Posted by Melanie Trainor
Americans have developed a taste for unique, ocean-inspired meals that break away from the typical fish sticks and fillets. The expansion of public appetites and more readily available seafood options has encouraged chefs to get creative and bring more excitement to the table.
Below are dishes and ingredients you can expect to see on coastal menus.
Popular in Japanese culture, seaweed has made its way onto the American culinary landscape, in large part because of its incredible nutritional value. It has been trending in kale and seaweed salads, dried and seasoned to consume as chips, and utilized as a healthy alternative to make wraps.
Often considered to be the finest cut on a fatty, cold-water fish, the belly meat is a prized ingredient used in sushi restaurants. The raw belly of a tuna, known as Toro, is often used because of its soft and silky texture, seen as the laziest muscle in the fish anatomy. Chefs are now experimenting with other fish bellies to create new dishes to please their patrons.
In recent quests for unusual seafood, restaurateurs have been testing recipes with these elongated shellfish. The narrow littlenecks have found a niche in gastropubs because they can be personalized with complex sauces and toppings like bacon, garlic and chilis that appeal to a variety of diners.
Due to the rapid warming of the oceans, some of the staple fish have been jeopardized. Since the decrease in what seemed to an endless supply of affordable, tasty cod; tilapia has stepped in and replaced the go-to white fish. With this occurring throughout the industry, there is a search for more underutilized fish such as dogfish, pollock and amberjack. Many aspects about the seafood industry are changing for the best, making it an exciting time for culinary trailblazers to expand their horizons!