The Top Best Tasting Fishes to Eat

Not only is seafood healthy for you, but they are delicious as well if you know what you’re choosing; and that’s the problem, there are so many choices, it’s hard to tell which is the best tasting fish to eat. For those of you who are fortunate enough to be close by to a fish market where fresh access is readily available, great! For the many of us who aren’t so lucky, we thank the internet for easier access to fresh seafood these days. However, we do pay higher prices for them, so it’s vital we choose a fish that is tasty to eat. Everyone will have their preferences, so use this list of some of the best tasting fishes and decide which one will be worth trying.

salmon, what people think is the best tasting fish to eat, but there are much more to choose from

Best Tasting Salt Water Fishes

This list is separated into two categories: freshwater fishes and saltwater fishes. We’ll start off with saltwater fishes because they’re a little more popular.

Swordfish

Swordfish is like the “steak of the sea.” It’s very meaty, and the texture is very dense. The meat remains moist even after cooking, and there is a subtle, mild sweetness with every bite. If you love your steaks, but you want some seafood, then go for a swordfish steak. Swordfish is best cooked on the grill or pan-fried.

Halibut

Halibut is firm and meaty, but also very lean and flaky. The taste is mild, and there is a hint of sweetness. It doesn’t have a lot of oil content. Be careful not to dry it out when cooking with dry heat (such as grilling).

Halibut is a favorite because it tastes so darn good, and also because it’s so very versatile. You can cook it however you want. Any of the following cooking methods will work well for halibut.

  • Grilling
  • Poaching
  • Broiling
  • Baking
  • Frying in batter/crumbs
  • Pan-frying
  • Searing
  • Smoking

Whichever cooking method is your favorite; you just can’t go wrong.

Cod

Swordfish not your style because you’re a chicken lover? No problem, you’ve got Cod, the “chicken of the sea.” Cod is white, delicate, and flaky. The taste is mild, so there is isn’t anything that makes it overpowering. Buying quality cod, you’ll taste a hint of butter.

The reason why cod is labeled “the chicken of the sea” is also because it’s so versatile (just like chicken). You can cook it in many ways, and it will turn out great. Really, it’s hard to mess up cod, so go ahead and bake, fry, poach, broil, sear, or grill it; it will still be tasty.

Chilean Sea Bass

sea bass, the least fishy tasting fish in the sea

Don’t let the name fool you. If you’ve had freshwater bass before, don’t be turned off by the name because Chilean sea bass tastes nothing like freshwater bass. If you’re turned off the fishy taste that comes with fishes, this is the choice for you. Chilean sea bass has the least fishy smell and taste to it. Give it a try if you’re also cooking for someone who isn’t too fond of fish.

The meat is high in healthy omega-3 fats. It is firm with a very meaty texture.  The meat is very mild, but there is a hint of sweetness to it. You can grill it, pan-fry, steam, or poach it.

Salmon

Ah salmon, this list wouldn’t be complete without it. Indeed, there are better tasting choices, but if you ask any random stranger what the best tasting fish to eat was, salmon would likely be their answer. Some will say they just don’t know any better, but you and I can’t argue that salmon is delicious regardless. What’s not to love about it’s rich, fatty, and buttery taste? The subtle texture just makes it even better.

With salmon, it’s best to:

  • Pan-fry
  • Sear
  • Bake
  • Gill

salmon sashimi, a great way to enjoy fresh salmon

Fresh red salmon can also be enjoyed as sashimi too. If you don’t have any experience with sashimi, it’s best to leave for a night out though. Improper handling and ignorance offer much parasite risks that you’ll want to avoid.

Yellowtail

Also known as Japanese amberjack, yellowtail is an option you don’t want to miss. It has a rich, fatty taste and the texture is subtle (almost like salmon). You can grill it, pan-fry it, or sear it. But the next time you’re out for sushi, try something on the menu with yellowtail.

Yellowfin Tuna

Also known as Ahi tuna, yellowfin tuna is popular among many. If you’ve never had yellowfin tuna, you’re in for a treat. Grill it or sear it. But don’t skip out on fresh yellowfin tuna sashimi.

Red Snapper

Red snapper offers a mild and slightly sweet tasting meat. The meat provides a firm and oily texture. It is also very versatile. You can bake it, fry it, broil, or grill it.

Mahi Mahi

Mahi Mahi’s pinkish meat offers a taste that is similar to tuna and swordfish. It has a subtle texture and large flakes. The flavor is mild; there isn’t any overpowering fishy taste.  If you like tuna or swordfish, try Mahi Mahi. If you’ve never had it before, don’t miss out. It’s great grilled, fried, or baked.

Grouper

Grouper provides a lean and mildly sweet flavored meat. It’s firm, with heavy flakes. Grouper stays moist even after cooking. Cook it however you like because it will still come out delicious.

Bluefin Tuna

If you ask anyone what is the best-tasting fish to eat, and they’ve had bluefin tuna before, then the answer is going to be bluefin tuna. It is that good, and you are seriously missing out. There’s a reason why the price tag on these are so high (but they’re worth it). If I had to choose one fish from this list, I’d go with bluefin tuna.

Freshwater Fishes

With the list of saltwater fishes completed, let’s visit the selection of freshwater fishes. You’ll notice there aren’t as many to choose from (which is understandable).

Crappie

Crappie is a favorite because of how mild it is. You don’t get that too much of that fishy taste. The flesh is soft. Freshly caught crappie will have a hint of sweetness.

Walleye

If Cod is the chicken of the sea, then walleye is the chicken of the lakes (and rivers). It’s a very mild, and versatile freshwater fish. You can fry it, bake it, grill it and it will turn out delicious.

Perch

White perch is a favorite for its flaky textured meat. Perch is mild and delicious.

Freshwater Trout

rainbow trout, undoubtedly one of the best tasting fresh water fish you can eat

Freshwater trout include rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. When fresh, they are delicious baked, poached, steamed with herbs, and pan-fried. Lake trout is a little different; some love them, and some don’t. I’m not a fan of lake trout, so it’s not on my list, but you can give it a try and see if it’s to your liking.

This list doesn’t even begin to cover the number of fishes you can eat, but it’s an excellent place to start if you’re looking for the best tasting fish to eat.  Choose one that sounds interesting to you and gives it a try. Or choose something entirely new for you. If it’s on this list, you can’t really go wrong. Oh, and don’t forget to pair it with a nice wine.