HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


So the girlfriend didn't like seafood for 4 yrs., now she has come around...somewhat. [Moved from Home Cooking board]

Somehow she's managed to come around and enjoy some seafood. On vacation she had a snapper and a king fish that she liked, most recently she had scallops and catfish which she liked. So, my question is...what other types of fish would be considered lighter, or "non-fishy" if you will. She can't do shrimp or say tuna fish in a can. It's too fishy. The slightest taste of fish will turn her away. I know fish is supposed to be fresh and not smell like fish, but the bottom line is some seafood tastes like the sea, in such a way that those who aren't big fans consider it fishy. So, what other fish should I pick up for her to try and how should I prepare them for her. Thank You
PS. Even crab is too fishy

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Tilapia is always a good call. it's a very mild white fish and holds up when you cook it. Rachel Ray has a bunch of good 30 minute meals with Tilapia.

    I think that Halibut is a good choice too; as well and Sea Bass.

    2 Replies
    1. re: strephking

      Some others are grouper, tile fish & pollock. I would be hesitant on the mahi-mahi mentioned, it has a stronger flavor than the seafood she has enjoyed. Salmon would be a little iffy too, Bluefish, mackerel & swordfish are all fairly strong too. On the whole let color guide you. If it is a white fleshed fish it will generally be mild, once in a while a "medium" flavor. Congrats! My BF recently discovered that he likes fish & has been having a wonderful time exploring new varieties.

      1. re: meatn3

        This is pretty much the advice I would give. Especially the grouper rec. Grouper is a very nice mild fish that makes incredible po' boys.

        One other thing that is important. The older fish gets, the more of a fishy taste it has. Try and get as fresh as you can.


    2. I'm not a fan of fishy fish either and agree with Strephking that Tilapia and halibut are good mild fish. I use Tilapia quite a bit for myself as it's inexpensive with a good firm texture.

      Does she find fresh tuna steaks offensive as well as the tuna in a can? I find good fresh tuna steaks to be good and not fishy but stronger than say Tilapia.

      Generally I find fresh water (tilapia is fresh water) white fish are good.

      Some other suggestions:

      Mahi Mahi
      "Chilean Sea Bass" is actually Patagonia toothfish, they're nice and mild but overfished.
      Orange Roughy is also a firm white fish with a mild taste but also over fished. (and might be too fishy for your gf, though I think it's within most people's "fishy" limits)

      1 Reply
      1. re: guseats

        My husband hates "fishy fish" also, and this is a guy born, raised and still lives in Boston!!!! He loves haddock, cod and flounder, all mild tasting. After I got him to taste and love the aforementioned, we moved on to lobster, which is pretty mild all by itself, then clams. My suggestion would be to cook them as plain as you can without too many other ingredients (baked, broiled and/or fried) and let her be convinced that these fish taste good all by themselves, then move on to fancier preparations.

      2. As a non-fishy fish person myself (though I like crab-stuffed opah), I concur with halibut, sole, and cod, as well as tilapia. Can't stand salmon or whitefish. Has she done albacore sashimi (so different than canned tuna...)? I might try opah, mahi mahi as suggested, swordfish (since it has a meaty texture), lobster (claw). I'd also consider using blackening seasoning, something simple but highly flavorful and that will combmat fishyness well.

        1. Thanks for the ideas thus far. She doesn't do sashimi or sushi no matter what, she doesn't like salmon either. She also hasn't liked any tuna steaks that I've ordered out, probably because I order them med. rare. So there it is a textural thing above all. I will stop by the fish market tomorrow to give some of the others a whirl.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Tonyjlive

            My kids cut their "fish" teeth on flounder and sole sauteed in butter, olive oil and a little lemon. As toddlers, they loved the sweet, non-oily flavor and it made it easy to progress to other mild white fish like haddock, cod and halibut fillet. They now enjoy all things from the sea.

            1. re: greenstate


              That was our #1 baby food! Both my daughters lived on it from about 9-18 months (not exclusively, and with the addition of capers and parsley). They love it to this day. Some people thought it was nuts; I'm glad to see I wasn't alone.

              PS, for the original poster--how bout skate--the poor man's crab, sauteed as above?

          2. You might want to try shark. It's very meaty and not overly fishy if you get it nice and fresh. It's got the texture of tender pork. Outstanding for kabobs.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Davwud

              I agree 100% with shark and will add swordfish. For folks who grew up not eating fish, like me, texture is a big stumbling block as well as flavor. But grilled swordfish is closer in texture to a grilled steak than other fish.

              Congratulations to the OP on your success so far. It took me along time to turn around to where I love seafood, since I come from a family with a seafood aversion. But it is possible, it does take years, and it very much worth the effort.

            2. In addition to cod, tilapia, flounder and halibut, I'd add striper. AKA striped bass or rockfish. Fairly firm, white, mild flesh. Great pan-seared.

              1. I wonder if she would like scallops?

                I am picky about seafood myself, but I do like both shrimp and crab ...

                2 Replies
                1. re: foiegras

                  i'd say probably not on scallops due to textural issues esp given she doesnt like the texture of tuna steak, as scallops are even more unique in that sense.

                  1. re: Emme

                    Hmm, texture would never have occurred to me as an issue! For me they are a bit too sweet, but seems like a good thing to try ...

                    I would do a "seafood platter" of all things you like that you think she might ... and then you eat whatever she doesn't like. I had a boyfriend who loved authentic Chinese food, and the menu at his favorite restaurant wasn't very detailed. Sometimes I would order adventurously, and then if my plate showed up with, say, tripe on it ... he would trade with me. I loved him for that & I bet she will too ;)

                2. I have a similar situation with The Boy. He tends to prefer the meatier "non-fishy" types of fish, so I've had some luck with swordfish and marlin, along with some tuna (as long as it's very very fresh and one of the lighter varieties).

                  Tilapia and sole are also great suggestions.

                  1. I have to confess to not liking fish either. I do not like tilapia at all and haven't eaten snapper in a while for the same reason. Lately, though, I've become a big fan of skate. Skate a la meuniere tastes almost like chicken to me. Your GF might also like monkfish or chilean seabass (as previously recommended).

                    1. Just don't feed her monkfish, ok?

                      1 Reply
                      1. This is hilarious! I think Catfish is quite fishy, and scallops are not for the non-seafood eaters. Probably she just prefers most anything fresh and well prepared! Another name to throw up on the wall, Wahoo! I love Wahoo, but I also love monkfish and cuttlefish. I think it all depends on freshness and preperation whether a fish tastes "fishy."