How to Create a Seafood Feast on a Budget

How do you feel about seafood?

I hated it for the first 20 years of my life. Now I wish I could turn back time because I missed out on so much of good food! It’s only now, that I am trying out different fish and playing around with flavours. The health benefits of eating seafood is well known but here’s a little refresher for you.

  1. Fish is high in many important nutrients including high-quality protein as well as various vitamins and minerals. Generally, fatty fish is better for you because it is higher in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D
  2. Eating at least one serving of fish a week (which is what I aim for at home) may reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. And if you’re Indian then that’s one of the biggest health risks.
  3. Fish is high in Omega 3 fatty acids which is great for brain and eye development. This is why pregnant women are prescribed Omega supplements throughout their pregnancy and afterwards if breastfeeding.
  4. I’m sure you know that brain function deteriorates as you get older. The consumption of fish has been linked to a reduced decline in brain function. So eat your fish!
  5. Fatty fish is one of the best dietary sources of Vitamin D. If you don’t get out in the sun much then make sure you’re eating enough fatty fish or taking a Vitamin D supplement.
Yes Nadia, but where’s the food??

Did you skip over my very important lesson looking for the food? Haha! Ok ok, lesson over. Let’s get to the good stuff!

I love cooking Asian food and one of my husbands favourite meals is a Thai Prawn Curry. The average price for a good prawn curry at a restaurant is between R120-R150 and that’s just for one person. I bought two packs of prawns from Food Lovers Market for around the same price (they have this special quite often) and only needed one pack to make this family meal:

seafood feast

The prawns are used in a stirfry LOADED with fresh veg. I always prefer to bulk up meals with veggies as opposed to extra rice/pasta so that the kids get plenty of vitamins and minerals. Possibly the best part of the meal though is the crispy prawn shells.If you have been throwing the prawn shells away all this time then I’m sorry but you have been wasting a really great ingredient! I fried the shells in a bit of olive oil, garlic and chilli seeds. When the shells became crispy I removed it from the pan and drained the oil into a little bowl to get that intense prawn flavour. You can keep the oil in the fridge for a few days. Drizzle it over scrambled eggs to change your life forever!

Prawns, prawns and more prawns!

I used the second pack of prawns on a Friday afternoon after a playdate ran over and I had 30 minutes to get supper on the table before all hell broke loose (If you have little kids then you know exactly what I’m talking about!). I chucked a few potatoes into the microwave and while that was steaming, I quickly shelled and chopped up the prawns then stir fried it with onion, garlic, finely chopped red pepper and coriander. Once the potatoes were ready, I sliced it in half, scooped out the fluffy insides and mixed that together with the prawn mix. I then filled the potato shells with the prawn and potato stuffing and topped it all off with a generous sprinkle of cheese. The taters then went into the oven for 10 minutes but in hindsight I should have just melted the cheese in the microwave.

Seafood feast


Walking down memory lane

When I knew that the theme for this month was Seafood, one specific meal immediately came to mind. ‘Tinfish curry’ aslo known as tinned Pilchards. This meal costs a total of R35 and can EASILY feed 4 adults.

Another fish from my childhood is dried snoek. A tiny little square can flavour anything from a spicy tomato chutney to a pot of sugar beans curry and it is AMAZING!!! Such intense flavour. Food Lovers Market stocks both dried and fresh snoek and I bought a pack of the fresh fish for our Sunday lunch. This fish has quite a meaty taste and cooks in 10 minutes under the grill or on the braai. I drizzled a lemon butter sauce over before cooking and that’s really all it needs. The bones are long and firm so super easy to slide out. This is a nice addition to an outdoor picnic or braai lunch.

Seafood feast


Last stop…Vietnam!

The last meal I’m going to share is perfect for those hot days when you want something fresh but really flavourful for lunch or supper. I’m sure you have had spring rolls before but have you ever tried Vietnamese spring rolls? The wraps are made from rice paper and are really thin. So thin in fact that the filling can be seen right through the spring roll. I used crabsticks (which I love as a curry) as the main ingredient and added thinly sliced cucumber, carrot, red pepper and coriander. You can use the crab stick as is but I prefer to fry it lightly with garlic and veggie spice to give it an extra kick of flavour. All you have to do is dip the rice paper into a large flat dish filled with warm water for about 10 seconds. Remove the wrap and lay it on some non-stick baking paper. Add the filling to the centre of the wrap then fold the sides in. Lastly, fold the top down and roll the wrap closed. Done! Ready to eat! (You don’t fry these wraps)

Seafood feast

The brown sauce in the pic is a warm dipping sauce made from soy, fish sauce, sugar, hot water and crushed peanuts. It’s amazing!

You CAN feast on a budget!

What if I told you that I only spent R300 on these main ingredients?

2 packs of prawns – R150

Snoek – R89

1 kg Crabsticks – R50 (I used less than a quarter)

Pilchards – R11

This is why I buy seafood from Food Lovers Market. They always have specials and the staff in the seafood section will even clean and marinade your fish for you, then you just go home and pop it in the oven.

So what seafood dish are you going to try next?



This post is sponsored by Food Lovers Market. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  #FoodLoversCo

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