Oven broiling adds a nutty, browned flavor and crisp texture to foods and is a quick and delicious way to cook many types of seafood. Fillets or steaks of finfish, large scallops or shrimp, and lobster tails are especially tasty when broiled.
Begin by preheating the broiler and adjusting the broiler rack. For thin fillets and small pieces of seafood, move the rack so that it is only about two inches from the heat source. This will allow the seafood to evenly brown before it overcooks, or becomes dry. For larger pieces of seafood, move the broiling rack four to six inches away from the heat source so that the inside cooks before the outside dries out or becomes tough.
Prepare the seafood as you would for grilling. Ether lightly spray it with oil and season with salt and pepper or submerge it in a quick marinade and shake off any excess. Place it skin side down (if there is skin) on a lightly oiled, heat-proof broiling pan or cookie sheet and cook under the heating source using the guidelines above.
Thin, delicate fillets will cook quickly and generally do not have to be turned over. Thicker fillets, steaks and shellfish will need to be turned about half way through cooking to be sure they are evenly cooked through. Estimate that it will take about eight to ten minutes per inch of fish thickness for the meat to reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees. If you find that the seafood is browning too quickly (before the inside cooks through), simply lower the broiling rack away from the heat source.
Broiled seafood will continue cook and its internal temperature will continue to rise a few degrees (an average of ten) once it is removed from the heat source. Remove it when it is almost cooked through. Finfish will just begin to flake and the color will turn from translucent to almost opaque; shrimp and scallops will feel firm, not mushy when poked with tongs, and the flesh will have just turned opaque; lobster tails will turn a bright, rosy color and the flesh will turn from translucent to opaque.