10 Best Fish Cookbooks of 2021 (Buyers Guide!)

Whether you’re looking to revamp your diet or just need a little more variety, adding a little more fish to your diet is a great way to do either. But if you don’t know how to mix up your recipes, you can end up doing the same recipes over and over again.

So you need some of the best fish cookbooks out there to keep you on your toes and keep your palette fresh.

Below we’ve dissected some of the most comprehensive fish cookbooks out there. Read through the reviews, use the buyer’s guide to locate your perfect cookbook, and get started with creative and delicious new recipes crafted by some of the best chefs in the world!

The Best Fish Cookbook Reviews (Editor’s Picks)

There are thousands of cookbooks out there, and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to buy the wrong book for your needs. We’ve reviewed many fish cookbooks and narrowed down on the very best! Although we’ve numbered this list, the products are not in ranking order.

1. Foolproof Fish: Modern Recipes for Everyone, Everywhere

With 198 recipes to choose from, you’re sure to find a few recipes that everyone will love. This book is filled with colorful photos for all recipes and offers potential substitutions and variations for most recipes.

Even better, it comes with a seafood buyer’s guide, and it breaks down some of the most effective seafood cooking techniques. This book is affordably priced and comes in hardcover binding to help it last years.

There are two main drawbacks to this cookbook. First, it does not offer any cooking times. You’ll have to read through the recipe and calculate how long each step will take you to get an accurate estimation of total cooking time.

Secondly, if you’re an avid follower of the ATK brand, you’ll find many recipes that have been rehashed from their other cookbooks.

Pros

  • 198 recipes to choose from
  • It comes with a seafood buyer’s guide
  • Breaks down the best techniques for cooking seafood
  • Affordably priced for a hardcover book
  • Filled with colorful photos for each recipe

Cons

  • Only available on Kindle or in Hardback (no paperback)
  • Book does not offer cook times
  • You can find many of the recipes in other cookbooks

2. Good Fish: 100 Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast

The Good Fish cookbook offers two distinct differences from many other cookbooks. First, it focuses solely on pacific coast seafood. While this is great if you live on the West Coast, if you’re on the other side of the country, you might find it challenging to source the seafood the recipes call for.

Second, it provides a wine pairing for each recipe. If you’re an avid wine connoisseur, this is a unique feature that can launch this cookbook to the next level. Additionally, while this cookbook highlights a ton of fish recipes, it’s not all fish. This book highlights anything that comes from the Pacific Ocean.

Not only does it give you a ton of delicious recipes, but it also walks you through some of the best techniques for selecting and preparing your seafood ingredients.

The biggest drawback to this cookbook is the fact that it doesn’t offer any hardcover editions. That’s despite the fact that it’s priced similarly to hardcover books.

Pros

  • Provides wine pairing with each recipe
  • Provides recipes for all types of pacific seafood – not just fish
  • It comes with techniques for selecting and cooking seafood
  • Preaches sustainable practices in addition to recipes

Cons

  • Only available on Kindle and paperback
  • Many recipes are longer and more complicated to make
  • Fewer recipes than other cookbooks – 100 recipes, and not all are fish

3. The Big 10 Fish & Seafood Cookbook

If you’re looking for a low-priced cookbook with tons of recipes, this is what you want. It’s completely free if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, and it’s available for a low price even if you don’t.

While the cookbook only contains 80 different recipes, it offers 240 variations, so you can easily mix things up. Even better for most home cooks, the ingredients are available in most grocery stores, so they’re easy to make.

Furthermore, the recipes are affordable and sustainable for the environment. It’s a great way to add a little variety to your diet without breaking the bank or wrecking the planet.

Finally, while this is a smaller cookbook with less than 200 pages, everything is organized for you, so it’s easy to follow. Whether you’re in the mood for salmon or clams, this book has it all!

Pros

  • Affordably priced
  • Recipes that are sustainable and budget-friendly
  • Easy to find ingredients in every recipe
  • Free if you have Kindle Unlimited
  • Recipes are organized by type of seafood

Cons

  • Only 80 recipes – but up to 240 variations
  • Smaller cookbook – under 200 pages

4. The Joy of Seafood: The All-Purpose Seafood Cookbook with more than 900 Recipes

What sets this cookbook apart from the rest is the sheer number of recipes that it offers. With over 900 recipes to choose from, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a book with more. Not only does it have 900 different recipes to choose from, but it offers variations on those recipes too.

One drawback to having so many recipes in one book is that they had to compromise on space. What this cookbook did to make everything fit is they cut out pictures of the different meals. While there are some drawings of the various seafood you’ll need, there are no pictures throughout the entire cookbook.

Furthermore, this cookbook costs slightly more than most other cookbooks, and they don’t offer any digital editions. If you want this cookbook, you have to purchase the hardcover edition.

Pros

  • Over 900 recipes
  • Recipes for over 100 types of fish and shellfish
  • Variations are offered for recipes too

Cons

  • Only available in hardcover – no digital editions
  • Higher price tag
  • No pictures – just drawings

5. Fish Without a Doubt: The Cook’s Essential Companion

If you’re looking to save the planet and eat delicious food, this cookbook is a critical addition. It contains 250 recipes, and it only uses recipes from sustainable seafood sources. No matter what you pick out in this book, you can rest easy knowing that you’re not contributing to the demise of overfished seafood.

Furthermore, whether you’re looking for a meal to highlight a special occasion or a quick weeknight dinner, this cookbook is filled with tons of options for you to choose from.

Additionally, this cookbook offers recipes for both the main dish and sides to accent those dishes with. If you’re looking for a cookbook that helps you plate an entire dinner, this is a great choice.

However, this cookbook does not provide any nutritional information on any of the recipes and only has a limited number of pictures. Finally, there are no digital options available.

Pros

  • 250 recipes for plenty of options
  • Only has recipes on sustainable seafood
  • Has options for both easy meals and more complex dinners
  • Has recipes for sides as well as main dishes
  • Breaks down the best techniques to cook fish

Cons

  • Only available in hardcover – no digital editions
  • Not many pictures – only 43 for 250 recipes
  • No nutritional information is provided for recipes

6. The Whole Fish Cookbook: New Ways to Cook, Eat and Think

This cookbook isn’t for the faint of heart. Josh Niland breaks down some of the most complex recipes on the planet and teaches you how to use every part of the fish so you don’t waste any of the fish!

While this book has tons of techniques and tips to enhance your experience, if you don’t have access to premium ingredients, top-end equipment, and tons of space, you’ll likely find that this cookbook is nothing more than a table piece.

However, with a book filled with so many mind-blowing images, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you’re a home chef aspiring to take your craft to the next level, this is a great book to teach you tons of techniques you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

Pros

  • Complex recipes that use every part of the fish – nothing is wasted
  • It comes with a comprehensive guide for cooking and preparing techniques
  • Tons of colorful pictures
  • Great for professional or aspiring master chefs

Cons

  • Hard to get ingredients for an at-home cook
  • Complicated recipes are not easy to follow
  • Many of the recipes require tons of space and equipment not often found in home kitchens

7. The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook

While this cookbook focuses on more than just fish – we couldn’t leave it off our list. This cookbook highlights everything you need to know to cook wild game – fish included.

Not only does it break down some of the best recipes around, but it also breaks down the best ways to prepare and cook those foods. It’s an excellent book for beginners and has tons of colorful pictures for you to thumb through even if you’re not in the kitchen!

Keep in mind that this cookbook highlights how to cook wild game, which you’ll acquire if you hunt for your food, but it’s not always something that most supermarkets carry. Finally, while the content in this book is top-notch, the quality of the book itself is often suspect.

It’s a shame because the cookbook itself is a masterpiece, and the inferior binding and publishing shouldn’t tarnish it.

Pros

  • Combines both traditional meat and fish recipes in one cookbook
  • It breaks down how to prepare and cook a wide array of foods
  • Lots of colorful pictures to look through
  • Has tons of wild game recipes for you to pick through
  • Breaks down recipes, so it’s easy for novices to follow

Cons

  • Over 100 recipes, but not all are fish
  • Sometimes the book arrives with wavy pages
  • Not all ingredients are easily accessible for home cooks

8. Fish: The Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking

If you’re looking for a guide that breaks down some of the best classic fish recipes in addition to teaching you the basics, this is it. It breaks down everything you need to know to select, prepare, and ultimately cook fish.

This cookbook comes in both hardback and a paperback edition, but it doesn’t have a digital option for you to download. In addition to all of the cooking advice, it offers over 500 recipes for you to choose from.

Adding even more variety to the mix, many of those recipes offer suitable substitutions if you want to try it with a different kind of fish.

No matter what you’re looking to cook, there are sure to be selections in this guide. They highlight over 70 different kinds of seafood, which gives you tons of choices!

However, if you love tilapia, you might be disappointed. That’s because the author doesn’t like it, and he leaves tilapia recipes out of this book. As a result, there isn’t a single tilapia recipe for you to choose from!

Pros

  • Comes in both hardcover and paperback
  • More than 500 recipes to choose from
  • It includes a comprehensive buyer’s and cooking guide
  • Highlights recipes for over 70 different kinds of seafood
  • Provides options for substitutions

Cons

  • No digital option
  • Tilapia options are neglected throughout

9. Fish Cookbook: Smoking Fish and Seafood

If you’re looking for a way to spice up your weeknight meals but don’t want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen, why not head out back for a barbecue? There are tons of ways to smoke or grill fish, and this cookbook does a phenomenal job of breaking down the techniques for you.

It’s among the more affordably priced cookbooks; in fact, if you have the Kindle Unlimited plan, it’s free! But that doesn’t mean you’re not getting a ton of valuable recipes, there are over 112 pages in this book, and they break down recipes and techniques throughout.

They provide a colorful photo of the finished product for each recipe, so if you like to judge dishes before you spend the time to cook them, this is a great choice.

This guide is geared towards beginners, and as such, they take the time to break down each step in every recipe to a level that’s easy to understand and follow. You won’t find yourself behind the curve because you don’t know a specific technique!

While this cookbook does offer a variety of recipes, it’s all about grilling and smoking. That means if you’re looking for something a little more well-rounded, this isn’t an ideal choice.

But if you’re looking to master your grill master techniques, this is exactly what you need to take your skills to the next level and put some amazing meals on the table in the process! 

Pros

  • It is free with Kindle Unlimited
  • Colorful photographs of every recipe
  • Clear instructions break down how to make every recipe

Cons

  • Only provides recipes and techniques for smoking fish
  • There is no hardback option

10. The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook

America’s Test Kitchen puts out tons of amazing cookbooks, and this one fits that description. While it doesn’t focus solely on fish, it’s a heavy emphasis on the Mediterranean diet.

As a result, you don’t just get amazing fish recipes, but you also get amazing side dishes and entire meals that will go with it! There are over 500 recipes for you to choose from in this book, and they all use easy to find ingredients.

While that doesn’t mean you’ll already have everything you need in the cupboard, it does mean that when you head out to the grocery store, tracking down what you need will be easy!

If you are trying to incorporate more seafood into your diet, a Mediterranean diet is a great way to go – and this cookbook breaks down anything you could want to know about it.

But even if you’re not looking to switch to a full Mediterranean diet, this cookbook provides tons of options for you to mix things up. From easy weeknight dinners to signature dishes, this book offers a little bit of everything.

This cookbook comes in both digital and paperback, but they don’t provide a hardback option for you to choose from. However, both options that they offer are extremely affordable, making this a must add to any home cook’s repertoire. 

Pros

  • Over 500 recipes to choose from
  • Recipes utilize easy to find ingredients
  • Breaks down everything you need to know about a Mediterranean diet
  • It offers a variety of recipes from weeknight favorites to complex dinner options

Cons

  • Not a fish-specific cookbook – but there are plenty of fish recipes to choose from
  • No hardback edition to choose from

Best Fish Cookbooks Buyer’s Guide – (Your Guide to Selecting the Best Fish Cookbook)

Whether you’re new to the culinary world or an experienced cook wanting to develop your fish repertoire, you may have tons of questions. So we’ve broken down everything you need to know to help you select the best fish cookbook for you!

Type of Fish Cookbooks

You might think that a fish cookbook is a fish cookbook, and they’re all the same. That simply isn’t true. While there aren’t a ton of different categories to choose from, these are a few factors you should consider before you make a purchase.

Identifying the Type of Cookbook

While there are different types of cookbooks for you to choose from, most bookstores won’t break them down into separate categories for you. This leaves the task up to you.

The easiest way to identify the type of cookbook is to thumb through the recipes and see what kind of ingredients and what kind of techniques they are calling for. If the list of ingredients includes things you’ve never heard of or have never seen at a grocery store, it’s probably an advanced cookbook.

However, if you read through all the recipes and find yourself thinking that you can make them, it’s either a beginner or intermediate cookbook. Finally, if you find that the cookbook offers more cooking techniques than ideas on what to cook, you’ve found yourself a how-to-cook cookbook.

Of course, if you’re purchasing a book online, you don’t have the luxury of skimming through the book before you buy it. But that shouldn’t stop you from buying the books online because there are a few different ways to find out what kind of cookbook it is before you purchase!

Most cookbooks will showcase a few recipes before you purchase them. If that’s the case, look at those recipes and see how complicated they are. If the site doesn’t show you any recipes, head to the reviews!

While you may not always be able to trust reviewers, if a few different people say the same thing, then it’s likely true. Look for reviews telling you how hard the recipes are. It’s vital to note that we’re not talking about time-consuming. Some recipes are perfect for beginners but take a long time to make.

Finally, you need to take the time to identify which types of fish each cookbook has. While some cookbooks offer a selection from all over the globe, others tend to stay in specific regions. Keep in mind how easy or difficult it will be to source different kinds of fish, which can have a big impact on the cookbook you choose.

Beginner/Intermediate Cookbooks

These are the cookbooks that most home chefs are looking for. Beginner and intermediate cookbooks use recipes with ingredients that you can find at most grocery stores. Furthermore, the recipes themselves are typically a little easier to follow too.

Most beginner and intermediate cookbooks will have a section breaking down how to select and prepare fish, but they don’t go as in-depth as either advanced books or how-to-cook cookbooks.

While these cookbooks are perfect for home chefs, that doesn’t mean that the recipes aren’t high-quality. Professional chefs write most beginner and intermediate cookbooks, and the recipes in them are top-notch and easy to follow.

If you don’t have tons of space, access to premium ingredients, and high-end equipment, these are the cookbooks you’re looking for.

Advanced Cookbooks

These cookbooks are perfect for professional chefs and those aspiring to learn everything there is to know about cooking. These cookbooks have recipes that utilize premium ingredients that most grocery stores don’t carry. For fish cookbooks, that means you’ll need to hunt down fish markets, premium farmer’s markets, and more.

While these cookbooks will break down the techniques they use to select and prepare their food, they often skip the basics. That’s because they expect you to know the basics already, and if you don’t, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to make any of the recipes in the book anyway.

Finally, even if you master the cooking techniques and track down all the ingredients, you still might find that you can’t make the recipes in these books if you’re a home chef. That’s because most of the recipes will call for advanced techniques that require the best equipment and tons of space to complete.

For instance, “The Whole Fish Cookbook” by Josh Niland calls for you to acquire a swordfish, prep it, then hang it from hooks in a smokehouse to dry it. While it makes delicious food, most at-home chefs don’t have the capabilities to do this.

These kinds of techniques are in almost every Niland’s recipes, throwing the cookbook straight into the advanced category.

How-to-Cook Cookbooks

When you’re looking through cookbooks, you’re likely to find a few that focus more on cooking than on what to cook. If this is the case, then you’ve likely found yourself a how-to-cook cookbook. While these books usually feature a few recipes, it’s far less than other cookbooks.

We did our best to find cookbooks that incorporated smaller guides on cooking but focused primarily on recipes, how to select fish, and different cooking techniques. That way, you can spice up your diet and learn a few things about cooking!

However, if you’re looking to master your craft in the kitchen, getting a how-to-cook style cookbook can be an excellent investment!

Making the Best Use of Your Fish Cookbook

Many people buy a cookbook and only ever make one or two recipes or none at all!

While it’s great to start with recipes that are appealing to the eye and sound delicious, it’s best if you expand your choices every once in a while. Some of the world’s top culinary minds crafted these cookbooks; trust what they are telling you!

Try new foods, new flavor combinations, and new techniques! That is the right way to use a cookbook, and if you don’t like one of the recipes you try, you don’t have to make it again! But who knows, you might just find your new favorite dinner recipe!

Features

While just about every cookbook offers recipes and cooking techniques, there are a few other features you should look for in your cookbook. While you might care about every feature, there are some that you might value more than others.

Take a look at some of the options out there, and then decide which features you care about the most!

Nutritional Information

Some cookbooks will break down the nutritional information for each meal, and others break it down per serving.

While this is information that you can find out on your own if you take the time to break down all of the ingredients, cookbooks that offer this information make it a bit easier if you’re trying to pick a healthy meal option quickly!

Cooking Times

We’re not talking about telling you how long you need to cook each ingredient here! Many cookbooks will break down how long it takes to make each recipe, prep time included.

While you can read through each recipe to find out how long it takes to make, if you’re looking for a quick dinner, you’re likely in a hurry. The last thing you want to do is spend a ton of time figuring out how long each recipe takes to make!

Substitutions

Just because you can’t find a single ingredient or don’t like it doesn’t mean that you should have to skip the recipe entirely! Cookbooks that offer suggestions for substitutions know this and highlight a few ideas for things you can swap out.

For fish cookbooks, this is often the type of fish you use! However, they might break down different ingredients within the recipe itself.

Variations

Just like substitutions offer a new way to try a recipe, variations are different ways to spice up some of your favorite meals. The most significant difference between a variation and a substitution is the extent that a recipe is changed.

For instance, a substitution might recommend swapping one type of fish for another. A variation might recommend a different sauce to add to your dish!

Other Nifty Features

While the above features are some of the most common, many cookbooks try to set themselves apart by adding unique variations to each recipe that you can pick from. For instance, some cookbooks will offer good wine pairings or good side dishes to pair each recipe with.

Furthermore, some cookbooks will separate recipes into sections like “good weeknight dinners” and “best for special occasions.” If you like these features, it might be just what you need to make your favorite cookbook!

Best Fish Cookbooks Comparison Chart

ProductPricePaperbackTotal recipes Product Features
Foolproof Fish: Modern Recipes for Everyone, Everywhere$384198198 recipes to choose from, breaks down with a sea food
Good Fish: 100 Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast$336100Provides wine paring with each recipes
The Big 10 Fish & Seafood Cookbook$19880Affordably priced, recipes that are sustainable and budget-friendly
The Joy of Seafood: The All-Purpose Seafood Cookbook with more than 900 Recipes$496900Recipes for over 100 types of fish and shellfish
Fish Without a Doubt: The Cook's Essential Companion$448250250 recipes for plenty of options, only has recipes on sustainable seafood
The Whole Fish Cookbook: New Ways to Cook, Eat and Think$25060Tons of colorful pictures, complex recipes that use every part of the fish
The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook$368100Lots of colorful pictures to look through
Fish: The Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking$544500More than 500 recipes to choose from
Fish Cookbook: Smoking Fish and Seafood$12480It is free with Kindle Unlimited
colorful photographs of every recipe
The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook$440500Over 500 recipes to choose from, recipes utilize easy to find ingredients

Wrap Up

While there are tons of cookbooks and recipes out there, the most important thing is that you keep trying new recipes and taking the time to produce high-quality and delicious food!

Step out of your comfort zone and find recipes that stimulate your taste buds in new ways! With so many great cookbooks out there, there’s no reason you can’t make restaurant-quality food from the comfort of your home!

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