Look To The North For A Twist On The Classic Italian Christmas Fish Dinner

Certain holiday traditions come and go, but one that has stood the test of time for centuries is the beloved Feast of the Seven Fishes celebrated in many Italian homes around the country. Typically celebrated the night before Christmas, this classic meal features exactly what its name implies: seven different kinds of fish, often prepared in different styles. While there may be certain dishes that are mainstays in your family's feast, that doesn't mean that you can't switch things up a little bit, and one way you can add some great variety to your Christmas Eve dinner is by looking North, specifically, to the endless seafood bounty offered by Alaska. Here are some ideas for adding in some Northern flair to your traditional, complex fish feast this holiday season.

King Crab Legs

To kick things off, nothing beats an authentic, homemade crab dip to get your guests ready for a big meal. Unlike what you buy pre-made at the store, which normally uses filler fish and imitation crab meat, making your own dip from real Alaskan king crab from a supplier like Kodiak Fish Market is a sure fire way to get the most flavorful dip possible. Try serving this dip cold with butter crackers or hot with some Parmesan cheese and pretzels or bruschetta for a break from the ordinary. 


This group of fish is very common in Alaska, and includes the similar fluke, flounder, halibut, and sole, among others. These versatile fish are inherently easier to cook with due to their versatility, and Alaskan fluke might just be the most versatile fish swimming, in particular. You can fry this kind of fish for a light fish sandwich or taco, or mix it into your favorite fish stew recipe if you prefer to keep it traditional. Huge fillets are also available, since Alaskan fluke and flounder can grow to be the size of basketball backboards


While you might be more familiar with New England as a source of fresh, delicious shellfish, Alaska holds its own in terms of tasty shell-bound critters. In particular, scallops from Alaska are known for being particularly flavorful as well as massive, since the cold waters of Alaska are prime habitat for growing scallops. Prawns are another delicacy found in Alaskan waters which are rare elsewhere, so working some of these shrimp-like animals into any dish in which you would normally use shrimp can be a welcome shift from the ordinary.