It is always a great idea to marinate your fish or shellfish before throwing it on the grill or pan frying it, however, it is also true that not every seafood marinade is created equally. You want your marinade to add flavor, and keep your meat tender and moisturized. When marinating your seafood, keep the following in mind:
1. Use an Oil-Based Marinade
If you’re looking to crisp up the outside of your seafood, while keeping the inside moist, then you’ll want to ensure that your seafood doesn’t have too much water in it. You can accomplish this by pat drying your seafood, and by avoiding water-based marinades.
In this case, and oil-based marinade will help your seafood crisp up on the outside, while remaining tender and juicy on the inside!
2. Avoid Marinating Your Seafood Too Long
Most marinades will contain an acidic component like citrus or vinegar, but what most people don’t know is that if you leave your seafood soaking in acid for too long, it will begin the cooking process. This means that when you are preparing the marinade, you should use as little citrus as possible, and whatever you do, don’t leave the seafood soaking in it for too long.
3. Seafood Marinating Times
Small-Medium Shrimp: 15 – 30 minutes
Large Shrimp: 30 – 45 minutes
Flaky Fish Fillet: 30 minutes
Firm Fish Fillet: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Firm Fish Steak: 1 – 2 hours
4. The Best Way to Marinate
Typically, the best way to marinate your seafood is by using a Ziploc bag. All you need to do is put your seafood and your marinade into a Ziploc Bag, ensuring you get as much air out as possible, then place it in the fridge for your estimated marinating time, flipping it at least once during the process to ensure each side has full absorbed it.