The different types of seafood seasonings used to flavor fish, mussels, and shellfish are available in a variety of different forms. Spice mixes and single spices, including salt and pepper, are the most common and tend to be the easiest to come by. Herbs and sauces are also often used as seafood seasonings.
There is a multitude of spice mixes available as seafood seasonings. They often contain salt, pepper, and paprika. Dried dill, sugar, ground mustard, and garlic may be added in some cases. These types of seafood seasonings are often found with the rest of the spices in a grocery store or sold by local fresh fish dealers.
One of the most popular mixes is Old Bay® Seasoning, which includes bay leaves, cloves, mustard, cinnamon, and other spices. Lemon pepper seasoning, a mix of dried lemon peel and coarse ground pepper, is also popular in many parts of the world. Blackened Cajun seasoning is often used to provide a rich, deep color to seafood along with a spicy kick.
For more personalized seafood seasonings, single spices can often flavor fish, mussels, and shellfish. Cayenne pepper, either ground or whole, can be used for spicy seafood dishes, while sweet paprika can provide a deep red color and smoky sweet flavor. Curried fish dishes often include curry powder, cumin, and turmeric for flavor.
Several different herbs can be utilized as seafood seasonings and tend to work well with high quality, fresh fish and shellfish. Dill, parsley, and cilantro are often provide a bright, clean flavor to seafood and pair well with seafood dishes that include lemon or other citrus. Basil and oregano are often found in seafood pastas, especially in Italian cuisine.
Salt and pepper, two of the most common seasonings, are usually used when preparing seafood dishes. When added during the cooking process, salt helps to bring out the natural flavor of the fish and other seafood seasonings. The natural salt level of the fish will determine how much salt is included in the cooking process. When frying shrimp or other fish, salt is often used as a finishing seasoning when the food is still hot from the fryer. Pepper helps to balance out any sweetness in the seafood.
There are also many different types of liquid seafood seasonings. Lemon juice is usually an ingredient when cooking shellfish, especially shrimp, and can be added to a marinade during the cooking process or as a finishing touch. Hot sauce is commonly used with fried seafood dishes in either the batter or directly after the fish comes out of the fryer. In Asia, fish sauce is popular with simply cooked seafood as an easy, go-to seafood seasoning.