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Need a substitute for halibut

The fish will be dredged in flour and fried. I've been told to avoid halibut. What is a similarly sweet, non-fishy fish that'll work as well? I imagine that cod will fall apart, we can't have monkfish. Will tilapia work?


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  1. Tilipia is more likely to fall apart than cod. I would go with a nice piece of center cut cod. Why avoid Halibut ? If you can find a fillet, it is excellent (as would be black sea bass).

    1. What about turbot? It's sometimes called halibut in the stores, but is more pure white than pinkish like real halibut.

      1. Tilapia is a very fishy fish (at least to me). I just floured & panfried butterfish 2 nights ago and it didn't fall apart (didn't fry it for very long though, just enough to get color and firm up). And it was very non fishy tasting, it had a similar taste & texture to halibut, but not as thick of a fillet.

        1. Hmm, butterfish. I've never made it, but I may give it a try, if they have it at Fairway. If that's unavailable, I guess I'll go for cod. I'll check out turbot, as well.

          I'm avoiding halibut because somebody warned me that it's considered as bad as tuna for pregnant or nursing women. Frankly, I was getting a bit bored of it anyway. When you need or want really non-fishy fish, the field is somewhat limited.


          1. If you can purchase some fresh trout, that is a perfect way to cook it and it is very mild. Haddock would be a nice mild fish also (very similar to cod, in fact, I have seen more than one restaurant list haddock and sell use cod as it is generally a few bucks less per pound and most people can't tell the difference).

            1. My husband went fishing in Alaska last year and brought home a ton of halibut. I frequntly cooked it like you mentioned with fresh lemon added after cooking and it was delicious. Our halibut was cut about 1 inch thick and held up fine. Be careful not to overcook it. I think haddock would also work as a good subsitute.

              1. Why are you avoiding halibut? I fried it last week and it turned out great. Most fried fish like "fish and chips" is cod.

                2 Replies
                1. re: roxhills

                  As I mentioned above, I was told that pregnant and nursing women shouldn't have too much halibut (it's considered almost as bad as tuna) and it's generally my fish of choice. I'm looking for alternatives now.

                  Haddock -- that's a sweet fish, as well?

                  1. re: Clarissa

                    Haddock is very mild, pure white fish that many people that only like "unfishy" fish seem to like. Good luck !

                  1. Clarissa - you are correct - halibut is a fish that has a pretty high mercury content (like white tuna -light is OK once a week), so you should avoid it while nursing (& other big fish that have a long growing life - farmed fish have the quickest growth and therefore the lowest mercury content). I would use any firm white fish - cod and tilapia are pretty flaky, snapper might be good. Turbot too. What about mahi-mahi? It's nice and firm-fleshed and tasty without being too oily (aka fishy). I checked the mercury content online and it's the same as cod.

                    1. Oops - I take back the snapper rec - it's moderately high in mercury. Here's a link to a good list re. fish mercury levels FYI:

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jcanncuk

                        Thanks for your help. I'll add mahi mahi to the list I'm making, thanks to all of the great help from this thread. I'm so happy to have new options.

                      2. halibut is a flatfish just like flounder.

                        So how come no one has suggested flounder yet?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: scrapple

                          The times I've floured & panfried flounder, it totally fell apart. Also a little fishy tasting. Or maybe was it sole? One of those flatfishes.

                          1. re: scrapple

                            Because flounder is very different than halibut. Halibut may be a flatfish, but it's much larger than sole or flounder. They are really no substitutes for one another.

                          2. If you are just frying the fish, I'd go for Haddock, Cod, Tilapia or Mahi. Most fish n chips I've seen are made with haddock or cod, at least here in Boston. During a vacation to Maui, all of their fish n chips were made with mahi mahi, which held up very nice. I also watched Alton Brown fry up tilapia on an episode of Good Eats. I beleive he said it was his favorite frying fish. Fried scallops are excellent, but I'm not sure if they are good for pregnant women, having a shell and all.

                              1. re: michigan mom

                                Thank you -- they have a great list there. Very helpful!

                                1. re: Clarissa

                                  Another great resource:


                                  It has health info, but also eco-impact, sustainability, etc. Be careful with the research though because if you start looking into farm raised salmon you will never be able to eat it again. At least I haven't been able to......