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Feb 28, 2010 09:32 AM

Good Fish for Fish Hater

Ive never liked fish and don't try it very often at all for that reason. I want to start eating a more healthy diet however, and would like to include fish in it.

Can someone please recommend a healthy fish for me to eat with a fairly mild taste? When I buy fish is it better to get fish steaks or filets? Any healthy fish recipes would also be greatly appreaciated!


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  1. More info is needed; is your fish loathing more texture, taste or smell related? What kind of fish, and what preparation types do have in your past that might suggest alternatives that avoid those characteristics.

    Frex, I was made to eat whole flounder with the skin (yecccch) and bones when I was very little, and inevitably got at least one sharp bone stuck in my throat, yet as an adult, seafood, even whole fish)are among my favorite foods, despite my fear and loathing early on.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mcf

      I think its mostly the taste .. when I was young my mother always made me eat salmon and I hated being forced to eat it and also the I never really got excited about trying fish on my own. Oh and of course those damn fish sticks! I really want to change my mind and embrace the wonderful world of fish though!
      I guess ireally will have to just tryy them all and see what I like... I was kind of hoping to hear from someone in a similar situation..

      1. re: kpaxonite

        I love salmon, but a lot of folks don't like oily or strong tasting fish. Personally, I have an involuntary gag reflex to sockeye salmon and other extremely lean fish, such as barramundi, I cannot choke them down.

        I think there are a lot of good suggestions in the various responses here; you might try focusing on clean tasting, firm white fish like halibut, haddock, and maybe flounder and fluke. Mahi mahi makes me a bit queasy unless it's well marinated, but for many non fish eaters, it is an ideal choice; firm like steak, almost, no fishy taste. I love Chilean sea bass, but a lot of folks don't like the large flake and oiliness of it; I bake it in a putanesca type sauce.

        You're also going to have to figure out if you prefer drier or more moist preparations.

        One other suggestion that leaps to mind is brook trout, very mild, firm, usually served with some sort of very savory stuffing for flavor. Also, Arctic Char is a cross between brook trout and salmon; very pale pink firm, not strong tasting, pleasing firm texture.

        I agree that experimentation without someone making you sit in front of a fish meal you hate is going to be key to any new fish preferences. :-)

        1. re: kpaxonite

          Ocean perch, flounder and tilapia are mild tasting fish. I also have enjoyed blue gill, sun fish, and walleye's. The last three were from one of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota. I had a very bad case of seafood poisoning back in the late 70's which made me spurn anything that swam, slithered, or crawled in water. I eat tuna fish, which is considered a medium tasting fish. But I have been very reluctant to try any others. Now, I will spend extra for any of the above!!!

      2. Well what i think is mild, you might not. But I think mahi mahi and ahi are perfectly mild. I like the firm texture too. Whiting is good, just lightly bread them with rice flour and you can eat them with just lemon or make butter, parsley, lemon and caper sauce. I found that it's better to go easy on the butter, it tends to make it too rich. Spices too, I use cajun spices they really help with flavor, but then I love fish as long as it doesn't smell fishy. For me red snapper smells too strong and I know so many people love it.. But atlantic salmon doesn't to me. You are going to go through trial and error I'm afraid, it's personal taste that decides for us.
        Okay, but then again give me anchovies to top all over my salad, I love them, go figure.

        7 Replies
        1. re: chef chicklet

          What kind of fish goes well with cajun flavours? When I cook shrimp [which i already love] I always do it in butter and siracha sauce because I love spicy food...but thats pretty darn unhealthy

          1. re: kpaxonite

            Catfish is a natural fish for Cajun flavors, and the farm raised catfish are very mild tasting.

            I also recommend cod, haddock, perch and hake which are all very mild white fish.

            1. re: Kelli2006

              Catfish is an excellent suggestion for someone who is not a fish eater. Try it cajun blackened style.

            2. re: kpaxonite

              I use mahi mahi, it's a sturdy fish. I don't really care much for catfish.

              Do you have to add the butter to your shrimp? I add some red curry and a little coconut milk, or just enough oil to scoot it around then add my hot sauces. I like the jarred hot chil sauces with garlic. It has oil in it already,no need to add anymore.

              I know what you mean spicy for me is the best, ever have camerones a la diabla? I know I probably spelled it wrong, but oh my goodness it is awesome!

            3. re: chef chicklet

              chef chicklet, you're awesome, but I have to disagree. I think mahi mahi is among the worst starter fishes for someone who doesn't usually like fish. While not especially fishy, it still can have an extremely strong taste and overly-assertive texture. I have known several people who couldn't stomach it. In fact, it's one of the few fish I pretty much never eat.

              I'd suggest one of the milder white fish, especially tilapia, farmed catfish or basa, orange roughy, halibut or flounder. My very favorite is walleye, bluegill or sunfish, though they're a bit harder to find frozen (the last two maybe impossible). Monkfish is very mild. And as Cheese Boy says below, skate is totally delicious. I think it resembles crab to a certain degree in texture especially, but also in its slightly-sweet flavor.

              Thicker filets may pose a texture problem for people who don't enjoy fish already, so I'd say no to cod for right now. And although swordfish and shark aren't particularly fishy, they still have that mahi mahi thing in the firmness of the flesh and the strong taste that is off-putting to some.

              1. re: dmd_kc

                thanks for the nice comment . Of course you can disagree! I've grown so fond of it since a trip to Florida a few years ago. It was the only fish they had for fish sandwiches (which I adore). I ate them almost everyday I was there. I came home a week later and everyone kept telling me that I lost weight. I lost over 5 pounds! LOL! but I could I could eat mahi mahi t everyday and I don't taste fishiness at all. I do have a problem with most tilapia, the farmed tilapia tastes so muddy to me. I agree with the bluegill although I haven't had it years. Yes to monkfish too. And see, I totally do taste something weird going on with swordfish and I hate shark. The fillets I buy are frozen and I get them at Trader Joes, perhaps becuase since their flash frozen right away that might take away some of the fishy flavor.
                How about Ahi? I have a picky fish eater (my doh) I've tried so many fish on him, mahi mahi he loves. Ahi, halibut, some salmon, and some cods. I don't care what they say, not all fish labled cod is the same.
                I think most people just have to dive in and experiment, but using cajun spices is one way and the other way my picky eater loves fish is if I make a dijon mustard, white wine and cream sauce. That's a good one for bbq'd salmon or halibut.

                1. re: chef chicklet

                  I occasionally get a piece of swordfish like you describe, too. More than any other food, I think we take it on faith as to which species of fish we're purchasing -- especially with the smaller white fillets you get frozen.

                  And yes, as others have said, tilapia can vary widely.

            4. Cod and Halibut come to mind.

              Generally most fish is pretty mild tasting, just avoid the obvious things like salmon, swordfish, ahi tuna, and mackerel etc.

              1. I am a fish lover, could even JUST eat fish but when I talk to others about fish (particularly those that don't like fish) - they seem to enjoy haddock. I would start there and fix with other ingrediants that you like, maybe wrapped in proschutto or a nice lemon/caper sauce, and keep away from deep frying if you are trying to go healthy. I also like it with dijon mustard spread over the top, sprinkle some seasoned breadcrumbs (bake it). Real healthy, wrap it in foil with seasoning, garlic, cut lemons - on the grill. If you love asian flavors, I'm sure you could find some nice recipes on here.

                Definately do filets - one bone and you'll be miserable with fish if you try a steak.

                Haddock holds up very nicely, firm and flaky.

                good luck

                1. To the fine suggestions of haddock and mahi mahi, I would add monkfish. Its flavor is very mild, and its texture is more meaty than fishy (i.e., it's a bit chewy and it doesn't really flake). Flounder filet might also be a good starter fish.