Top 10 Seafood Dishes around the World

lobster roll on slate surface

Seafood tastes and traditions vary across the globe, but there are many overlaps between countries. We count the top 10 seafood dishes around the world.

We’ve previously done a deep dive into America’s favorite seafood dishes, but several of America’s favorites also feature in the most popular seafood dishes across the world!

The Humble Lobster Roll

Like many of America’s great seafood dishes, the lobster roll originated in New England. It is extremely popular thanks, in part, to its mild lobster flavor. A lobster roll is sweet and subtle, so even those put off by a very “fishy” taste can still enjoy it. For an ingredient often considered a luxury, this dish also makes lobster more casual and accessible.

Like a lot of America’s favorite snacks, the lobster roll is also loaded with carbs. The lobster is grilled and placed in a hot dog bun — another U.S. favorite! When combined with salted butter and various toppings, the humble lobster roll is both sweet and savory, so it’s no surprise it’s one of the country’s — and the world’s — favorites.

Crab Cakes

Also commonly found in New England, crab cakes are highly popular in the U.S. Again, crab meat is a subtle and sweet flavor that most people find pleasant. Another stodgy, carb-loaded snack, crab cakes are relatively easy for any home cook to make. The crab meat is bound with bread crumbs or potato to give it its firm texture and mild flavor.

Fishcakes in general are extremely popular in the U.S., but this seafood dish is also a favorite in Thailand! Although the name is the same, the dishes themselves vary hugely. While American versions like Maryland fishcakes tend to be quite subtle in flavor and high in potato content, Thai fishcakes are more heavily spiced, and the absence of potatoes means the flavor is stronger. They are commonly dipped in soy sauce — the saltiness perfectly complements the fish flavor.

Fish and Chips

No list of popular seafood dishes would be complete without fish and chips! This English classic is the UK’s favorite dish, second only to a Sunday roast. It is a hearty dish of fried white fish, usually cod or haddock. While lots of fried fish dishes use bread crumbs, this fish is traditionally dipped in a light batter.

The fried fish is served alongside thick-cut french fries as standard, with a range of condiments like salt, vinegar, and tartar sauce. It’s also often served with hot sides or sauces, such as mushy peas or gravy.

Spaghetti Alle Vongole

Pasta and seafood is a classic combination, with many of Italy’s favorite dishes containing seafood. Spaghetti alle vongole is one of the most common seafood pasta recipes enjoyed both in Italy and America. It translates to spaghetti with clams and is typically served with clams in their shells or clams on the half shell.

The sauce is light but rich in flavor, combining the Italian favorites of garlic and olive oil. The sweetness of the clams is the ideal accompaniment for carb-rich spaghetti, while the juice enhances the sauce with its deep fishy flavor.

A Sushi Seafood Dish

A number of the most popular seafood dishes across the globe are variations of Japanese delicacy sushi. Sashimi has proven most popular, which translates to “pierced fish”. It describes a dish of bite-sized slices of raw fish.

Nigiri is also hugely popular, where finely sliced sashimi is placed on top of white rice. “Sushi” actually means sour rice, which is why most sushi dishes are served with this grain. The raw fish and seafood topping is often salmon, ahi tuna, or red shrimp, served with wasabi paste and soy sauce for dipping.

Steamed Greek Mussels

Mediterranean seafood is considered among the best in the world. While steamed mussels are not a seafood dish exclusively eaten in Greece, it is one of the most popular seafood recipes in the region. Greece is one of the main producers of Mediterranean mussels, known for their high meat content.

A lot of Greek food showcases fresh ingredients in big salads, so there’s little cooking involved. They waste no time in catching seafood and getting it on the plate, so a big bowl of steamed mussels is perfect for this style of cooking. Fresh bread is also often served, which is great for mopping up the juices from mussels and clams.

Creamy Seafood Bisque

Bisque is a thick, creamy soup that originated in France. It is a very versatile dish and has been customized in many different parts of the world, but the classic French version is the most popular.

This rich soup has a deep seafood taste, thanks to its base of strained shellfish. It uses a combination of crustaceans to layer flavors, including lobster, langoustine, crab, shrimp, and crayfish. Bisque actually means “crayfish soup”, but the recipe has evolved and is now most associated with fine dining as a lobster seafood dish.

Surf and Turf Seafood Recipes

Surf and turf describes any dish that combines meat and fish. The most popular version is filet mignon served with lobster, and this is often considered the “classic” or “original” surf and turf. The combination of flavors is key to great surf and turf — you want to pair a highly savory meat with a sweet seafood accompaniment.

Surf and turf is delicious and packs a protein punch. The contrast in textures also makes it an interesting and enjoyable seafood dish. Another popular recipe is steak and shrimp, although surf and turf has come to encompass a whole load of adventurous dishes! The “surf” element is any fish or seafood, which pairs with “turf” options like chicken, chorizo, or pancetta.

Peruvian Ceviche

In Peru, ceviche has been declared part of Peru’s national heritage and even has a holiday in its honor, so it’s no wonder Peruvian ceviche makes the list of top seafood dishes!

It is traditionally made with raw fish — usually mahi mahi, which has a dense, meaty texture. You can also find it made with halibut or flounder, as firmer fish holds up well during the mixing process. The fish is cured with fresh lime, which gives it a zingy citrus flavor, and onion, pepper, and seasoning are added. It is typically served alongside chips for dipping, but this ceviche would also make a great filling for fish tacos!

Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls

Vietnamese cuisine incorporates a lot of fish and seafood. Vietnamese spring rolls differ from the fried rolls that Americans are most familiar with. Instead, they are often made with raw vegetables like green onions for a fresh crunch and stuffed with red shrimp.

Hot sauce makes a great dipping sauce for spring rolls, as does soy sauce.


Thinking of adding some of these dishes to your menu? Find out how PanaPesca can provide premium seafood for your business by getting in touch with our friendly team today.