cooking time for frozen fish should be doubled.
  • Seafood with low fat content - like grouper, flounder and tilapia - should be basted when cooking with a dry heat method such as broiling and baking.
  • Fish is done when the flesh becomes opaque and flakes easily at the thickest part.
  • Most fish will continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes after being removed from the heat, so plan for this in the cooking time.


  • Place fish, one-inch thick or less, 2-4" from the source of heat.
  • Fish thicker than 1" should be placed 5 to 6 inches away from the heat.
  • Seafood with low fat content - like grouper, flounder and tilapia - should be basted when cooking with a dry heat method such as broiling and baking.


Pan-fry or sauté:

  • Lightly dust with flour.
  • Fry fillets in 1/8-inch of oil for 3 to 6 minutes per side or until golden and fish flakes easily.
  • Thickness of fillets will determine the cooking time.

Deep fry:

  • Place fish in single layer in deep kettle or saucepan and cook in enough fat to cover and permit fish to move freely; do not crowd.
  • Generally the temperature of the oil should be 365° F.
  • Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.
  • When cooking multiple batches, always allow the temperature of the oil to return to 365° F before adding more fish.


  • Preheat gas or electric grill. Start the fire about 30 minutes before cooking when using a charcoal grill.
  • Fish is best grilled over a moderately hot fire and on a surface that has been well oiled.
  • When coals are white-hot, spread out in a single layer. Adjust the grill height to 4" to 6" above the heat.
  • Use indirect heat for a whole fish.
  • Firm-textured fish - like grouper, shark, swordfish and amberjack - grill well.
  • When cooking kebabs put foods with the same cooking time together, as seafood cooks quickly.

Marinating Seafood

  • Always marinate seafood in the refrigerator.
  • Always discard marinade that contains raw juices from product which may harbor bacteria.
  • When marinade is needed for basting set aside a portion of the marinade before adding raw seafood.

Cooking Shellfish

Scallops, clams, oysters and shrimp become opaque and firm when fully cooked. Don't overcook as this will result in loss of moisture which affects texture and taste.


  • Place shrimp and scallops in a large pot of boiling water (4 cups of water per pound of meat) and simmer 3 to 5 minutes.


  • Scallops and peeled and deveined shrimp will be cooked in 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Rock shrimp cook in about half the time of regular shrimp, so watch closely.
  • Shucked clams and oysters will be cooked in 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Seafood with lower fat content - like shrimp, scallops, clams and oysters - should be basted when cooked with a dry heat method such broiling or baking.


Pan-fry or sauté:

  • Shucked oysters and clams for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Shrimp and scallops for 7 to 9 minutes.

Deep Fry

  • Breaded oysters, shrimp, scallops and clams until golden brown in oil that is approximately 365 degrees F.


  • Shrimp and scallops cook in 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Oysters and clams should be steamed until their shells open completely