Seafood fondue is a type of oil fondue that uses seafood instead of other meats. A unique way of cooking, fondue allows diners to cook their food at the table in special pots, so it is often a social dining experience. Seafood fondue may use any type of seafood and can include vegetable selections as well. Though some restaurants offer fondue, it is usually an at-home activity.
To make any type of fondue, a fondue pot is necessary. Usually set up directly on a dining table, fondue pots are often metal and come with a stand which allows them to sit over a small flame that heats their contents. Though fondues may be chocolate or cheese based, seafood fondue is generally made with oil.
Cooking oil is poured into the fondue pot, filling it about half way. It is then heated. Sometimes, the pot may be placed on the stove to heat and then transferred to its stand after the oil reaches the correct temperature. Usually, however, the oil is heated directly on the fondue stand by the flame underneath.
Though seafood fondue may consist of just one type of seafood — most often shrimp — it generally contains a variety of seafoods. A selection of fish, such as halibut, salmon, or swordfish may be included, as may squid. Occasionally, lobster or crab might be a selection. Shrimp are always peeled and deveined, and fish are cut into bite-sized chunks.
Diners select which foods they want and skewer a piece of their selected food on a special fondue fork, a two or three pronged long metal skewer with a handle. Then they place the skewered seafood into the oil and allow it to cook. When done, the food is removed from the oil and placed onto an individual's plate, where it can be eaten with a normal fork.
Vegetables may be included with the seafood for cooking. Scallions and cabbage are both suggested. Seafood fondue may also be served with a side salad or with rice.
Occasionally a cheese fondue may be used. Cheese fondues include melted cheese mixed with milk and, sometimes, soup or other spices. Bread is a popular addition for cooking when making seafood fondue with cheese sauce.
Dipping sauces are usually included with seafood fondue as well. Horseradish or garlic sauces, wasabi sauce, and tartar or cocktail sauces are all types common for this type of fondue. Providing a variety of dipping sauce is always advised, particularly when the seafood selection is varied as well.