Martha Opens Up About Her Favorite Fishing Adventures—from Diving for Scallops to Shrimping

Our founder loves all kinds of seafood, and for good reason: It's healthy and delicious, and shines in the simplest of dishes. Here, she recalls a few bracing aquatic adventures and shares some favorite recipes for scallops, shrimp, and swordfish.

Martha Stewart juicing in kitchen
Photo: Johnny Miller

Have you ever dived for scallops? Or gone deep-sea fishing for the big ones, like swordfish? Or dressed head-to-toe in white rubber boots and yellow pants and jacket and gone shrimping? I'm lucky to have done all three. I enjoyed each adventure thoroughly, and learned just how difficult each task really is. Most of all, I loved taking the catch home to use in elegantly crafted recipes, many developed in the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living.

One January day, dressed in a dry suit, I was lowered more than 25 feet below the ocean's surface to search for sea scallops. For me and the fishermen I was with, it was a relief to escape the frigid air and be submerged in the 38-degree water. The scallops were abundant. We lifted them easily into baskets, which were then raised by rope to the boat above. Large, sweet, and cherished by many chefs, sea scallops should be treated like jewels, carefully extricated from their hinged shells and eaten as quickly as possible after harvesting.

Deep-sea fishing for large game is very different: You're seated in a secure chair, with a harness around your middle to hold the rod and reel. The first hit of a hundred-pound sailfish is a heart-stopper. Following the instructions of the captain, you reel in slowly, then fast, then slowly again, tiring the fish as you lure it to the side of the boat. Shrimping, on the other hand, involves great nets being dragged through the sea to harbor, filled with wiggling gray, pink, or white crustaceans. The shrimpers draw up the nets by winch and spill them into giant tubs, where they're sorted from myriad fish (those are thrown back into the sea), leaving mounds of lovely shrimp for cocktails, chowders, tempuras, and fritters.

Whether you catch your own or purchase from a trusted fishmonger, freshness is all-important. Search for the best, please. I hope you enjoy these dishes created by me and Sarah Carey, our editorial director of food, and invite some friends over to share the delicious results!

herby broiled swordfish with roasted cherry tomatoes
Johnny Miller

Herby Broiled Swordfish with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Quick to put together, this spectacular seafood entrée of Herby Broiled Swordfish with Roasted Cherry Tomatoescalls for a quick marinade in a lemon juice-mixed herbs-olive-oil bath before the swordfish steaks are broiled atop a bed of cherry tomatoes.

crunchy shrimp fritters served with tartar sauce
Johnny Miller

Crunchy Shrimp Fritters

Few can resist these Crunchy Shrimp Fritters, they're made with a rice flour batter and so are gluten free. Be sure to serve them with homemade Tartar Sauce for dipping deliciousness.

sauteed scallops with caper brown butter served with warm wilted spinach
Johnny Miller

Sautéed Scallops with Caper Brown Butter

This recipe for Sautéed Scallops with Caper Brown Butter uses choice sea scallops, about 12 to a pound. The plump bivalves are dried and dusted with instant flour before they take a quick turn in a hot skillet. A caper-brown butter sauce with a touch of orange or tangerine juice is the finishing touch.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles