If I had to use one word to describe the new superpower I now lean on most to keep my household in some semblance of order since becoming a mom, it would have to be efficiency: the not-so-subtle art of maximizing time while juggling life in the three-ring circus that includes all things baby, work and home. As such, I’m learning that the secret to masterful efficiency starts with preparedness; in order to truly be a ninja-like wrangler of time, one must begin by being one very important thing — ready. As I see it, to be ready is to be poised for success, and that’s as true in your kitchen as it is in your life.
It’s one thing to have a freezer consistently packed with individually wrapped portions of seafood ready to go, but to really nail the art of being ready for maximum efficiency, I’ve got to make sure my home pantry game is always on point, too. My go-to ingredients need to be available and accessible at all times, so that the act of whipping up a tasty, nutrient-dense dinner is easier than cracking an egg.
And due to the great quality of wild Alaskan seafood, sometimes the simplest ingredients or side dishes are all that’s needed to help this delectable protein shine.
With that, here’s what you’ll always find in my seafood pantry:
- Condiments — Accoutrements like tartar sauce for fried cod, miso paste and mirin to use as marinade on a sablefish broil, mayo for fish salads and ketchup for fish fingers, to name a few.
- Herbs —Think greenery such as dill, aka salmon’s verdant bestie and cilantro, which is delicious as a topper on my Caribbean fish stew.
- Oils & Fats — From olive, coconut and vegetable oil to good old fashioned butter, and my personal favorite, ghee, a nice range of fats is always key.
- Texturizers — These are your trusted crusting agents, which give your fillets that crispy awesomeness. Items such as almond flour, panko breadcrumbs, shredded coconut, chopped nuts and even crushed cornflakes can be used.
- Liquids — Coconut milk, for example, is key for poaching in my book, and seafood stock is clutch for stews and soups if you’re after that deep umami flavor.
- Spices — With a solid range of spices, you’re always able to give your meals more global flavors, which helps to mitigate what I call boring-weeknight-dinner fatigue.
- Dried goods — Dried mushrooms, for example, are game-changers when you’re after a sophisticated flavor profile; while pantry staples such as rice, barley, farro, quinoa and orzo are perfect comfort carbs to have on hand. Also, I’ve never met a pasta I didn’t like, especially when it’s the bed upon which a nice fillet of something wild sits.
- Tortillas — In our house, no one ever says no to fish tacos.
- Wine — Because wine not? :)
So, there you have it. An e-fish-ient seafood pantry list that’ll make your kitchen feel like the readiest place on earth.
Live wild...but keep it practical,
Pictured above: A few of my faves, from left to right: Ghormeh Sabzi dried herb mix, shredded coconut, ghee, farro, black sesame seeds, high quality olive oil, miso, barley, quinoa and coconut milk.