Brush Mayo On Seafood Before Grilling For A Crispy Char

Mayonnaise is one of the most versatile ingredients. While it serves as the perfect addition to most sandwiches, it's so much more than just a condiment. It's an excellent homemade salad dressing base, it makes for a great binder when mixing foods together, and it also has the ability to help your food's exterior get the perfect crisp. Whether you're air frying some chicken thighs or plan to grill up seafood, if you're not brushing mayonnaise on the outside of your meat and fish, you're doing it wrong.

Cooking seafood like shrimp or fish in a little bit of oil will certainly help it get a good sear, but you also risk plenty of oil splashing off of the pan or grill and landing on other kitchen surfaces — or your skin. Mayonnaise will give that same effect but without the mess or the worry of burning your skin. And while butter is an option, too, mayonnaise is just so much easier to spread.

Mayonnaise is all you need for crispy seafood

Since mayonnaise is an emulsion, its oil and egg yolk work together to bind to the food but also react to heat in a way that doesn't differ too much from your food's reaction to deep frying oil. That's why you might brush your food with oil or an egg wash before baking it — with mayonnaise, you're essentially getting both. All you need is an extra thin layer, and not only will your seafood get nice and crispy, but it's also going to prevent it from sticking to a pan or your grill grates.

You won't have to worry about your fish getting stuck if you just make sure every part of it has a thin mayo coating. Mayonnaise is also high in fat, meaning it adds plenty of flavor just like butter would — but you skip the softening step since mayo is spreadable right out of the jar.

Mayonnaise can also add flavor to seafood

Though you only need a thin layer, blending the mayo with various herbs and spices can also add plenty of flavor to your seafood. If you're cooking shrimp, add some Old Bay to the mayonnaise, then spread it on each shrimp to infuse that Old Bay flavor while the shrimp cooks. In the case of salmon or cod, add a little lemon juice to the mayonnaise, as well as some sea salt and fresh parsley. The herbed mayo will easily coat the fish, giving it plenty of flavor while it grills. This blend will also work well for crab cakes.

Once you've brushed the seafood, mayonnaise has another use: It's a great base for any kind of dressing or dipping sauce. Make a dill mayo for your salmon using fresh dill, lemon juice, garlic powder, and sea salt; You can also make homemade tartar sauce for crab cakes or add a little chopped jalapeño and mayonnaise in a food processor for a subtly spicy dressing.