Are you someone who wants to add more fish to your diet, but you just can’t handle that strong “fishy” taste or smell?
Luckily, there are plenty of options for you! Some types of fish are known for being less “fishy” than others, making them a great choice for people who are new to eating seafood or who simply prefer a milder taste.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the least fishy fish out there and provide you with some tips on how to prepare and cook them to make the most of their subtle flavors.
Why do Certain Fish Smell Fishy?
Some fish, such as mackerel and salmon, are naturally higher in these chemicals, which can make them smell more “fishy” even when they are fresh. Additionally, certain cooking methods, such as frying, can cause fish to release more of these chemicals and intensify their “fishy” flavor.
Another common reason for the smell is that the fish is not fresh and has started to spoil. When fish begins to spoil, it can develop a strong, unpleasant odor and flavor that is often described as “fishy.” This is caused by the breakdown of the fish’s cells and the release of certain chemicals, such as ammonia and trimethylamine, which have a strong, pungent odor and taste.
What is the Least Fishy Tasting Fish?
Take a look at the list below to find out about the least fishy fish out there! Personally, cod is my favorite, but many types of fish are on here to pick from! Enjoy.
Among the many types of cod, Pacific Cod is probably the best for those who don’t like the fish smell.
Cod is easily found in any supermarket. While we prefer Pacific cod, really any cod will work here. They are all very similar in taste and texture.
Pacific cod has an impressively mild and sweet taste. Likewise, there isn’t a strong smell from it either, making it an excellent choice to begin with.
Pacific Cod is a perfect fish to begin with if you aren’t sure you’ll like fish. It has a pretty neutral taste, and you won’t get strong fish odors at all from it.
However, we recommend you choose fresh, or freshly frozen fillets. The longer it sits in your fridge or freezer, the worst it will taste.
Pacific Cod can be cooked in a variety of methods like baking, broiling, boiling, steaming, frying, and sautéing. Generally, any type of cod is very easy to prepare.
Flounder is often referenced as one of the best fish for people who don’t like fish. Similar to the cod, flounder can taste moderately sweet and doesn’t have a particularly strong smell, either.
Flounder is found in both salt and fresh water. It has a mild, delicate flavor and has a slightly firm texture.
And because of that mild taste and meaty flesh, it’s a hugely popular fish to use.
Flounder can be prepared in many ways: boiling, frying, steaming, or broiling. Due to its meaty-ness, it is also perfect for cooking on the grill (as it won’t fall through the grill grates).
Flounder is fantastic when mixed with lemon, butter, and garlic. Yum!
Some people may be confused about my choice because the swordfish is a saltwater fish – one of the least strong fishy fish of all, so it must have a stronger fishy taste than others, right?
However, that is a misconception. In fact, they are considered as the excellent fish for first-time fish eaters. So, which feature puts swordfish on the top of the most least fishy fish?
Like other fish on this list, the swordfish is said to be the strongest fish in the ocean, which means the texture must be firm and dense.
When available raw, it has pinkish-red flesh. When cooking, the flesh turns slowly into beige.
Not to mention, the swordfish is packed with a mild and slightly sweet flavor. To compare, in terms of flavor, the swordfish and the Mahi-mahi can be used interchangeably.
However, evaluating the thick flesh, it’s more likely that they provide buttery and meaty dishes.
To add-in, there isn’t any stinky smell from the swordfish, making it a proper choice for first-time fish eaters. With such incredible characteristics, the swordfish is so easy to cook in any method.
Typically, this fish tastes best when being grilled. Its oil combined with the dense flesh will create an unforgettable delicious, meaty dish for your family.
With the firm texture, the mildly sweet flavor, and delish aroma, swordfish is the right choice if you are finding the least tasting fishy fish.
However, the amount of mercury in swordfish is quite high, so we don’t recommend using it daily.
Mahi-Mahi is a fish that lives in tropical oceans around the globe. In terms of quality, the Mahi-Mahi is said to be the tastiest fish for its tender flesh. Another famous name for it is dolphin fish.
When we mention the “most delicious” label, you must wonder, “What exactly does it taste like?”, right? So, to describe the flavor of Mahi-mahi, it’s better to put it in a comparison to other types of fish.
In terms of texture, the Mahi-mahi is firmer than the Flounder and the Swordfish, as thick as the Lingcod, making it the right choice for grilling and marinating.
In terms of taste, the Mahi-mahi’s flesh resembles the Lingcod for its mild sweetness. However, compared to the Pacific Cod, it provides a more robust flavor.
In brief, the Mahi-mahi is balanced, moderately sweet, but not at the irritating level. The texture is firm enough to cook without worrying about falling out.
Furthermore, it is not fishy at all, so the Mahi-mahi must be a perfect match for who cannot endure the stinky.
Halibut is a lean white fish, and also has less fishy smell compared to other fish.
Lingcod from Southern California is a great – albeit less available – substitute for halibut.
Halibut is the most highly-prized fresh seafood in Alaskan with a mild flavor and firm fish. The wild Halibut is the most popular white fish and commonly caught at the continental shelf areas of Alaska, so its name originated from here.
Its fillets are white as snow, lean, boneless, and skinless, suitable for baked and fried. When you cook Halibut, its meat naturally separates into flakes.
Alaska Halibut has a sweet flavor as other white fish, and it brings a great source of protein, so its meat is the same as chicken of the ocean.
Halibut taste is a little more robust and firmer texture than other white fish. That is the reason why it is recommended for people who eat fish for the first time.
Alaska Pollock is considered one of the most seafood consumed in the US, which are commonly caught in the northern Pacific Ocean.
It belongs to white fish with a mild flavor, delicate and flaky texture. It is also nutritious and a significant source of omega-3 fatty acids, low in carbohydrates but high in protein.
Therefore, it can be cooked by many methods including in fresh and frozen fillets as grilling, pan-fried, deep-fried, or other breaded.
To some people, wild Alaska Pollock is very delicious and is one of the healthiest natural foods in the world.
Pacific rockfish, also rock cod or Pacific snapper, is very famous in the Pacific Ocean, which lives near North America’s West Coast.
It is one of the excellent white-fleshed fish, mild-tasting with a flakey texture. The rockfish is a perfect choice for people who do not like fish for the first trial of eating seafood.
Pacific rockfish is a very versatile fish, is served quickly in meals as forms fried, grilled to steamed, and even raw. In most recipes that do not call for a specific kind of fish, you can use rockfish as a good choice.
The rainbow trout is coldwater, also a species of salmon that comes from clear, peaceful mountain streams of the Pacific Ocean in Asia and North America.
It has many colors and patterns that depend on age, environment, and spawning conditions.
The rainbow trout meat has mild, soft fibers, delicate that some people think it is the same as a nut flavor. When the meat is done, it is a light flake with the color pales.
Haddock is dark grey or black color, has a long, pointed front dorsal fin and a northern Atlantic fish. It is a species of the cod family with a mild, sweet flavor, lean flesh, which is easily softer after cooking under temperature.
From my point of view, Haddock has a taste close to Halibut. They are suitable for grilling or frying. Haddock is usually sold in fresh, frozen, or smoked form in stores.
Catfish is popular with their protruding fish beard, as a cat’s whiskers. It is a kind of whitefish, not a scales fish, but has a sweet, moist, mild, and special taste for the people who do not like fish.
However, some people said that it tastes muddy because they live in murky bottoms near mud. Each person has their taste, but I find the catfish a delicious food and contains many nutrients.
It is also a great source supplying B12 vitamins and choline, which are suitable to raise for cells to get healthy.
In my private opinion, the most crucial thing that decides the flavor of fish depends on the cattish you choose and the cooking method you do.
Tilapia is a type of white flesh fish native to the Nile River in Africa. It is a mild taste; even with some people, it is virtually flavorless.
Tilapias don’t have a fishy flavor as anchovies or mackerel, which is suitable for people who are beginning to eat seafood. Its taste is a slight sweetness that is perfect for grilling, breading, pan-fried, or baking.
When you cook tilapias, you should combine it with spicy, flavor-packed sauces and herbs. If it is done, it has a white color, firm texture meat with delicious taste. Please make sure that your tilapia is not spoiled while cooking.
How To Eliminate The Fishy Taste Out Of Your Dish?
Besides finding some least fishy fish, another way to help one’s eliminate their hatred towards stinky smell is to think of some tips for removing the fishy flavor out of their dish.
Well, search no longer, here they are:
Soak It In Milk
Milk must be the simplest way to eliminate the fishy odor. With the casein protein, it can boost the trimethylamine’s speed and effect – the cause for fishy smell removal.
Here is the guide to discharge the stinking odor of the fish using milk:
Step 1: First, dip the fish into a bowl of milk.
Step 2: Leave it there for about 20 minutes.
Step 3: take out the fish and dry it with a paper towel. By then the trimethylamine that triggers the fishy smell will be removed.
Spice It Up
Milk is a great choice to eliminate the odor, but whether you don’t have any milk at home, are there any replacements instead? Well then, we recommend turning to spice to remove the smell.
There are many spice types to support you in this case, such as curry powder, Cajun, black pepper, chili, or herbs.
In case you cannot find any spice listed above, the “Asian-approach” of soy sauce or tamari or ginger can also support you in this case.
The process is simple:
Step 1: Soak your fish in a tablespoon of spice and rub a bit of it on the fish.
Step 2: Just wait for about 20 to 30 minutes for the mixture to eliminate the annoying odor.
Use The Acidic Mixture
Another choice to help you remove the fishy smell is to use acidic ingredients such as vinegar or lemon juice.
The sour mixture can deter the bacterial growth, leading to a slower rotting procedure. Plus, the acidic mixture won’t affect the primary taste of the food and either its flavor.
In most cases, we recommend using this method with a 1 or 2 days old fish for the best effect. The older your food, the less odor it can get rid of.
However, if you don’t have any sour seasoning in the kitchen, you can use baking powder instead because it can create a similar result.
Rub It With Salt
If you grow up in an Asian family, you must have heard about this unique method. Salt is a fantastic seasoning with many crucial roles in cooking.
It can be used not only in flavoring the dishes but also in removing some odors in fish.
To be specific, this seasoning can strongly dehydrate bacterial cells and prevent the development of the clostridium botulinum bacterial growth, making it longer spoiled.
Without this bacteria, the rotting process will not happen, and the fishy odor will, therefore, be kept at bay.