Rice or Pasta: What Goes Best with Seafood?
A satisfying plate usually includes a protein (like seafood), a vegetable, and a starch. Generally your starch is either rice, pasta, or potato. And while there are some potato and seafood dishes, the majority of seafood plates will come with either rice or pasta.
Rice is lighter and tends to bring less flavor to the overall dish. Of course, there are aromatic rices like basmati rice that compliment fish and seafood well. Overall though, rice satisfies our craving for a starch without too much intrusion on the rest of the dish. Sticky rice is more common in Asian seafood dishes because dry rice is nearly impossible to eat with chopsticks. Rice is served with many sushi and sashimi dishes acting as a form of glue to hold the pieces together. The stickier the rice, the easier it is for the diner to dip the pieces in soy sauce.
Pasta is traditionally served with clam and shrimp dishes. Linguini with clam sauce is one of the most well known seafood-pasta dishes. Although pasta is frequently served with a red sauce when paired with meat, when paired with seafood, cream and broth tend to be the base for the food. Pasta is typically heavier than rice, and often can provide sufficient protein without any meat. Pasta generally doesn’t pair with flaky white fish. Seafood like clams and shrimp are small and self contained and can easily go on the end of a fork swirled with pasta.
Of course there are always exceptions and a wonderful variety of options. Rice pasta is a great combination of the light texture of rice but with the density of a serving of pasta. Most restaurants prepare rice and pasta separately from the sauce and seafood. If you have a preference, be sure to ask your server about what rice and pasta alternative they can offer you for your next seafood meal.