Best Tasting Fish

Top 10 Best Tasting Fish (mild, popular & non-fishy taste)

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Fish is a healthy addition to any diet since it is a good protein source and is relatively easy to prepare. Some types of fish are high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, while others are leaner. 

Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourages adults to eat at least eight ounces of fish a week and children to eat four ounces of fish a week. However, many kids—and even some adults—often find the texture and flavor of fish less than desirable. 

Thankfully, we have ten fish—and a few honorable mentions – that won’t put you off with a fishy taste. 

Top 10 Most Delish And Best Tasting Fish

The following fish have tastes ranging from rich to interesting to no fishy flavor at all. Try them with spices and marinades to find the best flavor for you and your family.  

1. Salmon

Salmon is one of the healthiest fish fillets you can eat because it has a high omega-3 fatty acid content, which is important for heart health and your overall well-being. It’s high in protein, making it an excellent choice to eat on a diet because it’s nutritious and filling.

Since salmon has a higher oil content than other fish on this list, it has a more robust flavor. The oil gives it a rich and buttery taste that pairs well with garlic or light citrus marinades.

For those who like seafood, this makes salmon one of the most delicious fish. For people learning to love fish, salmon might be too strong. It doesn’t taste fishy, but if you cook it with a citrus or herb marinade, that flavor will even everything out.

2. Chilean Sea Bass

Despite this fancy name, Chilean sea bass is actually Patagonian toothfish, a type of cod that comes from Antarctic regions. Thankfully none of that information skews the melt-in-your-mouth flavor of this fish.

Chilean sea bass has a buttery flavor and a firm, silky texture, so it’s a good fillet to cook by poaching, baking, or pan-cooking. Keep a close eye on the fillets and remove them from the heat when they turn opaque, so you don’t dry them out.

As a low-calorie fish high in protein, Chilean sea bass is a healthy choice and the best tasting fish for many, considering its popularity. However, Chilean sea bass has a higher level of mercury compared to other best tasting fish on this list. Because of this, the Environmental Defense Fund recommends that adults only eat two portions of the fish a month, and children only eat one.

(You should also read our article on Most Consumed Fish In The World)

3. Flounder

Flounder is a lean, light fish that has a mild, slightly sweet taste. Since it is such a delicate fish, it can fall apart while cooking. To avoid this, dry your fish fillets before cooking them. Heat the pan to a high temperature before putting in your flounder and prepare one of the best tasting fish imaginable.

Don’t try to flip it too often—when you slide the spatula under the fillet, and it doesn’t stick, it’s ready to be flipped. Let it cook thoroughly on one side before switching it to cook the other side. This trick will also keep you from overcooking the flounder.

4. Cod

Like the other white and best tasting fish on this list, cod has a mild, milky taste and is slightly sweet. Fresh cod will have a faint taste of butter. If your cod fillets smell or taste fishy, it’s because they weren’t fresh.

Cod is commonly called the “chicken of the sea” because its white meat is so delicate and flaky. It takes flavor easily, so you can lightly season the fillets with citrus or spices before you bake, steam, saute, or broil them. Cod fillets are flaky but cook well without falling apart.

5. Halibut

Halibut is firm and meaty, with a mild taste that has a hint of sweetness. The fish makes it thus easily in this list of best tasting fish. You can cook it in many ways, but it might dry out if you use dry heat, since it doesn’t have a high oil content. You can poach, broil, and fry halibut for a delicious meal.

Halibut is thicker than cod, and with its firm texture, it might be the best choice to serve to people who prefer eating meat like chicken or pork.

Many people who don’t like the taste of salmon prefer to eat halibut to get their fill of omega-3 fatty acids. Halibut is also rich in vitamin B12 and vitamin D, so it’s a great addition to your diet.

6. Mahi-Mahi

Mahi-mahi is a popular fish for a good reason—it has a deliciously sweet taste, and since it’s a thicker fillet, you can cook it in many ways. Since it’s firm, it’s an easy fillet to grill, but frying or baking mahi-mahi is also a great way to prepare it. The delicous and healty Mahi-mahi fish makes it therefore in this list of best tasting fish – without a doubt.

If you find mahi-mahi has too much of a seafood taste, marinate it in soy sauce or with a citrus-based sauce. These flavors work well with mahi mahi and will mask any taste you find unsavory.

The FDA has a handy chart that shows mahi-mahi is a “good choice” of fish. This means that even though mahi-mahi is a lean fish that is a good source of protein and vitamin B12, you shouldn’t eat it more than once a week because it has a medium level of mercury. 

7. Swordfish

Swordfish fillets are firm, often being compared to cuts of steak when it comes to texture. The fillet retains moisture even after it’s been cooked. If you don’t like the relative dryness and flakiness of other fish, a meaty piece of swordfish might be the fillet you need to try to taste one of the best tasting fish. 

This fish’s flavors are still light and mild, and it takes seasonings or marinades very well. This thick fish is best cooked by pan-frying or grilling. Like a nice steak, you want to cook your swordfish until the outside is browned, but the inside is still pink.

8. Ahi Tuna

Ahi tuna, also called yellowfin tuna, is a chunky, steak-like fish fillet. Since ahi tuna tastes like meat, lightly coating the fillet with a spice mixture you’d use on a steak will perfectly accentuate these flavors. 

It can be grilled or seared momentarily to give it a golden crust outside while keeping it raw and moist inside. If you prefer full cooked tuna, you can bake your ahi tuna fillets after marinating them in a citrus sauce to help lock in moisture.

Yellow fin tuna is one of the most expensive fish to eat, but the steak like chunky texture makes this pricey choice, also one of the best tasting fish you will ever taste.

9. Grouper

Grouper has a mild flavor and a lean yet firm meat that stays moist even after cooking it. Interestingly, while groupers have a similar taste, there may be small differences in flavor and texture relating to the grouper’s size and species.

For example, red grouper has a more sweet and mild taste than black grouper and is usually considered the better tasting option. Grouper has a lack of bones that makes it easier to cook and eat with little preparation. It is also one of the best tasting fish for our taste, and thus a must in this list.

10. Sole

Sole is a slightly firm white fish that has a mild, sweet flavor. You can season it with salt and pepper before lightly breading it and pan-frying for a delicious meal. Sole also cooks quickly and easily when baking and poaching.

In addition to being a good source of protein, sole also has high levels of vitamin B12 and selenium, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight heart disease. Since it has low mercury levels, it ranks as a “best choice” fish according to the FDA and I would consider it as one of the best tasting fish.

A Few Additional Tasty Fish to Mention

If your taste buds don’t go wild for any of the highly ranked delicious fish listed above, you might want to try some of the following. These best tasting fish were so close in the running that we had to give them an honorable mention.

  • Snapper is a firm fillet with a slightly sweet taste and an oily texture. It can be baked, fried, or grilled and still retain its moisture.
  • Bluefin Tuna is one of the most expensive fish to eat, but it’s worth the taste if you can afford to splurge. These fillets are dark and fatty, giving a full flavor when cooked rare or medium-rare, like a steak.
  • Wahoo is also called “Ono,” which is Hawaiian for “good to eat.” They have a mild flavor, a delicate texture, and stay moist when they’re cooked. This great combination makes them one of the best tasting fish to eat.
  • Kingfish has a stronger taste than most fish on this list. It has rich flesh with oily flesh that is often balanced by light marinades.
  • Catfish is one of the most popular fish because it’s so easy to find. Catfish have a sweet and mild flavor, and the flesh stays moist unless overcooked. This texture in combination with the mild, sweet and non-fishy taste makes catfish one of the best tasting fish to eat.

(You might also be interested in reading about the Most Overfished Fish Species)

The best tasting fish for everybody

To find the best tasting fish is a matter of personal preference, but some popular choices for the best-tasting fish include salmon, tuna, and sea bass. These fish have a rich, flavorful taste and are often considered some of the most desirable types of seafood. Other contenders for the title of best-tasting fish include halibut, trout, and red snapper. You can find our favorite picks for the best tasting fish above.

Mild-Tasting Fish

Some consider mild tasting fish as the best in taste. Examples of mild-tasting fish include tilapia, cod, and catfish. These types of fish have a delicate flavor and can be easily flavored with a variety of seasonings and marinades. They are also a good option for those who are new to eating fish or prefer a subtler taste.

Least Fishy Fish

If you are not a fan of the taste of fish, there are some options that are known for being less “fishy” in flavor. Tilapia, cod, and catfish are all mild-tasting and may be less off-putting to those who are sensitive to strong fish flavors. Additionally, shellfish such as shrimp, lobster, and scallops are often described as having a sweet, delicate flavor and may be more palatable to those who do not enjoy the more intense taste of finfish.

Firm fish

Firm fish are those that hold their shape well when cooked and do not flake easily. Some examples of firm fish include tuna, swordfish, and halibut. These types of fish are well-suited to grilling, broiling, and pan-searing, as they can be cooked to a desired level of doneness without falling apart.

White Fish Fillet Types

White fish are those that have a light-colored flesh and a delicate, mild flavor. Some examples of white fish fillets include cod, haddock, and tilapia. These types of fish are often used in a variety of dishes, including fish and chips, fish cakes, and fish chowder. They can also be baked, grilled, or pan-seared and served with a variety of sauces and seasonings.

Which Fish Has the Most Taste?

Again, this is a matter of personal preference and can vary from person to person. Some people may find that fish such as salmon, tuna, and sea bass have a stronger, more distinct flavor, while others may prefer the subtle taste of milder fish such as tilapia or cod.

Additionally, the flavor of fish can be influenced by factors such as the type of diet the fish was raised on, the cooking method used, and the seasoning or marinade applied. Ultimately, the fish with the most taste will depend on individual preferences for the best tasting fish.

What is the Cleanest-Tasting Fish?

The cleanest-tasting fish are those that have a mild, delicate flavor and do not have a strong “fishy” taste. Some examples of clean-tasting fish include tilapia, cod, and catfish. These types of fish are often considered good choices for those who are new to eating fish or do not enjoy the taste of more strongly-flavored seafood. Additionally, shellfish such as shrimp, lobster, and scallops are usually described as having a sweet, clean flavor and may be more appealing to those who do not enjoy the strong taste of finfish. However, finfish are frequently chosen as best tasting fish by regular eaters.

Final Thoughts on the best tasting fish

Fresh fish always gives the best flavor. However, if that isn’t an option depending on your location or budget, flash-frozen fish can still have a great taste. Thaw flash-frozen fish under cold running water for a few minutes or in a bowl of cold water for an hour before cooking. 

These best-tasting fish are easy to cook and, since their flavor is naturally delicious, don’t require a lot of spices or marinade. Whether you’re already a fan or someone learning to enjoy seafood, you’ll find plenty of possibilities.

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