Edible Fish: Everything you need to know about them

There is a wide variety of edible fish nowadays, with many people enjoying them when it comes to the culinary world. These creatures can be worth large amounts of money respectively. Discover the names of the main edible fish below.

Main Types Of Edible Fish

Contrary to what many may think, not all fish are edible, hence the importance of knowing them. Some species have high concentrations of mercury, which is a heavy metal that at high concentrations is highly toxic for the human body, and although most fish contain it, they vary their levels according to habitats and species.

White Edible Fish

The group of white edible fish consists of a large list of species, which usually inhabit the seabed. Its fat content is very low and they are very easy to digest once cooked. The best way to prepare them is cooked in water or steamed and fried although grilled or baked are also very tasty.

Blue Edible  Fish

Blue or fatty fish are considered to have a fat content bigger than 6 percent in their composition. However, they may also have a high content of fat  depending on the season where they are captured.  Thus, a blue fish can become white after spawning.  They are usually migratory species, so fat reserves are insurance for long trips. In addition, they are also characterized by having more blood than white fish.

The  name «blue“ comes from their spine’s  greenish-blue color, being  commonly more difficult to digest than white fish. For this reason, it’s advisable to cook them dry, that is, on the grill , in order to reduce their fat content. Herring, common tuna,  mackerel, salmon and sardine, can be mentioned as the most popular blue edible fish.

Edible Fish According to Their Habitat

This category is very important since we must take into account to ensure their naturalness when buying them to consume them.

Seawater fish

Most of the edible fish species belong to this group. They come from the sea, a medium where the waters are richer in sodium, iodine and chlorine, which gives them a better smell and taste. Marine fish, according to the area of ​​the ocean in which they live, are classified into several groups respectively, we refer to benthic and pelagic, which are described in detail below:

• Benthic:edible fish: catching flounders

This fish live on or near the seabed, where  they are usually buried. They are lean or white fish with a flattened shape, such as sole, rooster, haddock and flounder.

• Pelagic:

They live in different layers of water that stand out for being good swimmers and carry out migrations in schools across the sea. tuna, anchovies and sardines belong to this group.

Freshwater Fish

These are edible fish that come from rivers, streams and lakes, where the water is richer in magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.  Sea pigs are the most famous species of freshwater fish in the world.

Diadromic Fish

They are those edible fish that share their life in both media and migrate from fresh water to seawater during certain stages of their life; like salmon,trouts  and eels.

Aquaculture Fish

It is not the natural habitat of fish and shellfish or edible fish, although breeding is currently being promoted in controlled artificial means. Fish farms use fresh water and marine farms raise species of edible sea fish.

The development of aquaculture must address three main reasons: adapt to consumer demand, protect the natural environment and allow the “biological stops” necessary to preserve certain species.

Let’s learn about aquculture

Main Types Of Edible Fish

There is a large number of edible fish in the world, and you shouldn’t miss this chance to meet them, so that you can identify them, since not all fish are edible and many of them are also quoted in the market.

Dover soles

Dover soles  are perhaps the best fish for chefs, as reflected in the prominent place they occupy in the lists of European Restaurants. Owners of a firm, white and delicate meat, Dover soles are really easy to preserve and in in fact, they taste better if consumed after 24 hours.

They are suitable for all cooking methods being excellent for the most diverse sauces.  However, their best presentation is lightly cooked, with pink edges and served with butter, parsley and lemon juice. Only fish of poor quality need to be seasoned. If you ask the fish shop to prepare sole fillets, don’t forget to take with you their head and bones, which can form the basis of a great fish stock.

Let’s learn a Wonderful Dover Soles’ Recipe

White Wine Sole fillets
Ingredients (4 diners)
      • 800 g fillets of sole, clean and skinless
    • Salt
    • Ground black pepper
      • 2/3 cup of fish stock
      • 1 1/4 cups white wine sauce
      • 2 tbsp. cream
    • To taste lemon juice
    • 12 mussels, cooked
    • 75 g shrimp, peeled
    • 4 mussels with half shell, cooked
    • 4 unpeeled shrimp, cooked
      • For the white wine sauce
    • 4 tbsp. dry white wine
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 pinch nacis or nutmeg
      • 1/2 bay leaf
    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • 1 tbsp. wheat flour
    • 2/3 cup of fish stock
    • 4 tbsps. milk
    • salt
    • pepper


35 minutes

    • Rinse and dry the fillets, fold them in three and place in a greased buttered refractory. Season with salt and pepper and pour the broth over. Cover with waxed paper greased with butter and bake in the oven, preheated moderately, for 15 minutes. Drain the fillets keeping the liquid and place on a serving tray, keeping it warm.
    • Put the cooking liquid in a small saucepan and reduce to a tablespoon by boiling it quickly. Add the white wine sauce along with the strained mussels liquid, and keep on low heat adding the cream and lemon juice.
    • Stir in mussels and peeled shrimp, heating everything very well, without boiling. Pour the sauce over the fillets and garnish with the unpeeled shrimp and mussels in its half shell.
    • White wine sauce, (this sauce is used only for fish.)
    • Put the wine in a small saucepan, add the onion, the natis and the bay leaf and cook over low heat until it is reduced by half.
    • Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Apart from the heat and add the fish stock and the reduction of strained wine. Cook over very low heat for 10 minutes and add the milk to a boil again for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Let’s watch and learn

European Flounder

Flounder is in some places a fish of little reputation. Very rough skin and dark brown, with a pale belly, flounder has very little of the delicate taste of other flat fish.

They are all excellent if they are freshly caught, and are frequently used in the recipes indicated for sole or turbot, because they adapt to the same cooking methods.

Let’s learn how to cook them

Galician European Flounder


    • 150 g flounder
    • 1 g potato (100g)
    • 20g peas
    • 1 tooth (5g) garlic
    • 1 tablespoon (10mL) olive oil
    • Sweet paprika
    • Laurel

Preparation time: 30 to 40 minutes

Cook the potatoes in water with bay leaf and onion cut into thick slices. After 8 min add the fish and cook for 7 more minutes depending on the thickness. In addition, prepare garlic with oil, garlic and paprika. Serve the flounder on top of the potatoes accompanied by separate cooked peas and sauce on top.

Let’t watch and learn


It’s  one of the most delicate edible sea fish. Its meat is the firmest and best taste of all white fish, and although it is currently very expensive, turbot is an opportunity not to be scorned. It is recognized for its brown and rough skin and its enormous size: an adult specimen can weigh up to 12 kg and usually constitutes the central decorative element of the counter in the fishmonger, usually with its white belly facing upwards.

During the heyday of turbot, in the 19th century, larger, whole specimens could be cooked in containers designed for such a purpose. Currently it’s possible, in most cases, to do the same with small specimens (a young turbot weighs 900 g to 2.5 kg), replacing the turbot with a large frying pan.

If an entire turbot is too large, you can buy chopped or filleted, but remember that this is how it is cooked faster. It’s found all year round, whole, in fillets and sliced and its flesh must be creamy white; (a bluish tint indicates that it is putrid)

The best cooking methods: it is a fish of such quality that it supports any cooking method, but it is best to simply peel it or grill it, and serve it with a parsley, lobster or Dutch sauce.

Let’s watch how they cook them

Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus)

Gigantic among flat fish, halibut is an edible fish that can reach 2 m in length.  Its upper portion has a brown color that oscillates between light and dark, while the lower one is pearly white.

In terms of taste, it is almost as good as turbot and has the advantage of being cheaper. It is found all year and it’s better when it is small: a young halibut, (less than a kilogram and a half) is a very suitable lunch or dinner for 4 to 6 people, depending on how it is served. The largest are sold in pieces, chops or fillets.

Avoid buying it frozen, because it is light and dry. The best cooking methods: poached or roasted, with a good sauce – lobster, egg or parsley – or with melted butter. When it is very fresh, it is also good prepared as ceviche.

Let’s learn this wonderful Recipe

Halibut Confit with Leeks, Coriander, and Lemon


    • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, more chopped too thick to serve
    • 4 leeks, (only white and pale green parts), divided in half lengthwise, cut transversely into 2 «pieces
    • 8 sprigs of coriander, cut into 2 «pieces, plus serving sheets
    • 1 cup olive oil
    • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeded
    • Kosher salt
    • 1 3 lb skinless halibut fillet, cut in half lengthwise


    • Preheat the oven to 375 ° F.
    • Grind 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle into thick pieces. (Alternatively, you can cut into large pieces with a knife).
    • Mix leeks, coriander sprigs, oil, half of the lemon slices and 2 teaspoons ground coriander in a large roasting pan; Season with salt.
    • Roast, stirring occasionally, until leeks are tender and begin to brown, 15-20 minutes.
    • Remove the roaster from the oven and carefully pour the infused oil into a large heat-resistant measuring cup.
    • Reduce the oven temperature to 275 ° F.
    •  Season the halibut with salt and place it on the leeks in a roasting pan. Cover with the remaining lemon slices and ground coriander and pour the infused oil over the fish. Roast until halibut is well cooked and flakes, 30-35 minutes.
    • Cut the halibut into large pieces and serve with leeks and lemon covered with chopped coriander seeds and coriander leaves.
    • Forward: halibut can be roasted 1 hour in advance. Let cool and cover.

Lemon Sole (Microstomus kitt)

Although its name sounds delicious, the lemon sole doesn’t taste like lemon (it belongs to the common dab family and the Garibaldi damselfish).

Nice looking, this yellowish brown fish has a fresh taste of iodized salt and is much better the fresher. Of tender texture, but pleasant, it is better to cook it simply and with few additional ingredients.

It’ s found year-round, whole or in steaks. Frozen fillets tend to be soft and the best cooking methods are those  used for Dover soles. Either in steaks, passed by egg, breadcrumbs and fried, the lemon is a suitable dish for children.

Let’s learn how they cook them

Common Dab (Limanda limanda)

The common dab is very similar to a small European flounder and has a very rough skin. Its meat is soft, fragile and easy to digest. It can reach 30 cm long, although it’s is usually smaller.  It is sold whole or in fillets and the best cooking methods  for this fish are whole on the grill, such as toast or fillets, passed by egg and breadcrumbs and fried.

Common Dab with Lemon and Dill Sauce

      • 600 g of lemon fillet
    • Chopped dill
    • 1 large lemon
      • 40 g butter
    • Flour
    • Iodized salt, pepper and oil
    • Defrost the limanda fillets on a rack so that the defrosting juices are set aside.
    • Peel the lemon with a very thin skin, cut it into thin strips and hide it with water three times.
    • Melt the butter over low heat and add the juice, lemon peel and dill.
    • Sprinkle the fish, flour it, fry it with hot oil and set aside. Place the fish on the plate and add the sauce on top. You can decorate it with a little lemon.

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Brilll  (Scophthalmus rhombus)

This is an excellent fish, similar to turbot but smaller and motley in color. Its meat is soft and pleasant and can be cooked in a similar way than Halibut and Dover sole.

Cod fish

It’s is a beautiful fish with greenish skin, mottled yellow, very popular in the waters of northern Europe and the United States. When cooked carefully, cod is a delicate delicacy, but it must be very fresh to enjoy such a pleasure.

To choose a good piece of this fish it will be useful to take into account the following recommendations:

    • Cod fish is found found throughout the year, but it is better in winter.
    • Fresh cod is sold mainly in slices and fillets.
    • When it’s possible to choose the cut, the middle part will be always the best, since it combines the tender texture of the tail with the taste of the mouth. You should not buy steaks or slices that have yellow or pink spots.
    • Frozen cod, (although safe in terms of freshness), lacks the delicious taste or aroma of the fresh one, but it is undoubtedly better than buying a «fresh» of doubtful quality.

Did you know?

Cod eggs are just excellents and healthy, and the liver produces an effective, although unpleasant vitamin supplement. An adult cod can weigh up to 36 kg; the small ones, equally good, from 700 g to 1 kg.

The meat naturally melts into large, firm layers, and retains this texture well. It’s  splendid poached, and is excellent for fish cakes or pies, croquettes, salads and puddings. It is also good roasted in the oven, grilled and fried, accompanied with a good homemade sauce, such as the Dutch or the tartar.

In England, poached cod is traditionally served with lemon slices and raiforte relish, but it also goes very well with a garlic-flavored mayonnaise. To make the meat whiter and tenderer, it should be rubbed with a lemon, half an hour before cooking.

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Elongated member of the cod and deep-sea dweller family, hake appears in some French menus under the name of “white salmon (saumon blanc)”, and in the United States it is known -as deep-sea fillets, «deep water fillets».

The silver hake, coming from the east coast of America, is a particularly fine fish, which is usually also called whiting, and that shouldn’t be confused with the European whiting which is a smaller fish.

Hake is very popular in Spain, where it is battered and fried or served pickled, frying the fish and putting it to marinate in an herb sauce. Its meat, tender and with a tendency to fall apart in layers, is somewhat softer than cod, with a delicate flavor and aroma, and with the additional advantage of having few thorns, quite easy to remove.

The best cooking methods include: hake passed through frying paste and fried in plenty of hot oil, fried in the pan, baked with pine nuts, breadcrumbs and cheese, or poached and served on a bed of spinach or sorrel mixed with cream milk.

Hake and tomato puff pastry


    • 1 chilled puff pastry
    • 3 hake fillet
    • 12 cherry tomato
    • 1 onion
    • 3 egg
    • 200 ml liquid cream
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • 1 thyme twig
    • oil
    • Elaboration:
Step 1

Leave the puff pastry out of the fridge. Peel the onion and chop it. Put it in a pan with 1 tablespoon of oil for 15 minutes and set aside.

Step 2

Clean the hake fillets, removing the skin and possible spines, wash them; dry them well and crumble them. Line a 22 cm diameter refractory mold with the puff pastry, so that the edges slightly protrude and prick the bottom several times with a fork.

Step 3

Beat the eggs with the cream, salt and pepper. Add the fish and onion and stir. Pour this preparation over the dough, add the washed tomatoes and bake the cake 30 minutes in the oven to preheat to 180º. Remove and serve decorated with the washed thyme

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The sea bass, whether one of the North American varieties – striped sea bass, black sea bass and rock sea bass – or the beautiful silver sea bass, is the ideal fish for a splendid homemade meal. It is just the right size for a small family and its meat has a delicate flavor.

It’s is found throughout the year and is sold whole, sliced or in fillets. The best cooking methods indicate that specimens of up to 900 g can be grilled whole; in France they are roasted on aromatics and throwing on fire a handful of fennel sprigs.

Larger fish are baked, and slices and fillets are poached. The sea bass is also excellent in salad or ceviche, and gives an unusual dish if it is steamed, on a bed of seaweed. We invite you to read our article european bass to learn more about this interesting species.


Sea bream

Some species of the bream family are clearly superior to others: the best is the Mediterranean or golden-headed bream, which has a compact body and a golden spot on each cheek.  It is a large fish, which is only recognizable by its reddish-orange skin.  The American ones are smaller.

All have a firm, but succulent and pleasant-tasting meat, which harmonizes with quite strong accompaniments. It is necessary to scale them, which you can request in the fish market, or cook the fish with scales and then carefully remove them, along with the skin before serving. Although it is found throughout the year, it is better in autumn. It’s  sold whole or in fillets.

The best cooking methods indicate that it should be seasoned well and roasted on the grill or in the oven, wrapped in aluminum foil, you can also pass through oatmeal or flour flakes and fry it quickly in oil. If it is cooked whole, two or three cuts must be made on each side with a sharp knife, so that the heat can quickly penetrate the thickest parts, which will ensure that the fish is cooked regularly.

(Mackerels )

The mackerel is a blue and green edible fish that is among the easiest to recognize. Its taut skin, a steely blue, with blue and green spots on the spine and a blackish stripe pattern, is so smooth that it almost looks enameled. It has a pearly white belly, and the inside of the mouth is black.

If these natural brands have lost their shine and the fish is not decidedly shiny, do not buy it. Its meat is firm, rich in flavor, very oily and rich in vitamins.

The best time is April, May and June, when they are close to spawning. A 450 g mackerel gives a portion for one person, as main course, and for two, if it goes as an entree. The best cooking methods: grilled; It also goes well stuffed; Soft eggs can be mixed with the stuffing, but if they are hard it is better to bake them under the fish.

It can also be baked, poached in white wine, or if it is presented in fillets, passed through oat flakes for later frying, such as herring. Apart from thorny grapes, sauces suitable for mackerel are mustard and ra

Frigate Nigiri Mackerel

Ingredients (2 portions)

    • 40 gr Japanese cooked rice
    • 30 gr Mackerel divided into two sheets
    • 30 ml. Soy sauce
    • 5 gr Wasabi
    • 5 gr Pickled Ginger

15 minutes

We moisten our left hand with water, take a portion of rice, form two long bites (equal to the size of the mackerel sheets).

On the bite we adhere the mackerel sheets firmly, accompany with ginger, wasabi, soy sauce.

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