Vocabulary Guide to Seafood in Spanish
Are you going out to dinner with Spanish-speaking friends and wish to know the names of seafood in Spanish?
Or are you looking for an excuse to learn Spanish and want to cook seafood dishes using Spanish recipes?
Mariscos (seafood) are an important part of Hispanic cuisine. Many of these traditions come from different parts of the globe and landed in Spain and Latin America.
This vocabulary guide to seafood in Spanish is practical and easy to use. I divided it into sections based on the different types of sea animals. You’ll also find questions, cooking styles, and parts of the sea animals so you can practice your Spanish right away!
¡Aprendamos de los mariscos en español!
Let’s learn about seafood in Spanish!
Table of Contents:
- Seafood Vocabulary
- Cooking Seafood in Spanish
- Serving Seafood in Spanish
- More Presentations of Seafood in Spanish
- Example Sentences in Spanish
- Learn More About Seafood in Spanish
There are two ways to say fish in Spanish and they depend on whether it is dead (el pescado) or alive (el pez):
Compré un pez, y ya lo puse en la pecera.
I bought a fish, and I already put it in the fish tank.
Voy a pedir un filete de pescado.
I will order a fish filet.
Here is a list with common types of fish and of seafood in Spanish-speaking countries.
|mackerel||el pez sierra, la sierra|
Crustaceans – Los Crustáceos
Crustaceans have a hard shell for protection, articulated legs, and antennae. They’re delicious and are ideal to eat in coastal cities where they’re served fresh.
|crab||el cangrejo, la jaiba|
|crawfish, crayfish, prawns||los langostinos|
In Latin America, we use an idiom that goes like this:
Camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente.
The shrimp that falls asleep gets carried away by the current.
Meaning that if you don’t “wake up” you will have to deal with the consequences of your laziness or negligence.
Mollusks – Los Moluscos
Mollusks have a tender, limp body inside a hard shell and breathe through branqui. Mollusks have no legs, and you can see the inside of their shell.
|oyster||la ostra, el ostión|
|scallops||los callos de hacha, las vieiras|
Recommended reading: 52 Authentic Mexican Foods That Have Influenced Global Cuisine
Parts of Seafood
This seafood in Spanish guide wouldn’t be complete without a list of animal body parts. Don’t forget to take the scales off and to avoid the pin bones!
|fish mouth||la boca de pescado|
|fish skeleton||el esqueleto del pescado|
|pin bones||las espinas|
|shell||el caparazón, la concha|
Cooking Seafood in Spanish
Now that you know the names of so much seafood in Spanish, let’s cover how they can be prepared.
|grilled||a la plancha, a la parrilla|
|sauce||la salsa, el aderezo|
|soup||la sopa, el consomé|
Hand-picked for you: The Mexican Meat Market: Your Guide to the Spanish Butcher Shop
Serving Seafood in Spanish
Here are more preparations and garnishes you’re likely to find in Latin America and Spain.
|as you like, to taste||al gusto|
|butter||a la mantequilla|
|deviled fish||a la diabla|
|garlic sauce||al mojo de ajo, al ajillo|
|green sauce||en salsa verde|
|in their own ink||en su tinta|
|mango sauce||en salsa de mango|
|red sauce||en salsa roja|
|tamarindo sauce||en salsa de tamarindo|
More Presentations of Seafood in Spanish
Check out these examples of other ways to eat seafood in Spanish-speaking countries.
Adobado is a sauce whose main ingredients are butter, jitomate (red tomato), guajillo chili, chile de árbol, English sauce, and ajo (garlic).
A la talla
Pescado a la talla (char-broiled fish) is a dish made with guajillo chili and ancho chili. It is called a la talla (to the size) because it’s cooked on the grill and impaled on sticks of the same size.
This is marinated fish, empapelado (wrapped) in aluminum and cooked over fire, in an oven or a comal (flat griddle).
Galician style – A la gallega
One of the most famous dishes with seafood in Spanish-speaking countries is pulpos a la gallega (Galician-style octopuses), cooked with pimentón (paprika), salt, and olive oil. The preparation is simple and delicious.
Mexican Style – A la mexicana
This one has chili, onion, and red tomato, not only for the flavorful mix but also because they’re the colors of the Mexican flag. Almost any dish goes with this sauce.
Roman Style – A la romana
Calamares a la romana (Roman-style calamari) are a delicious Spanish dish. The calamari is bathed in a mix of egg, flour, milk, olive oil, salt, and turmeric—and fried.
Veracruz or Biscayan style – A la veracruzana o A la vizcaína
The bacalao a la Vizcaína (Biscayan cod) is a traditional Christmas dish in Mexico. It is served with olive oil, onions, red tomatoes, garlic, chiles güeros, green olives, chambray potatoes, and parsley.
Pescado zarandeado is roasted fish in a wooden griddle called a zaranda. Enjoy it on the beautiful beaches of Nayarit, Mexico.
Example Sentences in Spanish
¿Cuál es el mejor restaurante de mariscos por aquí?
What’s the best seafood restaurant around here?
¿Qué tan grande es la langosta rellena del menú?
How big is the stuffed lobster from the menu?
¡Amo abrir ostras!
I love to shuck oysters!
¿Eres alérgico a los mariscos?
Are you allergic to seafood?
Normalmente me como la cáscara cuando pido langostinos.
I normally eat the shell when I have prawns.
¿Sabes cómo cocinar pulpo?
Do you know how to cook octopus?
¿Qué tipo de marisco te gusta más?
What kind of seafood do you like best?
No me gusta pelar camarones.
I don’t like peeling shrimp.
Continue reading: For Here or to Go? How to Order Food in Spanish
Learn More About Seafood in Spanish
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