Our 12 Favorite Seafood Appetizers

Seafood Appetizers hold such a unique charm because of their versatility both in the kitchen and as a symbol in themselves. They can be served any way from fresh and light to fried and rich. They can inspire a romantic dinner or evoke a memorable tropical vacation. Whatever your occasion, there’s nothing like kicking things off with a seafood dish, and that’s why we’ve put together a list of our favorite Seafood Appetizers. Enjoy!

Classy Seafood Appetizers

Whether you’re looking for an aphrodisiac or just something fancy af, these Oysters Rockefeller are one of the most classic seafood appetizers of all time. Delicate, succulent oysters topped with a buttery, garlicky, cheesy panko breading. Our version keeps true to the traditional version except for the addition of tarragon to brighten things up with a little anise note.

Seafood Appetizers You've Probably Never Had Before

How about serving up a seafood appetizer that most people haven’t tried before? Yeah, they might’ve had kani salad at a sushi bar, but have they had it in a mini baked wonton bowl topped with seaweed salad and wasabi pea dust? Probably not. Not only is this appetizer easy to make, but it also travels well—whether you decide to put the bites together completely or just bake the wontons and build the rest at the party.

Classic Seafood Appetizers with a Twist

Everybody loves fried shrimp. Even people with shellfish allergies. OK, maybe that’s a bit much, but really—with this recipe’s flaky coconut batter and curry lime dipping sauce—could you blame them? We love this dish because the coconut flavor is definitely present, but it’s not sweetly overwhelming like you might get at a chain restaurant. And the lime curry sauce is one of the best condiments we’ve ever made.

Seafood Appetizers for Two

We originally made this recipe for Valentine’s Day, because there’s something romantic about sharing a seafood dish, crabcakes are food from the gods, and Mexican street corn bridges that romance and holiness with a ZING. We like our crab cakes with as little binder as possible, because—duh—let the delicate, succulent crab meat shine. And shine it does, even with the bold flavors brought by the street corn.

Healthy Seafood Appetizers

Whoever said fresh and healthy means no flavor must’ve never tasted our Vietnamese Style Shrimp Spring Rolls. Shrimp, garlic, ginger, cucumber, red bell pepper, mint, basil, and sweet chili sauce all rolled up in rice paper wrappers—these alone bring your palate alive. But once you dip them in our peanut sauce, you’ll lose your mind. In a good way.

Fusion Seafood Appetizers

These Ahi Tuna Nachos use a Mexican vehicle to carry all the Hibachi flavors you love—seared ahi tuna steak, soy sauce, wasabi aioli, avocado, shredded cabbage, Sriracha, cilantro, scallions, sesame seeds, and sliced jalapeños. We could eat these every day for the rest of our lives and never feel an ounce of shame lol.

Romantic Seafood Appetizers

There’s something about sitting close to bae and scarfing 100 clams together—setting each bite on a piece of bread then soaking it in a buttery broth. That’s marriage material. The clams we mean. We’re not giving you relationship advice beyond saying you’ll love each other a little more if you take the time to enjoy these Steamed Clams together.

Latino Seafood Appetizers

Our Hangry Shrimp Avocado Salad is pretty much ceviche for people who don’t like ceviche (the raw seafood part). It’s also an homage to the first time we ever went to Limones, our favorite restaurant in Western NC.

Italian Fusion Seafood Appetizers

These Crispy Risotto Cakes with Whipped Ricotta take the Crispy Rice Sushi fad and hijack it with some Dolce Vita. Rich but bright, creamy, and spicy, this app takes a shrimp risotto entrée and shoves it all into a handheld.

Southern US Seafood Appetizers

These Southern Oysters on the Half Shell were inspired by Covey, a restaurant in Wilmington, NC. It’s their take on Oysters Rockefeller that they call Roc-A-Fella (ya’ll). Swap out the traditional spinach for creamed collards and an already rich dish is now doing an ad for Tiffany diamonds with Basquiat paintings in the background.

Japanese Seafood Appetizers

These Poke Rice Paper Chips taste like an American who’s never been to Hawaii showed up on the Big Island and demanded nachos, but everybody was like “Brah, you’re on vacation in paradise. Why you asking for nachos?” So they fried up some rice paper chips then threw some poke on top with wasabi mayo and a little furikake .

Date Night Seafood Appetizers

Treat yourself to these Italian Mussels in Tomato Broth for your next summer date night. Just stay in. De-beard some mussels. Then throw ’em in a pot with some marinara-ish-ness. There’s nothing like having a couple bevvies with some conversation over mussels and bread.