How to Make a Seacuterie Board.

For seafood enthusiasts and those looking to elevate their hosting game, the seacuterie board is a stunning and party pleasing option. Combining different seafood with a variety accompaniments like pickles, olives, seaweed salad, pickled onions, dips/sauces, plus cheese and crackers, will create an incredible spread and delicious seacuterie experience for you and your guests. In this post, I’ll walk you through the steps to create the perfect seacuterie board – and will show you some examples of seasonal or themed boards I have made over the years.

WHAT IS A SEACUTERIE BOARD?

A seacuterie board — aka seafood platter or seafood board or seafood tower — is a play on the traditional charcuterie board or cheese plate. Seacuterie boards showcase shellfish and/or fish (can be fresh/frozen/tinned/canned/dried and cooked/raw/smoked, etc.) in a visually stunning and delicious way. This seafood-centric platter is perfect for seafood enthusiasts and those looking to showcase an array of oceanic delights.

CREATING THE ULTIMATE SEACUTERIE BOARD

Here are some important things to remember when creating a seacuterie board:

Seafood Selection and Ingredients:

  • Keep your guests in mind. Do your guests all love raw seafood? Then you may want to offer a selection of raw shellfish. Or are some guests leery of raw seafood? Then make sure you have a couple of cooked or tinned options for them. If kids will be in the mix, make sure there are kid-friendly cooked seafood options on hand – such as shrimp or a warm crab dip.
  • What’s your budget? We know that seafood can be pricy, depending on what you are purchasing. So, determine the budget you want to spend on creating the seafood platter. You can easily create a board on a budget (by opting for more tinned options and using less expensive seafood items like mussels, oysters, shrimp, and clams), or you could go over the top with lobster, caviar, and beyond. That being said, there are ways to include pricier seafood options even on a budget (for example using lobster in these lobster bites, or making a crab dip)
  • Choose your seafood and theme. Do you want to feature tinned seafood, or perhaps raw seafood, or even grilled seafood? Or a combination thereof? I tend to like to do a combination or cooked and raw. Perhaps I would do a raw option (like oysters), a cooked option (like lobster meat) and a tinned option (like sardines in olive oil, smoked mussels, or canned smoked salmon) on a platter together. Providing a variety of options allows your guests to pick and choose what they’d like and makes sure there is something for everyone. If you live in a coastal area and have access to local seafood, try doing a local seafood platter. For example, we live in Maine, where oysters, mussels and lobster and plentiful – so creating a Maine seacuterie board for us is a no-brainer and a great way to showcase our local offerings, plus support our local fishermen. I provide a bunch of themed seacuterie boards towards the bottom of this post for inspiration.
  • Quality Matters. Opt for high-quality seafood to ensure the best taste and texture. Visit a trusted fishmonger or seafood market to source your ingredients – this is critical if you plan on serving any of the seafood raw, but it’s important across the board when sourcing your seafood. You want to know where your seafood is coming from and that the harvester and supplier has been following strict protocol for keeping the shellfish and fish cold and safe to eat.

Accompaniments – aim for a mix of textures and flavors to keep things interesting:

  • Dips and Sauces. Enhance the seafood experience with a variety of dips and sauces. Classic choices include cocktail sauce, melted butter, tartar sauce, lemon aioli, mignonettes, remoulade, chili crisp etc. Experiment with unique homemade sauces like a zesty lemon-dill yogurt or a semi-homemade cranberry cocktail sauce. Or serve a warm crab dip or smoked salmon dip, both favorites in our house.
  • Pickles and Olives. Introduce a burst of acidity and brininess with pickles, and olives. Cornichons, pickled onions, capers, and a mix of green and black olives add a delightful contrast to the seafood. There are even pickles made from kelp, which are SO good. Try them from Barnacle Foods.
  • Seaweed / Kelp and/or Vegetables. A staple on our seafood platter is at least one bowl of some type of seaweed salad – we love the Atlantic Sea Farms products, like seaweed salad, sea-chi (kimchi made with kelp) and more. They are packed with brininess and umami. And then, sometimes we add veggies onto the platters – especially in the spring and summer (think snap peas, farm fresh carrots, microgreens, asparagus, etc.)
  • Citrus. Having lemon or lime wedges or rings on your platter is essential. Citrus adds freshness, acidity and brightness – and pairs so perfectly with both fish and shellfish.
  • Cheeses. While the focus is on seafood, a few complementary cheeses can elevate the experience and provide options for those non-seafood lovers. Consider soft cheeses like brie or goat cheese, or Boursin, which is a favorite on our seafood platters, to balance the flavors.
  • Breads and Crackers. Provide a selection of crusty bread, artisanal crackers, or breadsticks to complement the seafood. Offer gluten-free options to be inclusive for those who have celiac disease, are intolerant or are avoiding gluten.

Presentation Tips:

  • Be Artful. Arrange the seafood and accompaniments in a visually appealing manner and one that makes sense (for example, place the melted butter near the lobster, the mignonette near the oysters, etc.). Use a large rectangular or circular wooden cutting board, a slate platter, or a large tray. Depending on what I am serving, I may add either pink Himalayan salt or crushed ice to the bottom of the tray, which adds interest – and, in the case of ice, keeps your seafood cold.
  • Add Garnishes. Sprinkle fresh herbs like dill, chives or parsley over the board for a pop of color and added freshness. Edible flowers can also enhance the visual appeal.
  • Serve with Style. Provide oyster shucking knives, small forks, seafood picks, toothpicks, spreading knives, and anything else guests would need to enjoy the seacuterie board. Consider placing small bowls for shells, toothpicks, trash, etc.

Food Safety:

  • Temperature Control. Keep cold foods cold (on ice preferably) and hot foods hot. Or, make sure the guests devour them quickly to avoid any food safety mishaps. Also, remember the 2 hour rule: throw away any perishable food that has been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If temps are above 90 degrees F, throw away food after 1 hour. And keep your seacuterie trays out of the sun.

THEMED SEACUTERIE BOARDS

Below are some seacuterie boards I have made over the years. Choose one to try next time you host seafood loving friends and family!

Cape and Islands Seacuterie Board 

This platter was developed for the Cape and Islands Magazine and features local oysters, a lobster avocado salad, tuna tartare, seaweed salad and pickled onions. This is one of my favorite seafood platters ever and is wonderful served in the summer months – especially beachside. An image of an oyster platter with lobster salad and tuna tartare

 

Spring Seacuterie Board

This board features a smoked salmon dip, crab stuffed deviled eggs, sardines in olive oil, tzatziki, capers, lots of veggies, mini bagels and lemon wedges.  This board is perfect for Easter celebrations, Mother’s Day or any springtime gathering.

An image of a colorful spring seacuterie board

 

Summer Seacuterie Board

This is a classic chilled summertime board with oysters on the half shell with mignonette, cooked shrimp with cocktail sauce, cooked lobster with melted butter, raw sea scallops, seaweed salad and lemon wedges.

An image of a summer seacuterie board

 

Red White and Blue Seacuterie Board

This is another classic summertime seacuterie board, perfect for the 4th of July, Memorial Day weekend or Labor Day. It features lobster meat and melted butter, shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon dip, cheese and crackers, olives and seaweed salad. 

An image of a red white and blue seacuterie board

 

Lobster BLT Seacuterie Board

This BLT board features fresh lobster meat, crispy bacon, garden fresh tomatoes, crispy lettuce, toasted bread, mayo and capers. This board is great for any summer soiree.

An overhead image of a lobster blt board

 

Fall Seacuterie Board

This fall-inspired board features sautéed shrimp, tuna jerky, smoked salmon, sea-chi (kimchi), garlic cheese spread, olives, capers and crackers. 

An image of a fall seacuterie board

 

Cranberry Seacuterie Board

This fall or holiday board is wonderful served during cranberry harvest season. It features oysters with a cranberry mignonette, shrimp with a cranberry cocktail sauce, sauteed scallops, Boursin cheese, crackers and olives. 

an image of a cranberry seacuterie board

 

Christmas Tree Seacuterie

Also a favorite board, this holiday seacuterie tree is full of lobster and butter, smoked salmon, shrimp and cocktail sauce, raw bay scallops (Nantucket) and oysters on the half shell. The tree is formed using sprigs of rosemary.

An overhead image of a Christmas tree seacuterie board

 

Seafood Wreath Seacuterie 

This holiday seacuterie wreath is so simple to pull together and features sauteed bay and sea scallops, cooked lobster meat and melted butter, cooked shrimp and cocktail sauce, and seaweed salad. The wreath’s shape is formed using rosemary sprigs.

An image of a seafood wreath

Creating a seacuterie board is a delightful way to celebrate shellfish and fish. With a carefully curated selection of seafood, accompaniments, and thoughtful presentation, you can impress your guests and elevate any gathering into a memorable culinary experience. Get creative, explore different flavors and textures, and enjoy the bounty that a seafood platter has to offer.

A pin for pinterest on how to make a seafood platter