Is There a Fish That Tastes Like Steak?

Everyone and their granny has heard that fish is really good for you. Omega-3 fatty acids, high protein low fats, tons of vitamins and minerals. The cardiovascular health benefits of fish are well documented. However, there’s something you’ve likely heard a million times regarding a fish dish: does it taste like fish?

If you want to reap the health benefits of the fish without that intense fishy flavor, the best tasting fish is commonly agreed to be halibut. It doesn’t have a strong fishy taste like a lot of other fish.

However, halibut isn’t your only option if you’ve already tried it, or want another choice.

What makes fish taste good?

Regardless of what your plans are with your fish, the most important key to good fish is buying fresh fish. If it has a super strong odor with any discoloration or a slimy texture, give it a skip.

Never keep fish for longer than 2 days in the fridge. This will expose you to the growth of harmful bacteria and food spoilage.

How to avoid fishy taste?

If you’re not a fan of fish whose flavor lives up to its name, there are a few things you can do to fix it.

Frying

A guaranteed way to make your fish taste better is to fry it.

Regardless of the type of fish you choose, frying or even deep frying will take your fish to the next level in terms of flavor and delicious texture. 

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In fact, you don’t even really have to fry it. You can bake it with a generous coating of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. This will likely convert even the most skeptical fish critic into a raving fan, and works well on any variety of fish.

Soak in lemon

Lemon juice and fish go together like a baked potato and sour cream. The acids in lemon, or really any acidic fruit like limes and tomato juice, react with a compound in fish called TMA – this eliminates the odd fishy odor.

Adding a vinegar-based marinade and soaking the fish for a while will also push down the fishy tones of your dish.

Milk

Okay yes, it sounds odd. Milk and fish isn’t the kind of thing one would find themselves rushing to the market for. But it is undeniably good at eliminating the pungent fishy odor. 

The casein protein found in milk will bind itself to the TMA and remove it from the fish. The TMA is what causes that fishy smell and taste. 

Once you pour out the milk, you’re pouring out the TMA. Just soak it for 20 minutes, pat dry, then get to cooking.

Fish bacon

What, you’ve never heard of fish bacon?

It’s cool, this isn’t really a traditional way to prepare fish. But it is pretty tasty!

All you do is thinly cut your fish like strips of pork or turkey bacon, then fry it in a skillet or bake in the oven. You’ll come back with crispy fish chips. These can be served by itself, or paired with a casserole to increase the comfort of your comfort food.

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Add spices

Thankfully, fish takes to spices very well. They absorb flavors easily, and the right choice of spices can perfectly mask the fish taste. 

You can either buy a premade mixture, like a cajun rub, or make your own. Give the fish a generous layer of spices and cook in your preferred way.

What are the fish that taste like steak?

Salmon

Salmon is a very popular fish, for good reason. It has a natural smoky flavor and can withstand the heat of a grill or skillet. Doesn’t tend to fall apart like some softer white fish tend to do. It’s rich in oils, making it incredibly meaty and tender.

Cod

Cod is a firm white fish with a delicious flaky texture once cooked. Atlantic cod is a bit softer and has mild sweetness, while Pacific cod is more firm and is far more savory. 

It’s a milder fish, so it pairs well with herbs and spice rubs. It’s also incredibly flaky, but stands up to heat very well.

Halibut

Halibut is a popular, oiling white fish. It has the most omega-3 fatty acid of any white fish, making it not only incredibly tasty but quite good for you as well.

It has a very firm texture and pulls apart into large flakes. You’ll need to treat it quite tenderly though, as it’s still quite lean and can dry out if you cook it too long or too harshly.

Mahi Mahi

Mahi mahi is another white fish that packs a ton of flavor. It’s also known as “dorado” or “dolphinfish”. It’s not a dolphin, though.

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The texture is firm, and it holds up to heat well – it’s a great fish for the grill.

Trout

Trout is a somewhat rare freshwater fish. It’s got a slightly gamey flavor, with a sweet undertone.

Though it’s incredibly tender and versatile, it’s also not really the fish to serve when you’re trying to convert a fish skeptic. 

Sea Bass

Sea bass is another fish with a super mild flavor, allowing it to pair well with spices and flavorful sauces. 

It’s lean and very flaky, so do your best not to overcook it. It’s best cooked gently, through poaching it or baking it.

Final thoughts

While fish may not be the food for everyone, and there always will be someone at the dinner table who turns up their nose at the very idea of eating it, there is a ton of variety with this meat. You can find something even the most skeptical fish-doubter can find palatable.