Microwave cooking uses high frequency ways to generate heat inside the food.

  1. Score the flesh of gilled and gutted finfish or thick fillets, for more even cooking. If the seafood starts to split during cooking, lower the power or, if it is cooked, remove it from the oven.
  2. Arrange seafood in a single, flat layer or roll it, to achieve uniform thickness. Space the seafood evenly around the cooking platter, placing the thicker edges pointing outward, and avoid having the seafood protrude over the edge of the platter.
  3. Cover with cling wrap, paper or a suitable lid. A cover ensures moisture retention and even cooking, but leave a small gap to allow steam build-up to escape. Note: when covering with cling wrap make sure you use one that is suitable for use in a microwave.
  4. Re-arrange during cooking to ensure even cooking.
  5. Use 70% power, and remove the seafood from the microwave oven when the outer edges are opaque, but the centre is still slightly translucent. Allow to stand for about two to three minutes, while tightly covered to keep in the heat.

Handy tips

  • The seafood can be brushed with butter or margarine, or a small amount of another liquid such as wine, seasoning, a mix of water and lemon/lime juice.
  • Remove the eyes from whole fish (gilled and gutted) as they may explode during cooking.

Cooking times

These will vary considerably depending on the species, thickness, quantity and initial temperature of the seafood, and on the equipment. The times suggested below are a general guide only.

For a 650 watt microwave oven:


Microwave settings

Approximate cooking times for steaming

Gilled and gutted whole finfish

large (per 750 g)
small (per 250 g)


6 minutes
3–4 minutes

Finfish fillets

per 250 g


2–3 minutes



2–4 minutes

Per 125 g in a marinade


2 minutes



Seven Tips to help you prepare your seafood
Still confused about handling and preparing seafood? Try these seven tips.
Learn more
How to store your seafood
Once you have bought of prepared your seafood, learn how to store it to make sure it stays great.
Learn more
What do I do with it?
Our simple cooking guides and tips will make seafood as easy as 1, 2, 3. It will also show you how best to handle and prepare your seafood.
Learn about seafood