Top 10 Best Tasting Fish

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 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 overall. However, Chilean sea bass has a higher level of mercury compared to other 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.

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 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. 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 different ways. Since it’s firm, it’s an easy fillet to grill, but frying or baking mahi-mahi is also a great way to cook it.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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, which 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 expensive, 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.
  • 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.

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

Final Thoughts

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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