Seafood season: Fresh fish dishes for the family

Published 10:53 pm Thursday, July 23, 2020

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’Tis the season for seafood. Fisherman are in their prime, out on the water early and back late with their fresh catch of the day. What better way to spend a summer evening in the Outer Banks than by preparing a fresh fish dish to share with family and friends?

NC Sea Grant’s Mariner’s Menu serves up some hand-selected recipes for scrumptious seafood plates, fit for just about everyone. Here are some fan favorites, courtesy Vanda Lewis, blogger and photographer for Mariner’s Menu, with contributed by the late Joyce Taylor, author of Mariner’s Menu.  

Fresh Mahi Mahi Bisque  

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  • 1 pound flaked mahi-mahi (begin with 1½ pounds raw)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons celery, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped


  1. Poach fish in lightly salted water. Flake and set aside.
  2. In medium saucepan, melt butter. Add onion and celery and sauté lightly. Blend in flour, salt, pepper and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Gradually whisk in milk and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens.
  4. Add heavy cream, sherry wine and flaked fish and heat thoroughly. Do not boil and do not overcook fish. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Simple Crab Cakes  


  • 1 pound backfin crabmeat
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried chives
  • 1 ½ tablespoons panko bread crumbs
  • canola oil for frying
  • lemon wedges, optional garnish


  1. In medium bowl, place egg, mayonnaise, salt, mustard, Tabasco and pepper and whisk until smooth. Add crab meat, chives and crumbs, and toss lightly with a fork, being careful not to break up meat.
  2. Shape into 6 patties. Wrap each patty in plastic or paper and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Fry in hot oil until golden brown on one side, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and repeat on other side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with lemon wedges.

Bluefish Chowder


  • 1 pound bluefish skinless fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ cups diced potatoes (about ½ inch pieces)
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 32-ounces chicken broth
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • ½ cup cooked rice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


  1. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add potatoes and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and sauté for 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, broth, water and Tabasco. Simmer until vegetables are slightly tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add rice and fish and cook until fish is done, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley. 

Snapper Fillets Sautéed with Mushrooms


  • 6 small snapper fillets
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1 cup thinly sliced small mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley


  1. Lightly salt and pepper fish. Dredge lightly in flour.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet. Add 3 tablespoons margarine and heat. Sauté fish until golden brown on one side, about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn and repeat on other side. Transfer to warm platter.
  3. In same pan, melt 1 tablespoon margarine over high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until liquid is gone and mushrooms are browned. Arrange over fillets and sprinkle with lime juice and parsley. Serves 6.

Asian Curried Shrimp  


  • 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil


  1. In small bowl, toss shrimp with soy sauce and sherry. Marinate 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Heat oil in medium skillet or wok. Add shallots and sauté. Mix in curry powder and sugar.
  3. On high heat and using a slotted spoon, add shrimp and stir-fry until done, about 6 – 8 minutes.



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