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Our Favorite Holiday Seafood Traditions

WRITTEN BY: Team Australis

For us, holiday traditions involve counting down the days until we can dive into delectable foods that no Christmas-Hanukkah-New Year’s season is complete without.

And we do so gathered around a table with the people we love best in this world.

Because Australis is indeed a seafood company, we have more than a few seafood enthusiasts in the mix. Check out what some of our team members are cooking up this holiday season.

Holiday Seafood Traditions - Oysters

“My family is from Shanghai, China where seafood reigns supreme during all times of the year. I remember growing up eating lots of delicious steamed whole fish, braised shellfish and cuttlefish around Christmas and New Year’s. Everyone had their favorites, and I was well known for my odd love of fish heads (it’s all about the eyeballs if you really wanted to know) and these teeny tiny clams that are no bigger than pumpkin seeds.

Nowadays, I celebrate new traditions with my husband and friends in New York City. Oysters are in their prime during the winter, so my favorite thing to do is to order a box of 100 for Christmas and serve them with champagne. As you can imagine, we get a lot of party invites. Then on New Year’s Day, we trek across New York City on an all-day oyster crawl.”

Julie Qiu, Marketing Director
Must cook this year: Cioppino with Barramundi

. . .

“Growing up in the historic seaport of Salem, Massachusetts, our family always managed to incorporate seafood into every single holiday. The traditional salmon on the Fourth of July, beautiful plump shrimp with cocktail sauce at Christmas, or pickled herring for Thanksgiving. However, the most anticipated and always-requested favorite at any occasion was my mom’s stuffed mushrooms with crab leg stuffing. Every time my mom would go to a party she would put together the savory morsels of crab, sautéed veggies, and toasted cracker into each mushroom cup. My brother and I would fight over any unused stuffing left in the pan—weird as it is having children fighting over mushrooms!”

Rachael Dube, Field Sales Administrator
My son’s favorite: Slow Roasted Barramundi
“In my family, Christmas Eve is for seafood, while Christmas Day is for beef, and is typically celebrated as follows.

. . .

“In my family, Christmas Eve is for seafood, while Christmas Day is for beef, and is typically celebrated as follows.

For the early courses:

  • A tasting of at least three different type of oysters, usually from the areas around Cape Cod (there always have to have one from Brewster as that’s where my family has a summer cottage). My older brother, Rick, is the chief shucker for this course.
  • A small cup of homemade clam chowder with dashes of white wine and hot sauce, and seasoned with dill
  • Clams Casino using Applewood smoked bacon from New Hampshire
  • Crab and artichoke dip using Maryland crabs

For dinner:

  • Baked stuffed shrimp using my mother’s stuffing recipe
    Pan seared sea scallops drizzled with a simple lemon caper butter and wine sauce
  • And New Year’s Eve is all about the Maine lobster. Steamed with hot drawn and slightly-salted butter, and steamers with Portuguese chouriço in the broth.

Bill Shea, Vice President of Sales
This year, we’re going to add: Panko Crusted Barramundi with Sweet Potato Fries

. . .

When you’re Italian, live on the coast, and half of your family is in the fishing business, seafood on Christmas Eve is essential. Every year we have a seafood spread in which everyone contributes.

My grandfather was famous for his fishcakes and baked stuffed shrimp. There’s also baked stuffed clams and baked stuffed scallops, which means there’s lots of garlic, breadcrumbs, olive oil, and herbs around. Clams Casino, fried flounder, and smelt are always on the menu plus the infamous “pulpo” octopus salad piled high with garlic, lemon, and parsley.

Depending on the year and who comes, there can also be crab cakes and calamari in addition to homemade pizzas, baked pastas, and tons of hors d’oeuvres.

Nicole Gaffney, Corporate Chef
I’m going to try and sneak in: Barramundi Gratin

Do you have any holiday traditions that involve seafood? If so, share them in the comments below! We’re always looking for new ways to enjoy seafood.

Download our free holiday recipe e-book: 12 Festive & Flavorful Barramundi Fish Recipes for the Holidays