The health benefits of seafood have been drummed into us for years, but it has become increasingly clear that Australians don’t eat enough of it. While the Australian Dietary Guidelines and Heart Foundation advise eating two fish-based meals per week, according to the last National Dietary Survey, only one in four Australians reported eating fish at least once a week.
If you’re focusing on having a balanced diet in 2022, increasing your seafood intake is a must for the uptake of nutrients like lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, iodine, iron, and magnesium… just to name a few!
If you’ve got a busy lifestyle, or aren’t such a whiz in the kitchen, it can seem intimidating to squeeze a seafood dinner in twice a week… But don’t worry, we are here to help! Here are some super easy ways to add more seafood into your diet this year.
Level Up a Basic Fillet
Cooking fish fillets is just as easy as cooking your classic meat-and-three-veg, and there are so many options to choose from.
Your local supermarket will likely have a pretty well-stocked seafood counter, but if you can get down to a Harris Farm or to Sydney Fish Market, you’re really in business. Regardless of where you’re sourcing your fish, make sure you are buying Australian – this is one of the best ways to ensure that what you’re eating is fresh, high quality, and responsibly sourced.
In Summer, we recommend going for Snapper, Atlantic Salmon, Flathead, or Barramundi if you have a limited selection, and branching out to some Dory, Whiting, or Perch if your fishmonger has a bit more variety in stock!
Some of our favourite easy weeknight fillet recipes are:
Barbecued Silver Perch Fillets with Eggplant & Tomato Salsa
Flathead Fillets with Roasted Baby Beetroots & Walnuts
Toss Seafood into Pasta or Salads
We can almost guarantee that you already have a pasta or a salad in your weeknight meal rotation, and it’s so easy to add seafood into dishes like this! Plus, pasta and salads lend themselves really well to being both a dinner and the next day’s lunch, as long as you store them in an airtight container in the coldest part of your fridge.
Get some cooked prawns (pre-peeled are fine if you’re short on time), some high-quality Australian crab meat, some smoked salmon or trout, or cook and flake a fish fillet, and you’ve got an easy protein addition that will take any basic pasta or salad dish to the next level.
Try these recipes as a starting point:
Bonito, White Bean & Tomato Salad with Caper Mayonnaise
Prawn Salad with Chilli, Cucumber & Watercress
Frozen Seafood is not the Enemy!
While fresh is always best when it comes to seafood, purchasing it frozen should not be sneered at, as long as it’s Australian-produced and packaged. If having a packet of crab meat, prawns, or fillet portions in the freezer helps you add just one extra portion of fishy nutrition per week, it’s 100% worth it in our book. The same concept applies to tinned seafood as well.
The one thing we would discourage is purchasing frozen seafood that has been extensively processed (we’re looking at you, fish fingers!). Seafood dishes should always be kept as simple as possible, and additional crumbing and seasoning will only take away from the final product. You can create something much more delicious with some nice butter, fresh herbs, and veggies.
These recipes would work just as well with frozen seafood as with fresh:
Fettuccine with Balmain Bugs
Prawn Fried Rice
Simple and Superb Stir-Fries
Most seafood species suit stir-frying in some capacity – the key is to add your chosen seafood last, as it will take only a few minutes to cook on a high heat. Stir-fries are great for using up leftover vegetables in your fridge, as a good sauce and a flash in the pan will bring everything together.
One variety of seafood that people often don’t realise they can stir-fry is bivalves, like pipis and clams. These species provide a lot of protein and nutrients despite their small size, cook quickly, and soak up flavours very well. Stir-fries are also a great way to use frozen prawns, if you’ve got a packet hiding away.
Try one of these recipes on a busy weeknight:
Stir-fried Pipis with Tomato Chilli Sauce
Stir-Fried Prawns with Red Capsicum & Broccolini