6 simple ideas for your next seafood meal

They’re effective, highly recommended, and delicious.

When you’re at the beach, at a seaside restaurant or a resort, you have to have seafood. It’s almost guaranteed to be fresh (or freshly caught), and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.

But what if you grew up or lived in a place where fresh seafood is always available and abundant? You would’ve been spoilt for choice.

“I may have a special favourite per location I’ve visited. I think this makes sense,” says Frederik Farina, the culinary director of Hyatt Regency Koh Samui in Thailand.

Frederik Farina
Frederik is serious about freshness

It does make sense, considering he’s been with Hyatt in Southeast Asia for 18 years now. And as a Sicilian, “I grew up where sea urchin, grouper and snapper were the delicacies – certainly unforgettable flavours from the Mediterranean Sea,” he adds.

Which probably explains why he’s partial to the sea urchin from that area. “While now commercialised in Japanese cuisine as uni, when coming from the North Pacific, the Mediterranean Sea urchin variety has another level of umami, sweetness and iodine.”

At Hyatt Regency Koh Samui, Frederik looks after SESUN, a beachside grill that serves fresh seafood and meats; Yangna, which offers Thai and international cuisines; and Oasis on the Rocks, a chef’s table for two with a choice of seafood, Thai and Mediterranean set menus.

SESUN Hyatt Regency Koh Samui
Some of the sights at SESUN

“The beauty of having lived a long time in this part of the world is I (get to) witness different cuisines, each of them with a different approach when dealing with seafood, the ingredients and cooking methods. Some are more predictable, others less conventional.”

Still, he sticks to what has worked for him, and what works best – with room for some experimentation. Need inspiration for your next seafood dish? Try Frederik’s tips and tricks. 👍

#1 How to serve sea urchin

“Pasta is the way to go – spaghetti or linguine – (with) white wine, olive oil and not much else, since the flavour comes so bold,” Frederik says.

#2 How to serve snapper or grouper

“Here in Koh Samui, I find (it) interesting (to see) some spotted snapper and a different kind of grouper when we talk about larger-sized fish to be grilled. But there are other varieties that simply require a dusting of semolina flour to become a superb and crispy Fritto Misto.”

#3 How to grill seafood

“I prefer to cook with non-direct heat, so eventually grilling (it) in a wrap or with a salt crust. It requires intense heat and a limited cooking time to avoid drying it too much. Cooking fish in a wrap helps to blend flavours considered more suitable, maintain moisture and enhance the delicacy.”

#4 What to add to seafood

“Fresh herbs work well – a good reason for us to grow a good selection on our grounds,” he says. (The resort has an organic garden.) “Besides herbs, I like to use citrus peel, white wine, rock salt and fresh chilli for acidity, flavour strength, and an additional kick to the overall experience respectively.”

seafood feast
The seasoning and sauces matter too

#5 The “true secret” to a good seafood dish

“Freshness. Then you can apply any technique – when properly related to the nature of the specific seafood, of course. Not all are good for grilling, stewing or frying. You need to know more about each species and how to elevate it while cooking it.”

#6 Must-try seafood dish at the resort

“I can tell you that our seafood paella has gained considerable interest within our returning guests, because it is an easy-to-share dish and comes with rich flavours from the seafood, saffron, lemon and chorizo.”

seafood paella

That doesn’t sound too complicated, does it? 😊 And with Frederik’s suggestions, you don’t even have to be anywhere near a beach to cook and/or eat seafood, and enjoy it.

(On second thought, maybe you can just order them all and save yourself the effort.)

Check out Hyatt Regency Koh Samui here and on Facebook and Instagram.

Hyatt Regency Koh Samui
Their view