Wraps and Rolls: How to Use Your Seafood as the Ultimate Protein Filling


Cooking + Recipes

Getting Creative with Your Seafood Structure

Enjoying wild-caught seafood in a wrap or a roll is a way to load up your fork-free meal with healthy, substantial protein, adaptable to a variety of flavors and mix of ingredients. 

Whether you’re partial to lettuce, nori, tortillas, or rice paper when bundling up your meals, we’ve got you covered with lots of wrap and roll inspo. 

Rockin’ Rolls 

From sushi rolls to summer rolls, wild-caught seafood is an optimal filling of choice. It’s meaty enough to be substantial but light enough to complement what you’re going for when you are craving an Asian-inspired roll recipe.

Even if you’re a fan of raw maki rolls, making these grilled salmon rolls from Serious Eats is equally satisfying. The charred flavor of grilled salmon balances nicely with fresh shiso leaves. But if you can’t get your hands on shiso, use a fresh herb like basil instead; the two herbs are definitely not similar in flavor, but you’ll get a comparable burst of floral, herbaceous notes wrapped in with your roll. 

Saveur’s recipe for a maki roll is a bit more elaborate, filled with shiitakes, blanched carrots, a Japanese-style egg omelette, and halibut that has been gently simmered in sake. If you have access to a good Japanese grocery store, you can also add in strips of a dried gourd called kampyo — but if you can’t find them anywhere, just add in strips of something else delicious and crunchy like cucumber.

Our recipe for steamed spot prawn summer rolls, also inspired by the simplicity and freshness of Vietnamese cuisine, requires minimal cooking. If you’ve never made summer rolls before, there’s a small learning curve — but it’s intuitive. Once you make a few rolls, you’ll easily figure out what the perfect texture is for your rice noodles and wrappers. To keep this recipe in your rotation any night of the week, you can use any steamed fish, or even leftover flaked fish, instead of spot prawns.

Get Your Greens

Sometimes, the idea of pairing wild-caught seafood with salad greens sounds a little uninspiring. For times like these, try adding wraps into your recipe rotation to keep things interesting while still getting your fix of fresh greens.

If you have a bounty of herbs taking up space in your refrigerator, windowsill, or garden, they’re a great ingredient to use for a really simple Vietnamese-inspired sockeye lettuce wrap like this one from Edible Alaska. Using tender herbs like mint, cilantro, and basil will add tons of flavor and refreshing texture to complement the crisp lettuce and quick-pickled carrots used in this wrap — and all you have to do is layer them in with your seafood, making this a meal that anyone can assemble. Serve the lettuce wraps with a dip of your choice, perhaps a satay sauce, pesto, or even ranch dressing. 

Mark Hyman’s health-conscious recipe integrates poached salmon into a flavorful and colorful mix of capers, bell peppers, onions, and a bit of jalapeno, creating a mayo-free seafood salad. Serve in a lettuce wrap with a few slices of avocado and plenty of cilantro for extra richness and texture.

If kale caesars are your thing, you will love this salmon and kale caesar wrap from The Kitchn. While the wrap itself is a flour tortilla, the filling is chock full of salad greens. Make sure you swap out the recipe’s canned salmon for flaked, cooked salmon, as it’ll lend the caesar filling a much meatier texture; feel free to use leftover salmon, if you like.

Wraps for Unfussy Meals Al Fresco

The grill can transform wild-caught seafood into a perfectly edible but messy meal, when you’re not careful. If your seafood has gotten mangled by grill grates, wraps can come to the rescue, helping you to salvage the meal by repackaging your protein in a tidy parcel. Plus, as an added advantage, serving grilled seafood in a wrap when you’re cooking and dining al fresco means that you can leave your set of cutlery in the kitchen.

This recipe from Que Rica Vida marinates halibut fillets in an olive oil-lemon juice, serving the grilled fish in flour tortilla wraps with ripe avocado, a semi-homemade jalapeno hummus, and a handful of greens. It’s a simple, straightforward combination of healthy and satisfying ingredients that is easy to pull together. You can swap out the halibut with cod or rockfish — but if you’re using rockfish, we recommend grilling it in a grill basket, as it’s particularly delicate.

If you want to grill up something exquisite, check out this recipe from Food & Wine which bastes luscious fillets of sablefish in a savory marinade of chipotle, honey and miso, serving the richly dressed fish in a fresh lettuce wrap with easy pickled cucumbers.

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