Nothing tastes better after a long day on the water than a meal full of vibrant vegetables, zesty seasonings and, of course, seafood!  If you’re a seafood lover, you know how crucial freshness is to flavor. The fresher the fish, the better and you can’t beat one that’s fresh from the sea. Plus, if you caught it yourself, you’ll know it’s fresh.

Reeling the big catch in is half the fun, but if fresh seafood is on the menu tonight, your job has just begun. Take a look as we share our top tips on cooking up your fresh catch and how you can make a delicious meal your family won’t soon forget!

Keeping it fresh

After you’ve reeled in your catch and gotten it off the hook, immediately place your fish on ice. This is crucial to keeping it fresh longer. Once you’re back to shore, you will scale and fillet your fish. Make sure to rinse your filets and pat them dry thoroughly with a paper towel. Remember that you should always clean your fish immediately. If you don’t plan on eating your fish within the next 24 hours, we recommend freezing it to preserve its flavor.

Avoid overcooking

As you already know, fresh fish tastes amazing, so  be sure to cook your fish soon after catching them. Opt for simple recipes that let the flavor of the fish shine through and be very careful to follow cooking instructions as overcooking will damage the flavor and texture of your meal.

Panfrying

We highly recommend panfrying white-meat fish! Coat your filets in coconut oil to keep the flesh moist, plus it adds a subtle (and delicious) coconut flavor. Dust your oil-dressed fish in seasoned flour and place them in a large, open skillet with about ¼ inch of heated oil. Make sure to leave space between filets to avoid sogginess. Cook each side over medium heat until brown. The fish will flake easily when done. Finish by placing your fish bites or filets on a paper towel to drain excess oil and serve!

Baking

Did you land a big catch? Baking might be the way to go. Line a shallow baking dish with foil so the fish doesn’t stick to the pan. Next, baste the fish in seasoned butter and lemon juice. You can also add vegetables such as sliced zucchini, asparagus, and squash to bake along with the fish and its juices. Cover the pan with more foil or a lid and bake at 375F for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of fish. Test frequently to see if the fish is done. Serve on a bed of jasmine rice and enjoy!

Grilling

You may be frightened by the grill when it comes to fresh fish, but no need to fear! Often, the high heat of grilling will dry fish out, however, this can be avoided by including plenty of sauce or oils and the trusty assistance of some aluminum foil!

Place each filet in its own piece of foil along with your oil or sauce of choice (we recommend olive oil or butter). You can also add your seasonings and some veggies such as onions or squash to cook along with it. Once everything’s in place, wrap each filet securely in its foil (with enough room for the fish to expand) and place it on the grill. Close the grill and cook each side for 5 to 7 minutes or until the fish flakes with a fork. Voila! Dinner is ready!

Seasonings

The best way to bring out the delicious flavors of your fresh catch? Lightly season it! Here are some of our tips according to species: For Bluefish, try cooking with leeks, chives, garlic, parsley, and lemon. For Flounder, opt for shallots, lemon zest, parsley, garlic, cumin, and coriander. Grouper is delicious with onion, garlic, turmeric, crushed red pepper, and basil. Try Mackeral with onion, basil, garlic, oregano, thyme, and paprika. Overall, you can’t go wrong with a classic premade seafood seasoning or the simple combination of lemon juice, dill weed, garlic, and salt & pepper. Hungry yet? If you’re looking to get one step closer to catching and cooking your dinner, come see us at one of our three South Florida locations! We would be thrilled to assist you in finding your perfect fishing vessel. Here at South Florida Yachts, we can help you choose from center consoles, bay boats and everything in between. With locations in Stuart, Lake Worth and Palm Beach, your next dinner-worthy catch is closer than you think!