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Marinades

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Red Chili and Basil Marinade

This tasty marinade features hot chili and basil as its main aromatic flavors, along with garlic and lemon juice. The result is perfect for marinating shrimp or you could use it on squid or another kind of seafood. Feel free to swap the red chili for prepared mustard if you prefer, for a different kind of spicy taste, or to change the amount you use. Some people like their food much spicier than others.

Tips for Perfect Marinated Kabobs

We recommend using shrimp with this marinade, just because the natural sweetness of shrimp pairs so well with the spicy taste of this marinade. The easiest way to cook them is to thread the shrimp on to skewers and then cook them on a hot grill.

You can prepare the grill while the shrimp are marinating, because half an hour is sufficient for marinating else the lemon juice in the marinade will start to ‘cook’ the shrimp and that is not what we are doing here. You could also try this marinade with clams, mussels or another type of shellfish, because it will bring out the beauty of any sort of seafood.

If you are going to make kabobs, then soak bamboo skewers in cold water for half an hour while the grill is heating up and the shrimp are marinating. Of course if you are using metal skewers there is no soaking required. The marinade may be discarded but if any pieces of chili or basil stick to the shrimp, that is fine, since it will just add splashes of color. You might also want to keep some minced chili and/or minced basil for garnish.

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Zesty Sweet Lemongrass Marinade

This Vietnamese marinade features lemongrass, as well as lime, for a citrusy taste. You will need to combine the ingredients in a food processor or, if you do not have one, you can use a mortar and pestle to grind the ingredients together by hand. Whichever you use, just make sure everything is well combined, so you can get all the flavors into your seafood.

This marinade is great for shrimp, squid, mussels or clams, or mixed seafood. Because of the versatile flavor, you could also use it on poultry or fish. A lot of Asian marinades combine a number of ingredients to yield a complex flavor, while many Western ones use perhaps 3 or 4 ingredients only, for a simpler flavor. This is not always the case of course, but it often is. Take a look at the ingredients in this marinade recipe. As well as the lemongrass and lime, you will see fish sauce, garlic and shallots, along with hot sauce and minced fresh chili pepper.

Now just imagine what a tasty and piquant flavor your seafood is going to take on after soaking in this marinade. Whichever kind of seafood you use, whether you go with shrimp or choose something else, you can be assured of an incredible flavor. What about threading the marinated shrimp on to skewers and grilling them to make kabobs? You can serve these with white rice and perhaps also some stir-fried bok choi or similar Asian greens.

If you are not keen on spicy flavors, or you just want to make it milder, feel free to use less minced chili, omit the hot sauce, or doing both of those things. You can even leave it out altogether but using a tiny bit of chili is better than using none, just so you can experience the appeal of this authentic Vietnamese marinade. Continue reading

Gorgeous Greek Marinade for Octopus

A lot of people enjoy the texture of octopus (as long as it has been cooked properly of course, and is not tough or rubbery!) and the flavor too, but avoid it in the grocery store because they are unsure about how to prepare and cook it. This is a shame because homemade octopus recipes can be really nice.

You can use fresh or thawed octopus in this recipe. If it has not been cleaned already, you will need to remove and discard the ink sac, eyes and stomach, under running water, and then snip off the beak. All of these parts are in the head, and the beak is at the bottom of the head where it meets the tentacles. Alternatively buy a frozen uncooked octopus which has already been cleaned, because then there is no preparation to do except to thaw it out.

Octopus is popular in Greece and all around the Mediterranean coast actually, where it can be served as an appetizer or entrée. This marinated octopus recipe is really tender and you can make it ahead, as much as 2 or 3 days ahead if you want. Bear in mind it will lose quite a bit of its volume while it cooks, so you will end up with a smaller looking octopus than you began with.

What makes the following recipe so good is its simplicity. All you need is extra-virgin olive oil, wine vinegar and oregano. Because there are so few ingredients, the flavor of each one will stand out in the finished dish, so ensure you use a high quality extra-virgin olive oil and wine vinegar, and try to get ground Greek oregano if you can find it, for an authentic Greek flavor in the finished dish. Continue reading

Lemon and Garlic Marinade

Lemon and garlic are typical flavors in seafood marinade recipes, and you will often find herbs in there too. This is a fairly standard seafood marinade, but just because it is standard does not necessarily mean everyone knows how to make it. This recipe shows you how to add lovely fresh flavors to your mixed seafood (or fish if you prefer) to bring out its natural beauty and enhance the flavor, yielding great results.

Which Seafood to Use

The choice of seafood is up to you, but if you are looking for an easy dish to make, buy a package of frozen mixed seafood, so you get mussels, shrimp, scallops, and octopus in there, or similar ingredients, and then thaw and drain the seafood and toss it with this tasty marinade.

Once it has been sitting for half an hour you can cook it in a wok or even in a foil package on the grill. If you prefer to use a whole fresh squid, some clams or langoustines, any of those are sure to work nicely with this marinade, or you could even use it on fish steaks or filets. To make this easy marinade you just need to gather your ingredients and then whisk everything together until everything is well combined, and then it is time to add your seafood.

This marinade makes enough for about a pound of seafood but you can easily double or triple the recipe if you want to make a larger batch. Do not marinate it for longer than half an hour because of the lemon juice. This acidic ingredient will start to ‘cook’ the seafood if left on for too long, so make 30 minutes your maximum marinating time. Continue reading

Zesty Pinot Grigio Marinade

Pinot Grigio is the main ingredient in this marinade, and this Italian white wine is sure to infuse your fish with a fantastic flavor. Also known as Pinot Gris, this wine is dry and slightly fruity. You can use another kind of white wine if you prefer, even something drier like Sauvignon Blanc would work, since the marinade also features honey and orange juice which are sweet ingredients.

What Fish to Use?

This is a versatile marinade and you can try it with cod, salmon, tilapia, orange roughy, halibut, hake, pollock, or pretty much any other kind, choosing from fish filets or steaks. This kind of marinade will be good with any of these, or consider shrimp or another kind of white fish. It would even work with chicken since that is light and neutral-tasting as well. The recipe makes enough for about 1½ pounds of fish but of course you may double or triple it if you are feeding a crowd.

As well as the wine, orange juice and honey, this recipe calls for garlic which adds a subtle yet distinctive flavor, and you can also add some minced fresh chives if you like, although those are optional so do not worry if you do not have any. A splash of lemon juice is also nice but you can leave this out if you prefer a sweeter result. Minced basil would also work in this recipe so you can use that instead if you want, saving a couple of sprigs for the garnish. Use a non-reactive container for marinating, so either a Ziploc bag or a glass or Pyrex dish. Avoid metal which can react with the marinade ingredients and cause a strange flavor. Continue reading

Mediterranean Fish Marinade with Fresh Herbs

If you want to preserve the taste of your fish and not risk overpowering the special flavor with anything too strong, consider this Mediterranean fish marinade because it adds a subtle flavor to the fish which is really good. You can either use a tablespoon each of fresh herbs or swap them for a teaspoon each of dried herbs. Either would work, although using fresh herbs is better because you will get a fresher and more aromatic result.

What Else is in There?

As well as the herbs you will need olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, and some basil vinegar if you have it, or white wine vinegar if you do not. With marinades, you can often swap one kind of oil for another or one kind of vinegar for another, and it will make a minimal difference to the outcome of your fish. There is no reason to buy a large bottle of basil vinegar if you do not already have it, just to use ¼ cup of it in this recipe.

This marinade is good to use with 2 pounds of fish filets, so perhaps tilapia, cod, orange roughy, or halibut would fit the bill and make a nice dinner for the family. You can pan-fry or grill the fish after marinating it, as you prefer, and consider serving it with potatoes or rice, or maybe a baby leaf salad. Garnish the dish with some fresh basil if you like, since it is so prevalent in the recipe, or with another fresh herb. Continue reading

Amazing Barbeque Marinade

If you want to add plenty of flavor to your salmon filets, you must try this recipe. It is so good! Soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and lemon are used to add flavor to the fish, and the result is a lovely mix of sweetness and saltiness which works with the natural sweet flavor of salmon, yielding something which offers an incredible aroma and flavor. This is not especially sweet or especially spicy, but if you want to add some red chili flakes for a bit of kick, feel free, because it is your marinade after all, and you are the cook.

How to Use this Recipe

The recipe suggests that you apply the dry seasonings to the fish and then marinate it in the liquid ones, but if you are in a real rush, just put all the ingredients into a Ziploc bag and let the fish marinate in there. There result will be very similar. Grilling is usually the way to go if you want the very best results. Oil the grates and get the grill hot, then you can let any excess marinade drip off the fish and cook it for about 7 minutes on each side or until it is beginning to flake.

The salmon can also be threaded on to skewers if you prefer to cook it that way. You can serve it with mashed potatoes and broccoli or peas if you want a hot meal, or with potato salad or bread and some salad leaves if you prefer cold side dishes. Continue reading

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