- Posted February 17, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Photo essays: Your stories in pictures
Inexpensive Seafood Recipes
Inexpensive food doesn’t necessarily mean cheap food connoting something poor quality. In restaurant marketing, it is better for customer acceptance to call inexpensively priced menu offerings as “best-value” or “value meals”.
Getting any ingredient, including seafood, at lower prices doesn’t mean compromises are made, unless of course substandard items are purchased. It can actually improve profitability if a restaurant is able to lower costs by developing a relationship with its suppliers; buying ingredients in bulk; and sourcing during peak season.
For simple household food preparation, getting the most from your money enables you to use the dollars and cents saved for other important things. Ask any mother who has a limited budget and you’ll appreciate even more the effort she takes to serve a good meal.
Making simple ingredient substitutions can save you money while still pleasing your family’s cravings for a delicious seafood meal. Use smaller shrimps instead of big ones when you’ll be chopping them up in the recipe. Instead of buying fresh crabs and getting a small amount of meat, buy frozen and combine with an extenders like breadcrumbs and minced vegetables. Some varieties of fish and seafood are simply more expensive than others depending on where they come from. Experiment with more affordable ingredients and play around with their flavor profiles and complement them with herbs and spices.
When buying any kind of food, it is interesting to note that prices vary significantly depending on how close you get in from the source. For instance, Norwegian salmon can be bought for next to nothing if you happen to live by the waters where they are caught … in Norway. It then gets progressively more expensive as it gets passed on from person to person, company to company, country to country. From the fisherman to the broker who deals with it and passes it on to the processing plant which smokes, cans or freezes it. From there, exporting companies ship the processed salmon across the ocean to countries which import it. From there it gets passed from the importer to the distributor or retailer to the supermarket then finally to the consumer. The travel time alone and the number of companies, volume of paperwork and legalities is enough to multiply the actual price many times over.
With this in mind, the simplest tip for prepare the most inexpensive (not to mention freshest) seafood dish is to buy what is caught or cultivated in your country. Do note that there are seafood items that are expensive even if you get them where it originates: Beluga caviar from Iran, barramundi from Australia and lobster. It just gets even more expensive elsewhere in the world.