Cooking Guide

What's so hard cooking seafood? Nothing--- except maybe, narrowing down all the preparation options. All you need to know are basic cooking techniques and a couple of tips to ensure your success with them. The standard rule of seafood cookery is 10 minutes per inch of thickness. But this varies, depending on the density of the flesh, whether it's being cooked frozen or stuffed, etc. You'll know it's done when the meat is opaque all the way through and flakes easily with a fork. Also to insure even cooking turn under thin ends of fillets so the flesh is uniformly thick. Those simple pointers and the advice below are all you need to know to cook seafood like a pro. Be sure to share this information with your customers.


What to use: All types of fish, lean and oily: fillets steaks, roasts, whole dressed fish. If wrapped in foil shellfish can also be baked.

What to do: Drizzle lean fish with butter or oil. Add cooking liquid like a white wine with herbs to keep fish moist. Season as desired and cover. Bake in preheated 350 to 425-degree F. oven.


What to use: Fish fillets or steaks 1 inch thick or split whole fish, higher-fat fish like salmon or sea bass works best, as it remains more moist. Shellfish options include shrimp, peeled or not: shucked scallops, even oysters, clams and mussels, stuffed or on the half-shell.

What to do: Lean fish and all shellfish should be marinated first and/or basted during broiling. At the very least, lightly oil the seafood first. Preheat broiler, and broil fish or shellfish with the rack 4 inches from top heat element. Turn fish halfway through cooking. Add fresh herbs toward end of cooking so they won't burn.


What to use: Lean fish (fillets, portions, strips nuggets, even whole dressed fish); Shucked shrimp, scallops, clams, squid rings.

What to do: Use a good-quality vegetable oil and keep it at 375 degrees F. Depth of oil in pan should be at least 2 inches. Use a crumb or batter coating on the seafood to be fried. Fry in batches to keep temperature of oil from dropping (this is critical in preventing seafood from absorbing the cooking oil). Turn pieces occasionally and cook until golden brown. Fried seafood should be crisp on the outside, moist and tender on the inside. Drain on a paper towel.


What to use: Oily meaty fish like tuna, swordfish and salmon are ideal. Use steak and fillets, at least ½ inch thick, or whole dressed fish. Skin-on fillets work nicely, as they hold together well. Grill large shell-on shellfish or shucked shellfish on skewers.

What to do: Marinate or season seafood as desired. Drain marinate seafood well before grilling, reserving marinade for basting. Oil grill surface well to prevent sticking. Grill top side down first; turn, baste and finish cooking with skin-side down. Lay skewered shellfish directly on grill. Baste often while cooking.


What to use: Lean fish--- fillets steaks or whole fish especially benefit from this moist cooking technique. Avoid poaching oily dark-meated fish like mackerel or tuna. Salmon is exception here.

What to do: Select a cooking liquid--- water, broth, wine, milk, etc. and season to taste. Use a big enough pan and enough liquid to cover the fish. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and add seafood. Simmer, cover, until done. Use remaining liquid to make a sauce.


What to use: Small whole, pan-dressed fish, like trout; thin, skinned fillets, like flounder; thin steaks. Shellfish: shrimp, peeled or not; softshell crabs; shucked scallops; squid. Oily fish like mackerel or salmon don't lend themselves to this technique.

What to do: Sauteing is essentially frying, but in a small amount of fat. If desired, first dredge seafood in seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Melt enough butter or margarine to just cover the bottom of a pan (adding some olive oil will prevent butter from burning). Heat fat over moderate high heat. Add seafood and sear, then lower to finish cooking. Turn so seafood browns evenly.


What to use: All lean fish : fillets, steaks, small whole fish. All shellfish, oily fish do not benefit from steaming.

What to do: Steaming is done in a tightly covered container in which seafood is placed on a rack--- with or without a bed of vegetables--- over boiling water or other liquid. In case of clams and mussels, the shellfish are placed directly into a small amount of liquid in a covered pan and cooked at high heat until they open. Steaming is recommended over boiling for lobsters, since they don't become waterlogged.

Basic Guidelines for Cooking Steaks

  • Prepare the cooking surface so that it is hot:
  • Broil, Pan Fry, Grill or Bake
  • Remove the Steaks from the freezer and place them directly on the cooking surface-except for the Bacon Wrap Fillets- partially thaw in refrigerator before placing them on the cooking surface.
  • Seal in the Flavor - Cook the steak on one side for 2-3 minutes. Then flip the steak over for an additional 2- 3 minutes
  • Cook to desired doneness.
  • Rare, Medium Rare, Medium, Medium Well, or Well

Basic Guidelines for Cooking Seafood


Can be roasted, grilled, broiled, sautéed, poached, steamed or blackened.

  • Grill: Cook for 7-9 minutes. Turn once.
  • Bake: Bake at 375 F for 15 to 20 minutes from thawed. (Thaw in refrigerator)
  • Broil: Broil 2 to 3 minutes on each side from thawed.
  • Pan Fry: Fry for approximately 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.


Can be fried, sautéed, grilled or added to sauces and/or stews.

  • Bake: Bake at 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes from thawed. (Thaw in refrigerator)
  • Broil: Broil 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pan Fry/Sautee: Fry or sauté for approximately 3 to 4 minutes stirring occasionally. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.


DO NOT COOK. Place in strainer and defrost in refrigerator.

SPEED METHOD: Run cool water over shrimp 2- 4 minutes before refrigeration.


Can be fried, sautéed, grilled, or blackened.

  • Bake: Bake at 375 F for 15 to 20 minutes from thawed. (Thaw in refrigerator)
  • Broil: Broil 2 to 3 minutes on each side from thawed.
  • Pan fry: Fry for approximately 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.


Can be boiled, poached, sautéed, stir fried, baked or grilled

Boil: Bring water to a boil, (can be boiled in either fresh or saltwater), then place frozen lobster in the water. Bring the water and lobster to a second boil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.


Can be baked, broiled, grilled, pan fry/sautéed or blackened

  • Bake: Bake at 375 F for 15 to 20 minutes from thawed. (Thaw in refrigerator.)
  • Broil: Broil 2 to 3 minutes on each side from thawed.
  • Pan Fry: Fry for approximately 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.


Tastes great when grilled or blackened.

It is also very popular stir-fried, sauteed or baked.

Taste is better when cooked medium rare.

Grill 5-7 minutes on each side; Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Crab Cakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Take from freezer to oven
  • Cook for 10 to 15 minutes and enjoy.

Basic Guidelines for Cooking Chicken

Plain and Marinated boneless, skinless chicken breast

  • Preparation: *NOTE* chicken breast can go directly from the freezer to the cooking surface.
  • Conventional Oven: Bake 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees from thawed. Turn Once.
  • Convection Oven: Bake 10 to 12 minutes on a rack at 350 degrees from thawed.
  • Grill: Cook each side 6 to 8 minutes from thawed.
  • Microwave: * NOTE* Do not remove from packaging. Only puncture the package to vent prior to mircowaving. For 1 breast fillet: Cook on high 6 to 7 minutes from frozen or 3 to 4 minutes' form thawed

Please note: All appliances vary adjust accordingly. - Cook until Done*

Breaded Chicken Tenders

  • Conventional Oven: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. From Frozen, remove from packaging and place on a cookie sheet. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Turn once
  • Deep Fry: Cook 4 to 5 minutes. Turn Once
  • Pan Fry: Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Turn Once

Breaded Chicken Cordon Bleu

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. From frozen, remove from packaging and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. *NOTE*- Desired internal temperature of the cordon bleu is 160 degrees.

Basic Guidelines for Cooking Pork

Boneless Pork Chops (Stuffed and plain)

Bake: thaw pork chops in the refrigerator. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the pork chops from the packaging and place on cooking sheeting. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 60 to 80 minutes or until done.

NOTE- Internal temperature for the stuffed pork chops is 160 F.

Marinated Pork Cutlets

Bake: Thaw pork chops in the refrigerator. Pre-heated oven to 350 degrees. Remove the pork chops from the packaging and place on cooking sheet. Bake in pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until done. Turn Once.

Pork Spare Ribs

Grill: Boil ribs for 15 - 20 minutes then glaze with your favorite sauce and place on grill. Cook until done. * Ribs can go straight from the freezer to the grill.

Sweet Italian Sausage

  • Bake: Bake at 375 F for 15 to 20 minutes from thawed. (Thaw in refrigerator.)
  • Pan Fry: Fry for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Grill: Remove from packaging, place on grill and remove when done.