Seafood Skewers & Marinades
If you happen to be a regular fan of our postings, you may have noticed a trend that occurs around this time of year… My grilling senses become activated.
If I could, I would be cooking outdoors all-the-time! Alas, the great Mid-Atlantic loves it’s diverse weather and seasonal changes…so, I find myself cramming in every last bit of grill time during the deep toast of summer. *I’ve also started to channel my father, with a semi-absurd diligence over the thermostat, and find that firing up all the appliances in the kitchen just makes the household a muggy hot mess of uncomfortable.
So… We grill!
Seafood on sticks! Everyone loves stuff on sticks! And, in this feature, we’re gettin’ skewered.
We’ll tackle the all the grilled seafood skewered topics, from…
- What’s the best seafood to cook a la skewer?
- What type of skewer should I use?
- What marinades work best for seafood kebabs?
- And much more…
Best Seafood for Grilled Skewers
The best seafood for grilling ‘kebab-style’ is what I like to call, the forgivable seafood. These are cuts or crustaceans that are a little more on the firmer side, helping us reduce the risk of overcooking, flaking or crumbling.
Bamboo v. Metal
I don’t know if I’d call this much of a debate, the bamboo skewers versus the metal reusable skewers…it’s more of a preference and whether or not you want to add in an additional step to your skewer prep.
Bamboo skewers work well, but require some diligent soaking before grilling. At least 1 hour before the seafood hits the grill, these sticks need to be soaked in water. If not, they will burn and char.
Metal skewers alleviate the need for soaking, clean up easily and are ready for your next kebab session (when the skewer spirit moves you). I personally prefer the metal skewers, if I can reduce as many steps as possible (keeping me from my grill), I typically take it.
Add-ons we Love
Yes! Let’s add some supporting actors to these delicious grilled seafood skewers…
We love all the veggies; mushrooms, onions, peppers, squash, zucchini and tomatoes. Even sausages add a nice little skewered surf & turf feel.
*Additional skewered goods actually serve another purpose (besides rounding out the meal and adding flavor) to our kebab-ing…moisture. As these bits grill, they release steam, keeping their skewered seafood neighbors from drying out~win win!
We must marinate! Marinating your skewers is not just a good source of introduced flavor, it’s vital for even cooking (transference of heat) and maintaining moisture.
Here are some of our favorite marinade combinations…
Classic Seafood Marinade -Olive Oil, Seafood Seasoning (like Old Bay), Lemon, Garlic and Beer.
Asian Seafood Marinade -Sesame Oil, Ginger, Garlic, Soy Sauce and Sriracha (or another Asian-style hot sauce)
Tex-Mex Seafood Marinade -Olive Oil, Garlic, Lime, Cumin and Hot Sauce
The ratio is typically 3:1 oil to acid (citrus juice, beer, soy sauce, etc…), for a marinade. And, 1 pound (lb.) of seafood usually requires about 1 cup of marinade. So, that would work out to be 3/4 cup oil to 1/4 cup acid.
How long should I marinate my seafood?
Seafood is a bit magical when it comes to marinading, requiring less time than it’s other protein counterparts. That’s due to seafood just being more tender than steaks, chops and cutlets. Less of a barrier to penetrate.
Under an hour is the skewering ‘ marinade sweet spot’ for seafood. Anything more might overpower the flavor of the seafood itself, or the acids in the marinade might begin to break down the proteins in the seafood, making it mushy or tough.
How should I marinate? Skewered or Un-skewered?
My rule of thumb is to marinate ‘un-skewered’. That way all the bits and pieces have access to the marinade, getting equally seasoned. Once it’s marinated, then we skewer.
Time to get Skewered!
Do you have a favorite grilled seafood skewer recipe, tip or trick? We’d love to see it!!! Feel free to share it with us! We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to cook our seafood. Post your images or recipes on any of our social pages. We can be found @cameronsseafoodonline on Instagram or @CameronsSeafood on Facebook.
Need help in sourcing your seafood? We have you covered! All the seafood listed in this article is available online and direct shipped right to your door! Click this link to check out our selections.
About the author
Patterson Watkins is a professional chef with over 17 years of experience. With a robust career in restaurants, contract dining and catering (including 4 Summer Olympic posts preparing food for the athletes!) Patterson joined the Cameron’s Seafood team at the end of 2018 to concoct some delicious recipes with our premium seafood items as the centerpiece.