Beyond Tuna Salad, Canned Fish Is a Dinnertime Savior

Food & Wine


April 28, 2020

Cooking with canned seafood isn't a compromise—it's a shortcut to flavor
Antara Sinha

When pickings at the fishmonger are looking sparse, you’re looking for a more sustainable seafood alternative, or you’re leaning on your pantry staples and canned goods a little heavier these days, canned seafood can be a tasty, simple, and flavor-packed ingredient to turn to. From subtly dialing up umami flavors in effortless pasta dishes, to being the star of the show in recipes like Crispy Octopus with Potatoes and Smoked Oyster Empanadas, both high-quality oil-packed specialty seafood and humble supermarket shelf staples are reliable, versatile, and delicious.

The best places to stock up: If your local supermarket doesn’t have the selection you’re searching for, online stores are a reliable source to turn to. La Tienda has a large selection of specialty canned seafood. Caputo’s and Tin Can Fish also have a wide array of quality canned seafood that ships nationwide. And if you’ve cooked through these recipes and are still hungry for more canned seafood cooking inspiration, Tin Can Magic by Jessica Dennison and The Tinned Fish Cookbook by Bart van Olphen have simple, tasty recipes that celebrate and elevate the humble canned fish from an overlooked back-of-the-pantry ingredient to one that deserves center stage.

A Shortcut to a Spanish-Style Dinner
While octopus may be an intimidating ingredient, using high-quality canned octopus makes it simple and approachable. You can skip the braising and get straight to perfectly tender (not rubbery!) octopus for this quick, delicious dish. Simple ingredients—just a spritz of lemon juice, parsley, and paprika—let canned octopus shine. We recommend Ramon Pena brand canned octopus.

Get the Recipe: Crispy Octopus and Potatoes

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