Safe Sustainable Seafood

January 30, 2009

Mark Boughton Photography / styling: Teresa Blackburn

To help you choose the “healthiest fish in the sea,” chefs, pediatricians and sustainable food experts have collaborated on a program called KidSafe Seafood ( The program assesses 65 of the most commonly eaten seafoods and ranks them based on safety (lack of contaminants such as mercury and PCBs), nutrition and environmental friendliness. Their top picks are, luckily, some of kids’ favorites—wild Alaskan salmon (preferably pink, Coho or chum), tilapia (preferably U.S. or Central American), shrimp (preferably Northern U.S. and Canadian), farmed bay scallops, farmed blue mussels and farmed U.S. crayfish.

But just as many kids (and their parents) have adopted a vegetarian eating style due to animal-rights concerns, some shy away from seafood due to concerns over habitat damage, overfishing and bycatch issues. The Monterey Bay Aquarium takes the concerns seriously, and on the organization’s website (, you’ll find not only in-depth discussions of coastal and ocean habitats but also a guide that presents the best choices of seafood from abalone to yellowtail.

Take a look at the guide, and then try our sensational seafood recipes.


Spiced Grilled Salmon

Sugar and spice, and a clean wooden plank for grilling the salmon.


Simple Salmon Supper with Roasted Cauliflower

Pureed roasted cauliflower stands in for mashed potatoes.

Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Fish Tacos

Hot beer-batter fried fish is cooled by crisp cabbage and a creamy cilantro-spiked sauce.

red snapper

Red Snapper and Mango Ceviche

Fresh fish combines with fruit, vegetables and bold seasonings.


Salmon in Parchment Paper

Fresh salmon, arugula and herbed cheese make a delicate, flavorful dinner.


Sicilian Tilapia

Mild white fish fillets on a bed of caponata.

crab cake

Lump Crab Cakes

Everyone will love these succulent crab cakes.

Beer-Boiled Shrimp Cocktail

Beer-Boiled Shrimp Cocktail

Beer for the shrimp and chili-flavored cocktail sauce amp up this version of the classic appetizer.


Bay Scallop Saute

A super-simple dish that lets the scallop flavor shine through.



A classic Italian fresh seafood stew to warm up a chill night.

Curried Plank-Grilled Salmon

The curry-seasoned marinade and refreshing cucumber-mango relish give grilled fish a decidedly international flair.

Spicy Thai Basil and Lime Marinated Jumbo Shrimp

Unforgettable Thai flavors for grilled shrimp.

Gulf Ceviche with Tequila and Lime

Ceviche is sublime party food and a light, fresh-tasting seafood appetizer.

Grilled Grouper with Strawberry-Lime Relish

The sweet fruit relish brings out the natural sweetness in the meat of the grilled fish itself.

Crunchy Oven-Baked Fish Sticks

Fried fish flavor without the frying!


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