Sure, Memorial Day may be a burgers and 'dogs kinda holiday, but that doesn't mean that seafood can't make a splash. Stock up on some fish-friendly wine or beer and throw some shrimp, whole fish, or even octopus on the grill—seafood makes an impressive main attraction that pairs beautifully with classic summery fare like corn, tomatoes, and other grilled vegetables. We've got 16 recipes to get you started,
Grilled Squid With Olive Oil and Lemon
For tender and smoky squid that isn't unforgivably chewy and tough, follow two key steps: dry your squid thoroughly, and cook it quickly over high heat. This will ensure that the squid browns but doesn't overcook. Finish it with a pour of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice for a quick, tender, fresh-tasting dish. One bite and you'll be transported to a beach in Portugal, drinking cold vinho verde from the bottle and spearing juicy grilled squid with your fork.
Bacon-Wrapped, Jalapeño and Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp
Slicing, stuffing, and wrapping these shrimp in bacon can be a little time-consuming, but the effort is definitely rewarded. The bacon crisps up and offers a smoky counterpoint to the heat of thin-sliced jalapeño and a cooling dab of Monterey Jack. The sweet, faintly briny shrimp makes the perfect vessel for the bold, flavor-packed appetizer.
Blackened Catfish with Creole Sauce
If you have some catfish skeptics in your midst, try serving them this blackened rendition. The rub, which chars over the heat, develops an intense combination of spicy, earthy, and herbal notes that certainly defines the dish, but doesn't fully cover the flavor of the catfish, creating a balance that even the fish-averse will enjoy.
Grilled Sardines with Lemon, Garlic, and Paprika
For a finger food that's good for you, sustainable, inexpensive, and tasty, grill up sardines. They have a rich, meaty flavor that tastes great when grilled. A marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and paprika adds brightness and accentuates the smokiness of the grill.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Mozzarella and Basil
Large shrimp, split at the base, are stuffed with a small slice of mozzarella and wrapped closed with a large basil leaf and a slice of prosciutto. Mozzarella adds a creamy, melty richness that's a great foil for the fresh basil, salty prosciutto, and tender shrimp. A final brushing with lemon butter gives the shrimp a brightness that rounds out the whole package.
Whole Grilled Fish With Olive-Tomato Compote
Grilling is an awesome way to cook a whole fish. The intense direct heat does wonders for the skin, crisping it up while the coals below impart a delicious flavor to the fish itself. Properly prepare the grill and grate by preheating, cleaning, and oiling to ensure the fish won't stick to it, and make sure your fish is dry, at room temperature, and oiled before grilling.
Grilled Lobster with Lemon-Shallot Butter
Lobster is easier to grill than you might think, and can be as simple as splitting the crustacean in half and grilling it over direct high heat. If there's a long lag time between when you buy the live lobsters and when you can grill them, steam them first in salt water and plunge them into ice water to set the meat. For the best texture, we cook the claws separately, ensuring that every part hits the right temperature and doesn't overcook. Once grilled, the meat is tender and sweet, and a brushing of lemon-shallot butter adds a nice brightness and richness that accentuates the lobster's natural flavor.
Grilled Garlic-Lime Shrimp
To add some Tex-Mex flair to shrimp, put together a marinade heavy on jalapeño, lime, and garlic, with a little chili powder thrown in for good measure and color. The shrimp soaks up the marinade for half an hour before it's quickly grilled over medium-high heat until just cooked through. The flavor combo is bright, but doesn't overpower the shrimp.
Simple Grilled Halibut
Fish is notoriously difficult to manage over a hot fire, easily sticking to the grates, flaking apart, or overcooking. At the same time, a perfectly grilled piece of seafood can be a glorious thing—light and fresh, relishing in its delicious simplicity. But worry not! Every backyard griller can get it right with a few easy pointers.
Planked Whitefish with Cilantro-Lime Butter
Grilling fish over cedar planks is a unique way to impart a smoky campfire flavor to your food. Any mild, flaky whitefish will do for this recipe—just pick whatever is freshest at the seafood counter. We cook it over indirect, medium heat, and slather on compound butter with cilantro, serrano chile, and lime at the end of cooking. The woody and buttery flavors are excellent additions that complement, rather than mask, the flavor of the fish.
Chili-Lime-Brandy Grilled Shrimp
Brandy-soaked shrimp are skewered brushed with a spicy, garlicky, citrus-spiked sauce as they grill. The result hits that classic Thai blend of salty, spicy, tart, and sweet. Try serving this with coconut rice (jasmine rice cooked in half coconut milk and half water instead of plain water) for a full meal.
Stuffed Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaf
This Vietnamese-inspired dish is an easy and aromatic way to cook fish. Two black sea bass are stuffed with lemongrass, cilantro, mint, ginger, and lime, then wrapped in a banana leaf and tied shut with butcher twine. The whole package grills for about 10 minutes on each side, allowing the fish to cook and the aromatics impart a faint flavor on the light, moist meat.
Grilled, Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Arugula and Red Onion Relish
Colombian aji picante, a lime-forward onion, cilantro and parsley relish, tastes good on most anything that's hot off the grill. Here it's the perfect foil for bacon-wrapped shrimp. We cook it just off of the direct heat to crisp the bacon without over-cooking the shrimp.
Grilled Scallops with Mint Pesto and Balsamic Syrup
Grilled scallops are topped with a complex twist on pesto using toasted almond and pungent mint leaves. It pairs wonderfully with the sweet scallops and is pretty easy to prepare. Serve it all on a bed of greens or cooked pasta, using the extra pesto to dress the salad or pasta. A drizzle of a balsamic syrup is the icing on the cake.
Grilled Fish in Parchment
So long sticking! Parchment pouches are an excellent way to grill fish without cooking the delicate meat directly on the grates. The main attraction, though, is the way you can build flavor. Cooked in parchment, the contents of the pouch are gently steamed, and the aroma and flavors given off by each ingredient permeates one another, ending with a meal that truly is the sum of its parts (and then some).
Italian-Style Grilled Octopus
If you throw raw octopus directly onto the grill, you'll wind up with something as chewy as bubble gum. But a braise in water and wine with lemon and two cloves of garlic works wonders, drawing out excess moisture and making it sufficiently tender for the grill. Serve it with lemon, olive oil, or a Mediterranean-style sauce of your choosing.
Shrimp Boil Skewers
Shrimp boil skewers look awesome, and bring the experience of a shrimp boil together onto one convenient stick. You season, skewer, and grill all of the standard shrimp boil components—shrimp, corn, andouille, and potatoes—and then assemble them into mixed skewers.