If you are somebody who isn’t really accustomed to trying and eating different kinds of fish, it might be difficult to know where to begin. After all, there are so many options out there.
In addition to this, real fish lovers know that no two varieties of fish taste the same, so when you’re trying to find one that might appeal to you, it can be a bit of a mindfield.
If you’re looking to branch out and conquer a childhood aversion to fish, or if you’re already a fish lover and are looking to try some different varieties, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading below, as we take a look at some of different kinds of fish and what they taste like.
Why Is Fish So Healthy?
Perhaps one of the reasons you’re thinking about incorporating more fish into your diet is because of the health benefits. We all know that fish is a highly nutritious food, packed full of goodness. But why exactly is fish such a popular choice for health lovers?
First of all, it’s packed with crucial nutrients. You may have heard of the all important omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. These acids are essential for growth and development. Especially for children and pregnant women.
Please take note, however, that some fish contain high levels of mercury which can cause issues with brain development. Therefore, pregnant women should not consume more than 12oz per week.
Another reason why fish is so fantastic is that it can boost your brain health! As we age, our brain function gradually declines, but if we eat lots of fish, we can actually slow this process.
Fish consumption has been linked to slower rates of mental decline. In addition to this, those who are regular fish eaters also contain more gray matter in their brains, which is associated with emotional and mental regulation.
This last health fact about fish might be surprising to you, but is actually true. Fish helps to both prevent, and treat depression. Yes, that’s right.
Even though depression isn’t discussed in conjunction with fish as much as an issue like heart disease is, it is an equally serious topic that is one of the world’s biggest health problems today.
Studies conducted by researchers found that people who ate fish on a regular basis were more unlikely to become depressed in the first place. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish also help to fight mental illness and help the effectiveness of depression medication.
What Is The Most Important Factor When Buying The Best Tasting Fish?
There is no big secret to buying the best fish, simply buy it fresh, and make sure that it is within date. Don’t buy any fish which has an incredibly strong, or pungent odor, or is slimy in texture with elements of discoloration.
When you are intending on cooking the fish, make sure that you do so within 1 to 2 days from when you purchased it.
If you are purchasing salmon, it is good to consider whether it has been farmed, or if it was wild. Wild salmon, as you can probably guess, are fished directly from their natural environments in rivers, streams, oceans, and lakes.
Farmed salmon, on the other hand, are bred in pens which are situated in highly close proximity to one another. Wild salmon is likely to taste far better than farmed, because its diet will consist of more of a variety of natural sources.
Farmed salmon are only fed one particular type of food continuously. Wild salmon has a better ratio of omega-3 as a result, and also contains more DHA. DHA is a specific portion of omega-3 which helps with vision and maintaining a healthy brain.
Fish Mercury Levels
Like we mentioned toward the beginning of the article, consuming too much mercury found in fish is not good for you. Pregnant women and children should especially be careful about mercury consumption from fish.
Below is a list of mercury levels within several different kinds of fish.
Highest Mercury Content
- King Mackerel
Medium Mercury Content
- Striped Bass
- Spanish Mackerel
- Chilean Sea Bass
- Orange Roughy
Low Mercury Content
- American Shad
- Boston Mackerel
- Canned Tuna
- Spiny Lobster
- Freshwater Perch
Best Tasting Fish
Now that we’ve covered some different factors that go into buying the best tasting fish, as well as looking at some of the different contaminants that you should be aware of, let’s move on to look at some different types of fish and what they taste like.
Below you’ll find a list of some of the most popular kinds of fish, along with their taste palettes.
Let’s start out with one of the most popular and common kinds of fish on the market today. Cod is a great option for those who are new to fish, particularly children who are being introduced to eating these foods.
Cod is a delicious type of white fish that has a mild, and very slightly sweet flavor. It has a very flaky texture so be careful when cooking so that it doesn’t fall apart in the pan! Pacific cod on the other hand, is a bit firmer and less likely to crumble.
Cod can be cooked in a variety of different ways, including baking, steaming, broiling, and sauteing. It is also the fish that is most commonly used in the traditional British fish and chips, covered in a delicious golden batter! This fish will cook very quickly as well, within 15 minutes.
Like we said, cod has a famously un-fishy taste. So if your cod smells fishy at all then this probably means that it’s off!
Halibut is actually one of the most sought after types of fish by fish lovers. It has a sweet taste similar to cod, and is incredibly mild making it great for fish novices.
It differs a little from cod though, in the sense that it has a meatier texture and is less likely to crumble while cooking. Make sure that you don’t overcook this fish though! It can dry out, leaving it with an unpleasant texture.
It is an incredibly versatile fish in terms of cooking, which is why it is one of the most expensive types of fish you can buy in supermarkets today. It can actually be poached in a liquid, or you even crust the outside of the skin.
Whatever tickles your fancy! You can serve this fish with a variety of different things, but it goes especially well with some fresh vegetables. Starchy vegetables are the best, like potatoes or squash.
Now we need to talk about one of the most popular kinds of fish on the market today. Salmon is quite a controversial fish, some people love it, some people hate it!
It is not a white fish, and has a peachy orange color instead, which means that it has a far more distinctive taste.
It is great for those who love a bit of meatiness from their fish, as it can be quite filling. It is full of fantastic oils and savory flavors. If you bake or grill your salmon, it will often have a slightly buttery and citrusy flavor.
Smoked salmon is also a popular option amongst fish lovers, although it might not be the best for beginners. Smoked salmon tends to have a more distinctively fishy flavor, and is often served raw.
If you find the taste of salmon too strong, the key is to soak it in milk for around 20 minutes before cooking, this will bind the fishy odors and extract them from the fish.
After cooking, put some lemon juice on top too, this will give you a delicious, mild tasting salmon.
This is yet another beginner friendly white fish that can be found ubiquitously on the market today. Sea bass again, does not have an overly fishy smell or taste, and is considered one of the most delicious fish out there.
It has some sweet flavors, combined with a very meaty texture, which makes it a great dinner option for when you’re feeling hungry.
The texture of the fish is moist, yet firm. This is because of its high fat content. You can get the most out of the flavors of this dish by grilling, frying, poaching or steaming it, while all the while combining it with olive oil or coconut oil, and also plenty of salt and pepper.
It is best served with rice or potatoes to get your fill of carbs in too!
Sole is a gorgeous mild fish, which also has a little sweetness added into the flavor mix. It is great for those of you out there who are fussy eaters. It starts out quite flaky in texture, but once it is cooked, it firms up nicely.
The cooking time for this type of fish is incredibly quick, only taking around 10 minutes. It can either be fried or baked, and does well when it is seasoned with some salt and pepper.
If you are serving up this fish for your family members, make sure to include a lemon wedge, as the flavors work really well together. Because of the nature of this fish, don’t over season it with herbs and spices.
It is very mild in taste and so adding too many other overpowering flavors could be detrimental to the taste.
Trout is often considered one of the tastiest fish out there. It is an incredibly rare fish, so if you get to try it, make sure that you savor every bite.
This one on our list is actually more difficult to describe in terms of flavor, because the actual taste varies depending on the region where it was caught. Some say that it can be a tad gamey, but also has an uniquely sweet flavor.
It has a pinkish flesh like salmon, and this is the other type of fish it is most comparable too. Both of them go well with garlic, parsley, and lemon. The saltiness of your troup will depend on whether it is freshwater or saltwater.
Freshwater trout has a significantly milder taste. Rainbow trout, in particular, is known to be mild in taste.
It can be baked, smoked, or steamed to bring out its flavors. It also goes well with some roasted vegetables on the side.
Swordfish is one of the most expensive types of fish on the market, and many people go crazy over this particular variety. What some of you might not actually know, however, is that it is actually a really great fish for beginners!
This may seem odd because it’s not one that we tend to see too often in our local grocery stores, but it actually has quite a mild taste.
Swordfish is one of the strongest fish that can be found in the ocean, and because of this, the filets have a very firm, meaty texture. It is actually comparable to a portion of steak, in terms of texture.
For those out there who are adverse to some of the more flaky textures of some fish on the market, the texture of swordfish might feel a bit more familiar.
If you are planning on cooking your swordfish, it tastes super delicious when it’s grilled. You can pair it with some quinoa, couscous, or rice. It can even be served with pasta!
Catfish can initially be slightly off putting because of their appearance, but don’t let this dissuade you from trying them. They’re actually really delicious. Blackened or fried, it needs to be properly seasoned to get the most out of the flavors.
Catfish has been described as having a sweet and mild flavor, with a very dense and moist texture. Much less flaky than some of the other fish on our list.
Wild caught catfish will have a slightly different flavor, because of their stomachs. Their stomach usually has a muddy flavor which isn’t that tasty if it isn’t combined properly with other seasonings.
If seasoned properly though, the fish absorbs the seasoning and has a really delicious combined flavor that intermingles well with one another.
The red snapper is also a fish that is considered to be very sought after by fish lovers. It is a mild, sweet fish, but differs from some of the others spoken about here because it also has a very nutty flavor.
Much less fishy in taste than some of the others here, it is also incredibly lean.
Those who are looking for a fish that has a low fat content can opt to purchase a red snapper, as they are renowned for their low fat content.
Another popular type of fish that is easily found in the market, tuna is an incredibly popular variety of fish. It is actually considered by some as the beef of the sea.
It has an almost veal-like texture, paired with a buttery, sweet flavor. It is highly popular within Japanese and Mediterranean cooking, being used within a variety of dishes, including pasta dishes, salads, teriyaki, and pizza (You might also want to check out the Stromboli here).
It is also an incredibly nutritious fish, containing a variety of different vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, calcium, and selenium. Because it does not contain any parasites, it is also safe to be eaten raw, and is often incorporated into sushi dishes.
The best tasting portion of the fish is the abdomen, which contains the meatiest texture. It is much darker and oilier than the rest of the fish.
To marinade this fish, slather it in wine, citrus juices, or olive oil. It can be served alongside a variety of different food items. It goes great with a salad consisting of olives, capers, and eggs.
This is a very tasty fish that is known for its incredibly satisfying clean taste and delicate flavors. You can either cook a sea bream whole, or chop it up into filets. The most important thing to take note of is that this is quite a bony fish, so take care whilst eating this one.
It has a medium-firm texture, and although it is still a bit flaky, it’s a lot firmer than some of the other types of fish listed here. Sea bream goes well with leeks, white wine sauces, and sun-dried tomatoes.
It is obvious from our list that there are tons of delicious fish out there to try. Whether you are a complete novice, or are simply looking to branch out and try something new, there will definitely be something for you. Simply take a look above and make your selection!