Refined and delicious seafood appetizers
In cooking just few raw materials are more versatile than fish and we of Pescaria know it well. In this article we want to give you some advice on how to prepare seafood appetizers, perfect for Christmas and New Year’s dinner. First of all, let’s debunk a myth: cooking fish is not always difficult.
We will give you advice on fish pairing, delicious recipes for quick fish appetizers, but pay attention to the fact that also a simple salmon or tuna carpaccio can be refined when dressed with a particular and unusual sauce. Preparation time? Few minutes.
We asked our chef Lucio Mele recipes for delicious fish appetizers, from fish croutons to peppered mussels, and fried codfish to carpaccio. Quick, uncooked and cooked, organized in base of the type of dinner (great also if you are organizing a fish appetizer dinner party for many people).
How to choose sustainable fish for your seafood appetizers
Before you start cooking, make sure that you are buying good fish. Whether you choose an open-sea product, frozen or farmed, always try to opt for sustainable fish. If it is not possible to choose seasonal fish, opt for sustainable aquaculture fish, that is green certified farmed fish. We of Pescaria, for example, work everyday to ensure greater sustainability of the seafood supply chain and reduce our own environmental impact.
The United Nations has estimated that between now and 2030, demand for seafood products will rise to 40 million tons every year.
This is why relying on captured fish is not sustainable, farmed bream, shrimps, salmon and muscles will exceed those caught by 2030. According to the FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, sustainable aquaculture is fundamental for the future of the planet, because it represents the only way to contrast the overfishing and the depletion of the seas, as well as to cut the harmful emissions from the fishing vessels.
The solution, of course, is not to give up on fish but to choose sustainable caught fish products to preserve fish resources: buying sustainable fish for your appetizers is necessary.
To do this, select green and sustainable certified raw materials (we have them on the menù at Pescaria and also at the fish market in Polignano of our founder and fish trader Bartolo L’abbate). In addition, we have joined the sustainable program and buy only certified fish.
Quick fish appetizers to prepare
To prepare a refined dinner, fish hors d'oeuvres are a perfect choice in terms of ease of execution, cooking time and breadth of combinations. If you have invited many friends over but you have underestimated your engagements and you do not know where to start from to organize a dinner with quick fish appetizers do not worry: here you find a list of quick fish appetizers, from fish croutons to seafood friselle, with a few fish recipe ideas featuring marinated anchovies
Croutons with anchovies and butter
Slice some bread, lightly grill them, spread some good salted butter and garnish each slice with some anchovies in oil. Faster than this there is only delivery from Pescaria.
Seafood frisella with tuna or salmon
A must have aperitif made in Pescaria that becomes a fast fish appetizer with guaranteed success. We pair them like this: tuna tartare with basil pesto, tomatoes and burrata.
Or you can try frisella with salmon tartare, fried zucchini (cut into rounds), fior di latte and sun-dried tomatoes.
Quick fish appetizer with marinated anchovies
A dish of fresh marinated anchovies in the center of the table is a good idea of a quick fish appetizer. You can buy them ready-made or try to marinate them yourself (you only need to buy fresh anchovies from the fish market, clean and filet them, and place them in a bowl for at least 5 hours with the previously made marinade. Here are some ideas on how to marinate anchovies: orange juice, ginger extract and lime. If you decide to marinate the anchovies in a traditional way you will need to mince parsley, oil, garlic and lemon using a blender.
Impepata di cozze (peppered mussels)
To prepare an impepata di cozze is not at all difficult, a fish appetizer that is simple, convenient and quick, that needs a few minutes to cook. If you have already bought cleaned mussels, put them in a hot spacious pot with some ground pepper and minced parsley for about 5-7 minutes, mixing from time to time till the shells are opened. Dress with some oil and serve with some lemon. There are many ways to prepare an impepata di cozze, the most bold is to prepare it by deglazing with good white wine, or try it with lemon juice (you can follow the same procedure as said before but adding lemon juice in the pot when it’s half way through the cooking).
Cold and uncooked appetizers: recipes by Lucio Mele
Many guests, a not very functional kitchen for à la minute express service, or simply no desire to get tangled up with pots and pans and grills: make room for cold and uncooked fish appetizers that can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge. Here we give you some author’s advice: two recipes for cold and uncooked appetizers by Lucio Mele, chef of Pescaria.
Pepper tuna carpaccio with persimmon-apple salad, friggitelli and cacioricotta cheese.
Lucio Mele recommends this delicious fish appetizer especially during the autumn, buy ready tuna carpaccio from the fish market and dress with a persimmon-apple salad (cut into thin slices), friggitelli (previously sauteed in a pan with some oil and water for about 10 minutes) and cacioricotta cheese flakes. Season all with oil and salt.
Amberjack Carpaccio with artichokes salad and pecorino cheese flakes
Amberjack is a very nutritious and versatile fish. Lucio Mele recommends to prepare the amberjack with a simple cold but gourmet seafood appetizer: buy some amberjack filet (you can find already marinated or get some fresh to be marinated afterward with some lemon juice and grapefruit), and spread them on a large plate with artichoke salad (clean the artichokes, divide them into small equal parts and slice them, then place them in a bowl with acidulated water, drain them, dress with lemon juice and oil, season with pecorino cheese flakes.
You did not find what you were looking for? Here are some other recipes for quick, cold and uncooked seafood appetizers:
Prawns on ice, mozzarella cheese and capocollo (cold cut)
Cold fish appetizer with prawns on ice: take the boiled prawns and cool them immediately into a bowl with water and ice to give them a crispy texture, serve with sliced mozzarella cheese and some capocollo (cold cut) that will give flavor to the dish.
Venus rice and shrimp salad
Looking for a cold fish appetizer to keep in the fridge? Here is an idea, venus rice and shrimp salad, dressed with seasonal vegetables of your choice and mint. A light and tasty fish appetizer.
Fried fish appetizers
Fried food is the queen of the appetizers, also for fried fish. There is little that you can do about it, embracing breadcrumbs or crispy batters (why not paired with home-made sauces) are the very essence of goodness as appetizers or starters of the menu. Here a list of fried fish hor d'oeuvres:
Mussels, queen of salty flavor, shelled mussels, battered and fried so well that every bite will be irresistible. Fried mussels are a delicious and captivating fish appetizer, at Pescaria you can always find them on the menu and we recommend you try them if you haven’t done it yet.
If you have the possibility to fry at home, preparing fried mussels, a typical Pugliese appetizer for a fish based dinner will be very simple, rinse the mussels thoroughly and put them in a big pot and let them cook till they open. Prepare the batter mixing flour, eggs, minced parsley and garlic, salt, pepper and some sparkling water. Remove the mussels from its shell and dip them into the batter to then fry them in a frying pan with heated oil. As soon as they are browned (it will take little time) take them out of the oil and lay them in a bowl with some absorbing paper. Serve them as if they were chips, soon you will know why.
Fried battered cod
At Pescaria we serve fried cod fish paired to sgagliozze, typical traditional pieces of fried polenta of Bari. If you want to prepare fried cod fish at home, no worries: it is a quick fish appetizer (ready in 10 minutes), you only need some patience with the frying. Get yourself some soaked and di-salted cod fish, some frying oil and batter previously prepared (with cold sparkling water). We cut the cod fish in dice, dip them in the batter and we fry them for at least 5 minutes (till they become browned).
Raw seafood, the uncooked fish appetizer
Good raw fish must be of high quality, no compromises. If you are planning on offering your guests some raw seafood, look for a trusted and competent supplier.
Oysters, Tagliatella di seppia (squid cut like tagliatella), sea nuts, allievi (baby squids), mussels, scampi (shlobster/shrimp-lobster), all served just with some lemon! Keep in mind that the counter of Pescaria is supplied with all kinds of shellfish and seafood.
Fish appetizer for many people, ideas and recipes by Lucio Mele
Dinner with family and friends or a special occasion? Preparing the menu and choosing the right dishes for every one can be difficult, when we have many guests. Here are two ideas of fish appetizers for many people, personally designed by Lucio Mele, (Chef of Pescaria!). To go without fail:
- Fish carpaccio or grilled octopus or fish tartare or seared prawn with cooked must and pepper: very simple, versatile, choose the fish you prefer and flavor it with cooked must and pepper;
- Swordfish bombette (rolls) stuffed with scamorza cheese, caponata (eggplant salad) or an eggplant compote: we call them bombette because they remind us of famous meat rolls in Puglia. We serve them with swordfish stuffed with scamorza cheese, paired to a vegetable caponata. You can find them ready-made or prepare them as follows: cut in half the slices of swordfish and cut into dices the scamorza cheese. Stuff the rolls with the smoked scamorza cheese and roll the swordfish, then close with a toothpick. Brush the rolls with oil and breadcrumbs, put in a pan with some hot oil and cook with a few laurel leaves and a pinch of salt. Serve with a vegetable or eggplant caponata.
Smoked salmon appetizer
Always present in our cuisine, loved by the most, chef Lucio Mele recommends two quick smoked salmon appetizers:
- Smoked salmon with fennel salad, oranges, black olives and basil; to prepare in little time, as a simple salad. for the dressing, use what you prefer (oil, vinegar, salt, oregano) or orange juice;
- Salmon carpaccio with mustard and honey, black pepper, kale; it's a smoked salmon appetizer really quick to prepare. Prepare the salmon carpaccio and pair it to a mustard and honey sauce, flavor with black pepper and serve it with kale leaves lightly sauteed with oil and chili pepper.
Seafood dinner from appetizers to main courses, inspire yourself by the menu of Pescaria or order a delivery!
If we have made you curious, you have to take a look at Pescaria's menu, the first quality fast food fish restaurant in Italy. We started in Puglia and today we are present in Milan, Rome, Bologna, Verona, Padua, Trento, Trani, Naples, Polignano a Mare. Come visit us in one of our locations, order a take away or you can order your delivery with Glovo!