Many people who observe Lent abstain from meat on Fridays. But that doesn’t mean your fish Friday meals have to be boring or repetitive. Read ahead to learn how to shop for seafood with confidence and ways to mix it up with tasty new dishes every Friday during Lent!
Shop like a fishmonger with these three simple tips.
It’s easy to get intimidated when shopping for fresh seafood, but it can be easy and fun if you keep these tips in mind.
Choose fresh fish.
From perfectly pink salmon to savory shrimp, you’ll be met with abundant fresh catches at the seafood counter. Fresh seafood has excellent taste and texture and unbeatable flavor.
Buy sustainably sourced seafood.
100% sustainably sourced seafood, like the kind sold at Raley’s, is the most eco-friendly source of protein on the planet. U.S. fisheries that practice sustainable capture methods ensure the long-term health of our underwater species. The goal of these sustainable programs is to prevent overfishing, conserve habitats and manage fish populations for future generations.
Have plenty of fresh herbs, spices and other staples on hand.
Seafood is packed with flavor, so you only need some basic spices. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and fresh garlic go great on almost any seafood, and don’t forget fresh herbs like dill, parsley and sage to perfume the fish and bring welcome aromatics. Butter is the perfect fat to baste your fish, as the hot fat cooks on top while the skillet cooks the bottom, resulting in a perfect sear. Adding a dash of fresh lemon juice eliminates some of that naturally salty fish flavor.
Sail into sensational flavor with these delicious and simple seafood dishes that will help you keep it fresh every Friday during Lent.
Lent is six weeks long, so let’s go week-by-week and catch some exceptional flavors that you can enjoy at home.
Week 1: Salmon
Salmon is one of the most popular fish varieties. It has a rich, buttery flavor and tender, flaky texture. Use salmon as the main dish or as added protein in salads, sushi and sandwiches. Not only does it taste great, but salmon is also high in omega-3 fatty acids and packed with protein.
Recipe: Grilled Lemon Garlic Salmon
This grilled lemon garlic salmon is bold and tangy with an ultra-tender texture. Follow these simple steps to make your own:
- Mix olive oil, fresh garlic, lemon juice and your choice of fresh herbs in a bowl.
- Marinate salmon fillets in the mixture for 30 minutes. Salmon is lean, so pay close attention to the time, or you risk turning your tender meat into something mushier.
- Sear on grill until meat is charred and flaky.
- Serve with steamed veggies and brown rice for a deliciously filling meal.
Week 2: Tilapia
Tilapia is an excellent option for those who don’t care for fishy flavors. With a delicate texture and mild, sweet taste, tilapia is a versatile fish you can bake, pan-fry or grill. Because you can layer in flavors, you can use tilapia to experience a Mexican-inspired meal one night and a Southern-inspired meal the next.
Recipe: Tilapia Tacos with Mango Salsa
Tilapia is great for fish tacos, so sink your teeth into this:
- Season tilapia with chili powder, cumin and salt.
- Grill or pan-fry until texture is charred and flaky.
- Set on plate to cool
- Warm and char your tortillas by placing them on the grill or using a burner on the stove.
- Make salsa by adding diced mango, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro and a dash of lime juice to a bowl.
- Slice the tilapia and fill your tacos with fish and mango salsa.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro.
Week 3: Ahi Tuna
Tuna is slightly sweet with a rich flavor, but it won’t overpower the other ingredients in your meal. Because you can eat tuna raw, it is the perfect choice for a poke bowl. A poke bowl is a traditional Hawaiian dish consisting of raw fish served over rice and topped with vegetables. The great thing about poke bowls is that you can customize the flavors to your liking. From spicy to savory, you can make this bowl with your favorite ingredients.
Recipe: Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl
High in protein and healthy fats, a poke bowl is a flavorful, filling option for your Friday feast:
- Cook your white or brown rice following package instructions.
- As your rice cooks, dice your tuna into cubes.
- Prep veggies by slicing and chopping them into bite-sized pieces. Get creative and use any vegetables you want, including carrots, cucumber, avocado, edamame, radishes and zucchini.
- Assemble poke bowl by starting with rice, then add fish and top with vegetables.
- Drizzle your favorite sauce, such as soy sauce or spicy mayo.
- Garnish with sesame seeds, sliced green onions, ginger or fresh herbs.
Week 4: Lobster Tail
Who doesn’t love lobster? Lobster tails may taste premium, but they don’t cost a claw and a leg. Lobster meat is succulent and savory, with a buttery texture that melts in your mouth. Its mouthwatering flavor is sure to become a favorite you can make again and again, even after Lent!
Recipe: Cold Water Lobster Tails:
Get crackin’ on a delicious lobster tail feast with these simple steps:
- Using scissors, cut shell to tail to expose meat, but do not cut tail.
- Split the shell open, pulling out lobster meat to expose it to the broiler.
- With your lobster tail ready to go, prepare the buttery sauce. Whisk together melted butter, garlic, lemon juice and smoked paprika. If you want a spicy kick, add a dash of cayenne.
- Brush your lobster tails with butter.
- Place under broiler, about 1 minute per ounce of meat.
- Remove from oven and garnish with fresh parsley.
Week 5: Swordfish
If you want fish with a texture more like beef and pork, look no further than swordfish! Swordfish is meaty and versatile enough to grill, pan-fry or roast. Like your favorite steak cut, adding more flavor with simple seasonings is easy. With swordfish, you also enjoy many of the same nutritional benefits as salmon and tuna. It’s a good source of protein, omega-3s and vitamin D.
Recipe: Grilled Swordfish with Vegetables
Fire up the grill for this amazing swordfish meal:
- Chop vegetables like zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers and onion and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Brush the swordfish with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a dash of lemon juice.
- Place fish and veggies on grill.
- Sear the fish for a few minutes per side until meat is nicely charred and flaky. Remove from heat and let rest.
- Grill vegetables until soft and charred, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy!
Week 6: Trout
Rainbow trout is a freshwater fish found in lakes and rivers across North America. Compared to saltwater fish, freshwater fish have a neutral flavor with less brininess. If you enjoy a more delicate, mild fish flavor with deep complexity, trout almondine is for you.
Recipe: Trout Almondine
Trout almondine is a classic French dish that pairs the natural nuttiness of rainbow trout with toasted almonds and brown butter, and here is how it’s done:
- In a bowl, mix your dredge. Combine flour, salt and pepper.
- Dredge trout fillets, shaking off excess as necessary.
- Toast almonds in large skillet until lightly browned.
- In the same skillet, melt butter, then put the trout skin-side down and sear for only a few minutes.
- Remove trout from skillet and transfer to a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle toasted almonds over trout.
- Place trout in the oven and bake until fish is flaky and thoroughly cooked.
- Garnish with fresh parsley, serve with a lemon wedge and chow down!
Reel in more flavor when you explore new seafood dishes this Lenten season.
Lent is here, and as usual, seafood is on the menu. But you don’t have to sacrifice flavor or variety. Seafood is one of the best and most abundant sources of protein, and with so many ways to prepare and season fish, you can try new and delicious flavors every Friday all Lent long!