It’s no secret that we love seafood, for many reasons. One of our favorite things about seafood is the fact that it’s incredibly versatile and pairs perfectly with so many seasonings and flavors. Tender proteins like fish benefit from marinades because seasonings help bring out the delicious natural flavors of the protein and also keep it from drying out. The best part is, it doesn’t take long for fish to be infused with flavor!
Take advantage of seafood’s versatility by pairing it with fruit, vegetables, spices and herbs, which are bursting with flavor and nutrients. Fruit and vegetables provide ample amounts of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and antioxidants. Herbs and spices contain beneficial phytochemicals that help to reduce inflammation. Use any or all of these in seafood marinades and sauces to boost flavor and nutrients.
Juices from lemons, limes and oranges are often used in seafood marinades, with good reason. The acid in citric juices help to denature—or break down—the protein in seafood, which causes little holes in the meat to help marinade infuse the fish or shellfish. Word of caution: The acid can actually start to “cook” the seafood. So, you only need to marinade seafood briefly and certainly limit to 30-45 minutes max.
We’ve put together a list of five different marinades for your fish. Whether you prefer a smidgen of sweetness, a tangy zest or a kick of heat, all these healthy marinades will take your recipe to the next level. It’s time to hit the spice rack and jazz up your fish dish a little more than usual tonight!
Lemon, Olive Oil and Herbs – You can’t go wrong with a simple citrus and herb marinade. This blend brightens up any fish dish and is perfect for summertime. Pro tip: Avoid leaving strong, citrus-based marinades on fish for more than 30 minutes, or the acid in the marinade will start to cook the fish on its own.
- Combine ½ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and fresh herbs (to your liking) to marinate four 6-ounce fillets of fish.
Orange Honey and Ginger – Equal parts sweet and zesty, this marinade will spice things up.
- Combine ½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 minced garlic clove and 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger to marinate four 6-ounce fillets of fish.
Sesame Blend – Looking for some Asian flavor? Try this sesame blend on a nice fillet of salmon.
- Combine 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
Chili and Lime – Add a burst of heat and flavor to your fillet with this spicy and tropical marinade.
- Combine ½ teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon chili flakes, fresh coriander leaves (finely chopped), ½ cup fresh lime juice, salt and pepper.
Balsamic, Dill and Mustard – This sweet and tangy combo is a refreshing addition to any type of fish!
- Combine 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, ½ teaspoon whole-grain mustard, 1 clove minced garlic, and fresh dill leaves, finely chopped.