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What Are the Different Types of Seafood Appetizers?

Seafood appetizers tantalize the palate with a symphony of flavors from the ocean's bounty. From succulent shrimp cocktail to savory crab cakes and delicate ceviche, each dish offers a unique taste experience. Scallops wrapped in bacon add a smoky twist, while oysters Rockefeller provide a rich, luxurious bite. Ready to explore the sea's finest starters and find your favorite? Join us on this culinary voyage.
Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann

Seafood appetizers are a staple at many parties and holiday get-togethers. The choices of seafood to use as ingredients in appetizers are nearly endless, from clams and crabs to oysters. Seafood appetizers may be prepared with a variety of cooking methods, including baked, breaded or steamed. Some seafood appetizers can be pickled, and others are served raw.

Oysters offer a wealth of seafood appetizer possibilities. Oysters on the half shell, oysters wrapped in bacon and pickled oysters are some of the appetizer options. Oyster bruschetta features fresh oysters and is served on slices of French bread. Oysters casino is a baked dish featuring oysters, onions and red bell peppers.

Fried calamari.
Fried calamari.

Shrimp can be grilled, baked or steamed and served alone or in a cocktail sauce as seafood appetizers. Shrimp can also be paired with crab for a shrimp and crab cocktail. Shrimp also can be stuffed with clams and baked, and shrimp can be added to a salad and spooned into oyster shells. Shrimp spring rolls are similar to shrimp egg rolls, but they are not fried.

Salmon canapés with crème fraîche, caviar and dill.
Salmon canapés with crème fraîche, caviar and dill.

Smoked salmon is a versatile ingredient used when preparing seafood appetizers. Smoked salmon can be used to make smoked salmon tartare and served on crostini; pairing smoked salmon with goat cheese creates a strata. Smoked salmon in cucumber cups features hollowed-out cucumbers filled with a smoked salmon, sour cream and cilantro mixture.

Seafood appetizers will often incorporate crab meat. Hot crab appetizers combine cooked crab meat with mayonnaise and artichoke hearts and are served on baguette bread. Another crab appetizer served on baguettes is crab dip, which features crab meat mixed with cream cheese, sour cream and Parmesan cheese. A low-fat seafood appetizer is crab cakes with orange-dill sauce. The crab cakes are topped with the sauce and served cold. Other seafood appetizers featuring crab include snow peas stuffed with crab, truffle custards with crab and caviar, and baked deviled crab.

Crab cakes.
Crab cakes.

Herring and tuna are also main ingredients in many seafood appetizers. Ahi Tuna Poke is a Hawaiian dish featuring bite-sized pieces of tuna prepared with soy sauce and green onions. The prepared tuna pieces are individually wrapped in lettuce leaves, and the appetizers are eaten using chop sticks, fingers or a fork. Tuna mousse features canned oil-packed tuna blended with soy sauce, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar and served with crackers. Herring salad, which features wine-flavored herring pieces combined with chopped apples and chopped dill pickles, is served on rye bread.

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Discussion Comments

tigers88

My favorite seafood recipes tend to be appetizer food. I think that seafood makes such a great appetizer because it is light and it has a mild flavor that pairs well with many other things. This means that guests can get a bold tasting bite of food but not be filled up before eating a meal.

whiteplane

I got a cookbook of appetizer ideas recently and I am so excited to try some of the horderves recipes I am finding. Especially the one involving seafood. There is one for fried crab bites that looks incredible. There is also an Asian shrimp and and coconut shrimp recipe that I want to try.

The only problem is that seafood is expensive, especially when you start using crab and lobster. I would like to experiment with these recipes before I roll them out for a crowd but I don't have the funds to be buying crab twice a week.

Ivan83

I think that plain old shrimp with cocktail sauce is one of the best seafood appetizers of all time. Shrimp is delicious, there is almost no one that doesn't like it and it goes beautifully with a good tangy cocktail sauce.

A good seafood soup can also be a good appetizer. I went to a dinner party recently and the hostess served an amazing lobster bisque as the first course. It set the stage for an delicious meal.

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    • Fried calamari.
      Fried calamari.
    • Salmon canapés with crème fraîche, caviar and dill.
      Salmon canapés with crème fraîche, caviar and dill.
    • Crab cakes.
      By: blueee
      Crab cakes.
    • Oysters on the half shell are a popular seafood appetizer.
      By: M.studio
      Oysters on the half shell are a popular seafood appetizer.
    • Bacon is often included in seafood appetizers to enhance the flavor.
      By: sparkia
      Bacon is often included in seafood appetizers to enhance the flavor.
    • Shrimp can be served in a spring roll appetizer.
      By: Michael Gray
      Shrimp can be served in a spring roll appetizer.
    • Caviar is an ingredient in some seafood appetizers.
      By: darkbird
      Caviar is an ingredient in some seafood appetizers.
    • Oyster casino ingredients include oysters, onions and red bell peppers.
      By: Fanfo
      Oyster casino ingredients include oysters, onions and red bell peppers.
    • Crab cakes are a popular low-fat seafood appetizer.
      By: teleginatania
      Crab cakes are a popular low-fat seafood appetizer.
    • Some Hawaiian and Asian seafood appetizers feature seared ahi tuna.
      By: joesayhello
      Some Hawaiian and Asian seafood appetizers feature seared ahi tuna.
    • Caviar appetizer with crème fraîche and basil.
      By: Betty Abrantes
      Caviar appetizer with crème fraîche and basil.
    • Broiled, bacon-wrapped scallops.
      By: Matthew Antonino
      Broiled, bacon-wrapped scallops.
    • Steamed lobster and prawns served on a platter with lemon is a simple yet impressive seafood appetizer.
      By: vpardi
      Steamed lobster and prawns served on a platter with lemon is a simple yet impressive seafood appetizer.
    • Crab meat is a popular choice for a variety of hot and cold appetizers.
      By: Gordon Logue
      Crab meat is a popular choice for a variety of hot and cold appetizers.
    • Different types of seafood on the same plate can make for a delicious appetizer.
      By: Maksim Shebeko
      Different types of seafood on the same plate can make for a delicious appetizer.
    • Fresh spring rolls are often filled with shrimp and vegetables and then dipped in a sauce made with sweet chilies and fish sauce.
      By: gloszilla
      Fresh spring rolls are often filled with shrimp and vegetables and then dipped in a sauce made with sweet chilies and fish sauce.
    • Shrimp cocktails are popular seafood appetizers.
      By: klsbear
      Shrimp cocktails are popular seafood appetizers.