5 Best Seafood Recipes

In a sense, the middle to the end of summer is my favorite time for eating. Although you can buy seafood any time of the year; fish seems fresher in the summer. Between flavorful dishes from all cultures all over the world and lobster boils down south that gain popularity during Labor Day weekend, there are many delicious recipes for seafood. I’m going to share the five best seafood recipes.

Whole Fried Fish

Whole Fried Fish
It was in November 2015 when I first discovered the whole fried fish recipe when I borrowed Rawia Bishara’s book from the library. The only recipe in this cook book that is great for a single person is a recipe called Whole Fried Fish, or Samak Maqleh (in Roman letters – from my Arabic studies… its written as مك مقلح which translates into “fried fish”). It serves four and takes four fish, so it was easy to calculate what I would need for one person. One fish, then divide everything else by 4.

The author recommends using either red snapper, striped bass, branzino, porgies, or red mullet. I never really had these fish before, so I asked the fish monger at Wegmans what he would recommend. By law in Pennsylvania, he can’t sell striped bass because it’s a game fish, he didn’t have red mullet and had different snappers. The way he described the snappers, branzino, and porgies, I thought the branzino sounded the best and I bought one branzino.

Back in April I had the chance to visit Chef Bishara’s restaurant, Tanoreen, in Brooklyn. I was returning from Toronto and flew into JFK airport. I had to go to Brooklyn to try Chef Bishara’s rendition of whole fried fish. While I don’t compare yet, I am happy Chef Rawia talked to all of her guests and she stopped by my table. I told her I loved her book and I loved making this recipe. She even gave me pointers on how to finesse my cooking.

Spice the fish to your liking—add as much jalapenos or peppers to your liking. For the Tatbileh to stuff the fish with, the author suggested a bit of a spice with Jalapeno. I don’t like spicy and opted to use green bell peppers and an apple slice instead with cumin, paprika, and black pepper. Although it is time consuming, whole fried fish is simple to make!

I was happy that the fish turned out well and that stepping out of my comfort zone to make this dish was a wonderful experience. I happily reported back to the produce stocker that the recipe was a success, which he was glad to hear as well. When I made it a second time for my parents, they enjoyed the dish as well.

ingredient Whole Fried Fish (سمك مقلح)
(1 serving)

  • 1 whole fish (1 to 1 1/2 pounds), cleaned
  • Kosher salt for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup Tatbileh (I’ll post recipe below – for one)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 1 cup of canola oil
  • 1 lemon, halved

Dressing (Tatbileh):

  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped into a coarse paste
  • 1 tablespoon of chalet
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2  teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


Rub the fish all over with salt under cold running water. Pat dry. Make the Tatbileh: mix all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse into a coarse mixture. Using a sharp kitchen knife, make three 1/8-inch deep crosswise slits along the length of the fish. Rub the Tatbileh into the slits and cavity of the fish. Set aside. Put the flour in a large shallow-rimmed plate. Dredge the fish in the flour, using a bit of flour to seal the cavity shut. Shake off any extra flour.Heat the oil in a large pot over high until hot. Fry the fish until it is golden on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Do not touch the fish until the underside is golden brown or the skin will stick to the bottom of the pan. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to a platter with the lemon halves, parsley, the left over tatbileh and lentils.

I made lentils to go with the side. I made the lentils like how Nan used to make them – with garlic and some potatoes. So good and reminded me of just how Nan used to make them.

Nan’s Baccalà

I remember every December  when nan would make this dish. It’s salted cod that would be served as a part of Feast of the Seven Fishes. According to Wikipedia, the “Feast of the Seven Fishes”, a celebration of Christmas Eve with meals of fish and seafood, but there may be seven, eight, or even nine specific fishes that are considered traditional. The most famous dish Southern Italians are known for is baccalà (salted cod fish). Reasons for celebrating with such a simple fish as baccalà is attributed to the greatly impoverished regions of Southern Italy. Fried smelts, calamari and other types of seafood have been incorporated into the Christmas Eve dinner over the years.

Most baccalà dishes require that the fish be soaked numerous times to remove excess saltiness. The word stems from the same root as Portuguese bacalhau, Spanish bacalao and Greek “βακαλάος”, which are used in similar dishes. Despite its name, the baccalà alla vicentina, a dish native to Vicenza, is not made from salted cod, but from dried unsalted cod (stockfish) served on or next to polenta. In Rome, baccalà alla romana is a dish of deep-fried, battered salt-cod.


When you pick out a piece of baccalà remember that the color of the meat should be close to white and the skin light colored. Stay away from meat with a yellow hue.

If sold whole, try to buy a long, thick fish; if possible it should be a bit more than one-inch thick in the middle of the filet.

Prior to soaking, cut your baccalà into large pieces. Cutting the fish before soaking helps speed up the re-hydration process.

At least two days prior to cooking (but we recommend 3 days, if you have the time), begin soaking your salted baccalà in fresh water (for at least 36-48 hours). First wash the pieces thoroughly, eliminating all the salt on the surface, and then completely submerge in any container that will hold a lot of water; change the water at least three times a day (every eight hours or even more frequently). While soaking, keep the baccalà in a cool place. Refrigeration is not necessary.

Just before cooking, peel off the skin and eliminate any bones—a pair of small pliers will be very helpful for this.


  • 1 (1/4-ounce) packet dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 4 jumbo eggs
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 pounds prepared baccalà
  • Vegetable oil for frying


In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs together with yeast and water. Add the flour and mix the batter with a fork by hand until it looks like the consistency of a thick pancake batter. If needed, add a couple more tablespoons of flour, one at a time. The batter should be thick enough to coat the fish.

Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 to 2 hours, or until small air bubbles form on the top of the batter.  This batter takes longer to rise than most recipes that use dry active yeast because of the addition of the eggs, which weighs the batter down.

Rinse the cod for a last time; dry it well and cut into small pieces. The batter will expand and puff up when fried, so keep the baccalà pieces small, about 3/4-inch.

In a deep frying pan filled with vegetable oil, heat oil to 375˚F.

Drop a handful at a time of baccalà pieces into the batter, allowing the excess to drip off just slightly remove them from the batter and gently drop the pieces in the oil and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.

Remove the fish from the oil, briefly drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve with warmed marinara sauce, lemon wedges, or cocktail sauce.

Thyme Clams

Thyme Clams
This is another one of my favorites and I love eating this dish for Fourth of July celebrations. While this dish can be made any time of the year, there is just something about eating thyme clams during the heat of the summer.


  • Bushel of clams
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup white wine

(for the halal version, use 1 cup of white grape juice and a tablespoon of lemon juice)

  • 2 cups of water


Add the butter, thyme, and wine (or white grape juice) to the pot of water. Dump clams in the mixture and cook until the clams open.

Fish and Chips

fish and chips
Fish and chips are another favorite dish of mine. I remember eating fish and chips all the time as a little girl, especially during the long days of winter. Cod has always been one of my favorite types of fish; subtle and there are many cooking options for cod. Fish and chips are an easy way to cook cod.


  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
  • 8 (4 ounce) fillets cod
  • salt and pepper to taste 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle of soda pop


Heat oil in a deep fryer to 365 degrees F. Before you dip the cod in the batter, be sure to rinse the fish, pat dry, and dredge the cod with salt and pepper (for seasoning). Combine flour, garlic powder, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Stir egg into dry ingredients. Gradually mix in soda pop until a thin batter is formed; you should be able to see the fish through the batter after it has been dipped. After the cod has been soaked in batter, dip cod fillets into the batter, dropping one at a time into hot oil. Fry cod, turning once, until both sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towels, and serve warm.


Sayadeya originated in the Middle East and is loved all around the Arab world. It is simply a dish with fish cooked together with yellow rice and vibrant spices. However, I love salmon Sayadeya and whenever I go out to eat, I order salmon.


  • 2-3 lbs salmon filets

For the rice:

  • 2-3 fillets
  • 4 cups of water to cook the basmati rice
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • One Sliced onion
  • One Sliced bell peppers any color or mixed.

For the topping:

  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Paprika
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh dill
  • Fresh thyme
  • A drizzle of olive oil


Start by combining around 1/2 tsp of each spice together. Marinate the salmon for an hour. Bake at 350 for 30 mins. Meanwhile, stir-fry the onion in some olive oil in a large pot. Once brown, add the bell pepper and fresh garlic. Cook for two minutes. Cut up the 2-3 salmon fillets into large cubes. Add to the pot. Cook for another 2 mins. Try not to stir too much or they will turn flaky. Once done, add the rice, stir a little. Next add the spices and cover pot, let boil on medium high until water is dry on top. Lower heat to lowest point, and leave until rice is done. When the salmon in the oven is done, assemble the dish and enjoy!



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