What could be better than sampling some delicious fresh seafood in the Argentine sun? However, despite how appealing this might sound, seafood can be a bit of a blind spot for Argentinians. Most prefer heavy meat dishes like asado or cordero al palo – but pescetarians needn’t despair. Although Argentina is famous for its meat, the seafood is absolutely excellent, albeit a little scarce. In this article, we run you through some Argentinian fish delicacies, including succulent Patagonian shrimp, giant king crab, and crispy rabas.
5 delicious Argentinian seafood dishes
1. Patagonian shrimp
Patagonian shrimp go by many names, including red shrimp, Argentinian shrimp or camarones to the locals. Fished in the cold, crisp waters of the South Atlantic, these shrimp are different from other varieties as they’re red in color when they’re caught, as opposed to greenish-grey. However, Patagonian shrimp are the sweetest shrimp in the world, with a delicious consistency and taste. Furthermore, they’re also bigger – making them an absolute delight for shrimp-lovers. Patagonian shrimp are very versatile, but the Argentinians like to enjoy them with pasta and a garlic white wine sauce or served on skewers dusted with spices.
2. Breaded merluza
Merluza, or hake, is a delicious white flakey fish similar to cod. Hake is the cheapest fish available in Argentina, but it doesn’t make it any less tasty. Typically, Argentinians serve merluza breaded and baked in the oven. Served with a spicy salsa verde, this dish is the perfect accompaniment to an ice cold beer. However, one thing to watch out for is they often won’t specify whether or not the hake is breaded – but usually, it will be.
Absolutely enormous salmon are fished in Argentina’s rivers and their meat is sweet, juicy, and succulent. In contrast to hake, salmon is on the more expensive end of the spectrum. However, despite the price, it remains one of the most popular choices. Argentinians usually prepare salmon simply, grilling the fish with butter and seasoning with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Alternatively, they slather it in a chimichurri sauce and serve alongside a crisp Argentinian Sauvignon Blanc.
4. Fried rabas
Rabas – or calamari to me and you – is a popular Argentinian snack. Available everywhere from rotiserías (take-out places) to high-end restaurants, rabas are served coated in flour and deep fried. The dish likely gained popularity in Argentina due to Spanish and Italian influences, or because there is an abundance of squid off the Argentinian coast. The best rabas have a crispy, bubbly batter that tastes delicious sprinkled with salt and lemon juice.
5. King crab
King crab is more common in Patagonia than other parts of Argentina – so, if you are visiting this remote southern region, don’t miss the opportunity to try the crab. Although their spiky red shells may seem intimidating, underneath is some of the most delicious crab meat out there. Delicate, sweet, and tender, these enormous shellfish are best enjoyed whole. Alternatively – and this is a favorite in the world’s southernmost city of Ushuaia – you can try king crab in a creamy chowder.