A Seafood Platter is a popular choice for entertaining and with good reason! It's delicious, impressive, and, best of all, easy to prepare.
This blog post will show you how to create a beautiful seafood platter that is perfect for any occasion. From a fancy dinner party to a family gathering or chilling with friends.
We'll provide instructions for preparing a platter of cooked seafood, including crab, langoustines, prawns, crevettes, smoked salmon, smoked mackerel, caviar, cockles and mussels.
Continue reading for more tips about each item on the platter, or jump to the recipe card to get started!
Check out our quick video to see how easy it is to prepare at home
Our cheeseboard is another sharing board idea you can share with your guests.
What is a Cooked Seafood Platter?
A cooked seafood platter, also known as a Plateau de Fruits de Mer, is a seafood dish typically consisting of cooked fish and shellfish such as crabs, lobster, prawns /shrimp, salmon, mussels and oysters. A great source of protein with minimal fat.
The platter can be customized to include any seafood you like, making it a perfect dish for any occasion. It is often served with dipping sauces, lemon wedges, and bread.
How to make a Fruits de Mer Platter
One of the keys to a successful seafood platter is to have a variety of colours, textures, and flavours. You can get creative with your platter.
One of the best things about making a seafood platter at home is that you can choose and buy the seafood already cooked, so there is nothing for you to do except serve it.
You can buy seafood platters assembled at the fishmongers and add things to make it the way you like.
It is usually best to go with what is fresh and in season, but you can always get frozen seafood to use if it is not in season.
Seafood Platter Ingredients
The key to success is to start with fresh, high-quality seafood. Your local fishmonger can help you choose the best lobster, crabs and prawns.
If you are unsure how to prepare cooked seafood, we will give you all the information you need for preparation and suitable substitutes.
Start with a large bed of ice; this helps keep the cooked seafood chilled and fresh for longer.
Add some salad and cherry tomatoes for garnishing around the outside.
You can buy a crab already dressed, or you can do it yourself. Buying the crab dressed is the easier option and will save you time.
If you want to dress the crab yourself, you can check out our detailed instructions with pictures on preparing a dressed crab post.
The crab will be the largest piece on the board, so I place this in the centre.
Then add other cooked seafood, typically from the largest to the smallest, to make it easier to fit it all on!
Can't find crab? You could substitute a whole dressed crab for crab claws or crab legs, which is where the delicious white meat is.
Langoustines are also known as whole scampi or Norwegian lobsters in the UK.
They look like small slim lobsters and are usually pink or orange in colour. They have long, scissor-like claws.
You can buy them cooked or raw; here's our guide on how to cook langoustines if you can't find them already cooked.
Can't find langoustines? Use small lobsters or whole crayfish for a similar sweet and delicate flavour.
Prawns or shrimp (in the US) come in all shapes and sizes, and it can be confusing to know what is what.
We use a mixture of cooked prawns on this platter.
Crevettes are whole-cooked prawns with shells intact. They come in all sizes. Seen below are king prawn crevettes.
They are easy and fun to peel and make a perfect addition to a cooked seafood platter.
Pint of Prawns
These are small crevettes or small shells on prawns. Cheaper and even easier to peel than larger crevettes, deliciously sweet and perfect for prawn cocktails too!
You can also add some peeled, cooked king prawns for those who don't like to peel their own.
Another fantastic addition! Not only do they add a pop of colour, but they are cheap and easy to pick up and eat with no need to peel.
Add smoked flavour to your seafood platter with Smoked Mackerel and Smoked Salmon.
These delicious smoked fish are perfect for any gathering or party. They're a great way to add some variety to your seafood platter and will surely be a hit with everyone.
Adding caviar to your seafood platter is a surefire way to impress your guests. Caviar is luxurious and decadent, adding a touch of sophistication to any meal.
If you want to make a real statement, try rainbow trout caviar. This delicious caviar is brightly coloured and strikingly beautiful, making it a showstopping addition to any seafood spread.
Remember that caviar can be pricey, so be sure to budget accordingly.
Green-lipped mussels are a delicious shellfish, usually sold frozen but can be easily defrosted overnight. Once thawed, add to your platter alongside the other cooked seafood items.
The mild, slightly sweet sea flavour of green-lipped mussels makes them a versatile and crowd-pleasing addition to any gathering.
Did you know that an orange-fleshed mussel is a female, and the pale cream colour is a male? They both taste the same, but this is a fun fact for your guests.
Crabsticks are seafood made from surimi, or ground-up white fish rolled into a stick.
Imitation crabsticks are usually made from cheaper fish such as tilapia, but they are an excellent budget-friendly option.
No matter which type you choose, crabsticks make a delicious and easy addition.
Looking to add a bit of British flair and the taste of the sea, give cockles a try? You might find that they're the perfect addition to your seafood platter.
Pickled cockles are especially popular in Britain and are typically served with acidic dressing. Our chilli vinegar recipe is ideal and so easy to prepare!
Anchovy wrapped Olives
Anchovy-wrapped olives are the perfect addition to any seafood platter.
The umami-richness of the anchovies pairs perfectly with the salty, briny olives, creating a taste sensation that is sure to please any palate.
And best of all, they are surprisingly easy to make! Wrap each pimento-stuffed olive with a marinated anchovy fillet.
Use the olives to fill any holes left on the platter dish.
Substitutions or Variations
Whatever you choose, make sure it's something you'll enjoy. After all, this is your seafood platter, so you should make it exactly the way you want.
Crustaceans are often the star of the show. Whether that be cooked crab or lobster is up to you. Add more shellfish like clams or oysters.
The sky is the limit regarding seafood, so don't be afraid to get creative. You could go for something more unexpected like snails, squid or octopus.
For extra flavour and freshness, garnish your platter with fresh dill, parsley, and lemon wedges. Guests can then add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and herb to whatever they fancy.
Fresh bread and blinis are the perfect side dish to Fruits de Mer. Slather the bread with butter, then top with some smoked salmon.
To make your seafood platter even more special, try serving it with one of these sauces:
Fresh shrimp and crab served with a delicious seafood boil dipping sauce – it's the perfect way to indulge in a bit of luxury.
And what could be more luxurious than serving it with a bottle of fine French wine?
A crisp white or a light rosé is the perfect complement to the seafood, and it's sure to take your meal to the next level.
If you're planning to serve seafood at your next gathering, don't forget the finger bowls!
Just fill a small bowl with warm water and a slice of lemon and place it on the table next to the seafood platter with some napkins.
Your guests will appreciate a convenient way to clean their hands after peeling crustaceans, and you'll avoid messy accidents.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Seafood Platter (Fruits de Mer)
Seafood Platter - See blog post for more or alternatives to add.
- 1 Dressed Crab
- 6 Langoustines
- 12 Crevettes
- 150 grams Small Prawns Whole or Peeled
- 80 grams Crayfish Tails
- 120 grams Smoked Salmon
- 150 grams Smoked Mackerel
- 12 Crab Stick cut in half
- 60 grams Caviar
- 90 grams Cockles
- 8 Mussels
- 16 Marinated Anchovy fillets
- 16 Pimento stuffed Olives
To serve with
- 1 bag Crushed ice
- 1 bag Salad leaves
- 2 Lemons
- Butter for bread
- 10 Cherry Tomatoes
- Small handful Fresh Dill or Parsley
- Make any sauces required ahead of time or transfer shop-bought ones into serving dishes.Marie Rose Cocktail Sauce, Seafood Boil Sauce, Tartare Sauce
- If any seafood has been purchased raw, cook them first and cool them immediately.Dress your cooked crab if not purchased already dressed.6 Langoustines
- Wrap an anchovy fillet around each olive.16 Pimento stuffed Olives, 16 Marinated Anchovy fillets
- On a large platter plate or board, make a base of ice with some salad leaves and tomatoes around the outside.1 bag Crushed ice, 1 bag Salad leaves, 10 Cherry Tomatoes
- Place the biggest seafood item, either lobster or dressed crab, in the middle as the centrepiece.1 Dressed Crab
- Continue adding the remaining seafood items, I usually add them in size order, largest first.6 Langoustines, 12 Crevettes, 120 grams Smoked Salmon, 150 grams Smoked Mackerel
- Place caviar into small serving bowls to place on to the platter.60 grams Caviar
- Add the smaller cooked seafood items. Fill any holes up with the anchovy-wrapped olives.150 grams Small Prawns, 80 grams Crayfish Tails, 12 Crab Stick, 90 grams Cockles, 8 Mussels
- Cut wedges or slices of lemon, and place them all around the board.Add small sprigs of dill or parsley.Small handful Fresh Dill or Parsley, 2 Lemons
- Serve the Seafood Platter with buttered brown bread and blini's and pots of sauce on the side.Bread, Butter, Blini
Can I make Seafood Platter ahead of time?
While it may seem like a good idea to have everything ready, the reality is that the ice will melt, and the seafood will start to go bad.
Instead, focus on preparing all the cooked seafood ahead of time, keeping it wrapped and refrigerated.
This way, you can arrange it on the bed of ice at serving time. Not only will this save you time, but it will also ensure that your seafood is fresh and delicious.
The advice for safe storage of cooked shellfish at room temperature is up to two hours without spoiling.
On hot days, when the room is above 32°C / 90°F, this period drops to one hour.
We find serving on ice helps to keep it fresher for longer.
The fish should be discarded or placed in the fridge after that time. Putting the fish in the refrigerator will help to prolong its shelf life. However, it is important to ensure that the fish is adequately wrapped to prevent it from contaminating other food items.
Once everyone has eaten enough, I immediately pack any leftovers into an airtight sealable container and refrigerate them.
They will still be good to eat for up to 24 hours when chilled correctly.
Seafood platters are a delicious and impressive way to entertain guests. It can seem daunting, but with a bit of planning and our simple guide, they are quite easy to prepare.
More Seafood Recipes
If you're a fan of seafood, you'll want to check out our other recipes. We've got everything from garlic and chilli prawns. Family-friendly Prawn Cocktail, tuna burgers or a hearty haddock and clams with white wine sauce.
Try our tuna and cheese melt for a fab lunchtime treat.