Many seafood choices available now

Published 8:01 pm Sunday, April 21, 2019

At the Ocracoke Seafood Company, a big board lists all the species of fish and shellfish available at the watermen-managed seafood shop.

Red dots indicated the fish and shellfish available in the display case at the shop on Sunday, April 14.

Here’s the list of available seafood at the Ocracoke Seafood Company: bluefish, grey trout, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel, tilefish, speckled trout, kingfish, sea scallops, large fresh shrimp, Ocracoke oysters, yellowfin tuna.

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Some 13 years ago, Ocracoke watermen joined together and with lots of support purchased the last fish house on the island. The Ocracoke Seafood Company operates under the management of local watermen.

Mariner’s Menu was written by Joyce Taylor and published by North Carolina Sea Grant. Seafood recipes below are from that publication.


Scalloped Oysters

Mariner’s Menu


1 pint standard oysters (or selects, cut in half)

1/3 cup oyster liquor

35 fresh saltine crackers, made into coarse crumbs

¼ cup finely chopped green onion, including tops


freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

¼ cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted

What to do

Drain oysters well, reserving 1/3 cup oyster liquor.

Place ¼ of the crumbs in lightly greased small casserole dish. Cover with ½ of the oysters and ½ of the green onion. Lightly salt (remember that the oysters are salty). Sprinkle with black pepper. Repeat, then sprinkle with the remainder of the crumbs. Drizzle with melted margarine.

Combine oyster liquor with cream, Worcestershire, Tabasco and wine and pour over the casserole. Bake at 400 F until brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.


Oven-Fried Bluefish with Herb Butter

Mariner’s Menu


1½ pounds bluefish fillets

½ cup milk

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

1½ cup finely ground fresh French bread crumbs

3 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted

Prepare Herb Butter and set aside.

In large shallow dish, combine milk, salt and pepper.

Spread crumbs in another dish. Dip fish in milk, then coat evenly with crumbs. Place in a single layer in greased baking dish. Drizzle with melted margarine. Bake at 500 F until crisp and golden brown, about 8 to 12 minutes.

Remove to serving dish. Serve with Herb Butter.

Herb Butter

½ cup margarine or butter, softened

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons finely snipped fresh chives

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

In small bowl, combine margarine, garlic, lime juice, chives, parsley, salt and pepper.


Carolina Shrimp Boil

Mariner’s Menu

Fresh shrimp smell like sea water. There should be no off-odors, mustiness or chemical smells. Occasionally shrimp will smell and taste like iodine. This is not related to spoilage and is not harmful, but makes them unacceptable for eating. Certain organisms on which shrimp sometimes feed can cause this iodine effect. If you buy shrimp that smell this way, return them to your market for a refund or replacement.


8 pounds large unpeeled shrimp

8 quarts water

8 rounded tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning (more to taste)

30 small new potatoes (or larger ones, halved or quartered)

5 large onions, halved

15 ears corn, shucked and cut into thirds

What to do

In large cooker, bring water to rolling boil. Add seasoning. Add potatoes and onions. Continue to boil until potatoes are almost done, about 10 minutes. Add corn and cook until done, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until done, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and serve. Serves 12 to 15.

Note: Many people like to shake additional Old Bay over the food after draining it. Also, you can add smoked sausage to the pot. Cut into pieces about 1 ½-inches long and add after the potatoes. Other seafood seasonings can be used for flavor. Follow package instructions for amounts and cooking methods.



Strawberry season runs April through May