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Top 7 Best Tasting Fish In The World

Albertina Roca
  |   May 13, 2024   |  

Let’s skip the formalities. You already know that fish is good for you, that it’s packed with proteins, minerals, vitamins and amino-3 fatty acids, that scientific research suggests it enhances your cardiovascular health and makes you smarter, and that the American Heart Society recommends eating at least 2 servings of it per week. Pff, you’ve probably read that a thousand times. What you want to know is: how does your favorite sea dweller taste? And what are the tastiest fish out there for you to eat?

So, with that in mind, here’s a run-down of what we here at Gourmet Food Store believe to be the best tasting fish, with details on flavor, fish texture and the best cooking methods for each. Snapper, cod, swordfish...in the battle of the best fish to eat, who will reign supreme? Let's find out!

1. Cod Fish

Tender Cod fish fillet, photo by Dourmet Food Store

  • Cod Taste: mild, somewhat buttery
  • Texture: delicate, flaky
  • Preparation: Take your pick! Cod is the top fish in our list, and perhaps the most popular fish in the world, and can be cooked a number of different ways: seared, baked, poached, broiled, battered, the list goes on. Since it’s mild in taste, it contrasts well with striking, colorful ingredients such as lemon, mustard, herbs and olives, and can be used in anything from seafood soups and stews to salads and tacos, or of course, fish and chips.

2. Sea Bass

A piece of Sea Bass fillet, photo by Gourmet Food Store

Sea Bass is, in our opinion, the best tasting sea fish for those who recoil at the overly fishy taste/smell of some other sea critters. With its mildly sweet flavor, high fat content and full, meaty consistency, it’s easy to enjoy even for those averse to seafood. If you’re not used to eating fish, this is a great option to start, but even those who do eat lots will swear by its heavenliness.

  • Sea Bass Taste: rich, mild, sweet
  • Texture: moist, firm, tender
  • Preparation: Sea bass is best enjoyed slightly grilled, pan-fried, steamed or poached. Pan-searing it before cooking in the oven is also very effective. For flavorings, olive oil or coconut oil will work wonders, as will salt and pepper and other seasonings. Accompany with a simple side like rice, couscous, quinoa or potatoes.

3. Halibut

An example of serving Halibut fish, photo by Gourmet Food Store

This goggle-eyed bottom feeder may not be the prettiest fish to look at, but it sure makes up for it in tastiness! Lean and somewhat flaky, its meat tastes subtly sweet, and will melt in your mouth if cooked right. Many consider it similar to cod, though it’s a little sweeter and firmer, and less oily.

  • Halibut Taste: mild, somewhat sweet
  • Texture: firm, meaty, flaky
  • Preparation: Halibut is extremely versatile, and can be grilled, poached, broiled, baked, fried, seared, steamed or even smoked. It has a low oil content so be careful when grilling or it will dry out, burn and/or stick to the grill. It marries well with vegetable side dishes, particularly starchy vegetables like potato, parsnip or squash, or with grilled asparagus or cauliflower.

4. Red Snapper

Fresh red snapper fish, photo by Gourmet Food Store

Red Snapper gets its name from its rosy, almost-blushing hue. It’s another mild-tasting, versatile optionthat will adapt to many different flavors you add to it. Eaten fresh it’s absolutely exquisite, and highly revered among seafood lovers.

  • Red Snapper Taste: mild, somewhat sweet
  • Texture: firm, oily, moist
  • Preparation: In between different cooking methods? Fry it, bake it, broil it, grill it…this responds well to a number of different preparations. We especially enjoy it grilled or barbecued, and paired with zesty ingredients like lemon or lime, or spicy ingredients such as sriracha or chili peppers.

5. Salmon

A piece of Atlantic Salmon fillet, photo by Gourmet Food Store

Ah, salmon, one of the world’s most beloved fish. The taste and texture of this one will vary widely depending on species, farming method, time of year, and your cooking approach, but generally all salmon has a high fat content and thus rich, oily taste. The taste of the wild salmon particularly 

  • Salmon Taste: rich, fatty, buttery
  • Texture: fine, moist
  • Preparation: Atlantic Salmon is the most versatile species, and can be pan-fried, seared, oven-baked, broiled, or grilled, all with mouth-watering results for a fantastic meal. Pink Salmon is best when fried or roasted, while Red Salmon is excellent for raw preparations such as sushi or sashimi.

6. Catfish

As a freshwater bottom-feeder, Catfish has a rather distinctive earthy (some would say muddy) taste, which can be tempered by deep-frying it in batter and seasoning with lemon. The skin is usually removed as it’s too tough to eat.

  • Catfish Taste: mild, somewhat earthy
  • Texture: medium-firm, moist, succulent
  • Preparation: Catfish is at its best when golden-fried in batter. Season with salt, pepper and lemon, and add a side of corn-on-the-cob and collard greens for a quintessentially Southern specialty.

7. Swordfish

An example of serving Swordfish, photo by Gourmet Food Store

Swordfish is a mighty, meaty fish: eat it grilled and you’ll almost feel like you’re biting into a steak. Even non-fish-eaters tend to enjoy a good cut of swordfish, whose taste is somewhat similar to tuna. Be warned that swordfish, like tuna, is a top-tier predator and therefore can contain high mercury levels; avoid eating it more than a few times per month.

  • Swordfish Taste: moist, mildly sweet
  • Texture: dense, meaty
  • Preparation: Swordfish is excellent when grilled or barbecued, and pairs wonderfully with tartar and other sauces and with seasonings like rosemary. Since it’s so robust and filling, we recommend adding light sides such as salads, salsas or summer vegetables.

Health Benefits

Fish offers a multitude of health benefits, and is one of the best foods to add to your diet. Let’s explore the wide array of nutrients in this superfood: 

  1. Heart Health: Consuming fish regularly has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke due to its omega-3 fatty acids content, which can lower triglycerides, reduce blood clotting, and decrease inflammation in the arteries.
  2. Brain Health and Development: Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are crucial for brain health and development, particularly in fetuses and young children. They support cognitive function and may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.
  3. Improved Mood and Mental Health: Omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with improved mood and mental health. Consuming fish may help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
  4. Eye Health: Certain types such as salmon and tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are beneficial for eye health and may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
  5. Protein Source: Fish is an excellent source of high-quality protein, which is essential for muscle growth, repair, and overall body function. It provides all the essential amino acids required by the body.
  6. Bone Health: Fish is a good source of several nutrients important for bone health, including calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. Regular consumption of fish may help prevent osteoporosis and maintain bone density.
  7. Weight Management: Fish is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense food that can be beneficial for weight management. Its high protein content can increase satiety and reduce appetite, potentially leading to weight loss when included in a balanced diet.
  8. Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases: Incorporating fish into your diet may lower the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers (e.g., colorectal cancer), and autoimmune diseases due to its anti-inflammatory properties and nutrient density.
  9. Improved Skin Health: The omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants found in fish may contribute to healthier, more radiant skin by reducing inflammation, protecting against sun damage, and promoting collagen production.

Popular Questions

Which is the tastiest fish in the world?

Oh, that's a tough one! Taste buds can vary, but some people swear by salmon for its rich, buttery flavor.

What fish has the most flavor?

Well, if you're looking for a fish with a lot of flavor, you might want to consider salmon. It's known for its rich taste and versatility in cooking.

What fish tastes like steak?

Ah, if you're after a fish that tastes like steak, you're in luck! Swordfish is often compared to steak because of its firm texture and hearty flavor.

What are the best fish to eat?

Well, there are plenty of delicious options out there! But if I had to pick a few, I'd say salmon, tuna, cod, and trout are all fantastic choices. They're not just tasty, they're also packed with nutrients. So, go ahead, dive into some delicious fish!

Questions and Answers

Q:I love fish so I agree with you. I like the way you tell us how to buy each fish species
A:Thank you. You can find the fish mentioned in on this page: https://www.gourmetfoodstore.com/smoked-salmon-and-seafood/fresh-fish-0999
Q:Enjoyed this article .Will stop limiting my fish to halibut
A:Thank you for your feedback!
Q:Now I have the courage to try anything besides cod. Very informative.
A:Thank you for your feedback. We are happy that you found the information presented helpful.

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Author

Albertina Roca

Meet Albertina, a seasoned food writing wordsmith and marketing creative split between the sizzling vibes of Miami and the charming streets of Buenos Aires. With a solid 20 years in the traditional and digital advertising world for the gourmet food industry, she’s mastered the art of making words as mouthwatering as the dishes they describe. She’s proudly been part of the Gourmet Food Store family (and its brands) since its very beginnings, and what a fun, flavor-packed journey it has been!

Her journey began at Rutgers College, where she studied in History and Political Science, with a minor in English Lit. She honed her craft at The Miami Ad School in South Beach, where creativity and copy collided under the South Florida Sun. From the neon streets of South Beach to the tango beats of Buenos Aires, her pen dances with the rhythm of whatever gastronomic tales she gets to write at the time.

Currently savoring life in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she’s bilingual in English and Spanish, an avid reader, and cheese addict.

Her writing? Seasoned with creativity, spiced with experience, and garnished with a dash of wit.

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