Fish Recipes

Grilled tuna with Sicilian salad on a plate
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

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These are recipes for the typical sort of fish you will see in a market or go out and catch yourself. “Normal” fish, meaning fish without extra sets of bones, that don’t have common food prejudices against them, are unusually ugly, slimy or otherwise visually disadvantaged. Recipes for these more unusual fish can be found here.

Keep in mind that these species designations are merely suggestions. One of the beauties of fish cookery is that you can always sub in one fish for another. So look at the recipes first, then the fish species.

And all my salmon and trout recipes are on a different page — I have so many they needed one. For salmon and trout recipes, click here.

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Some baseline techniques you will find useful as you come across various fish and seafood. Many of these apply to so many different kinds of seafood it’s worth compiling them here.

A vermillion rockfish.

How to Catch Pacific Rockfish

Before you can cook fish, you need to catch it. My tips and techniques on catching bottom fish, especially Pacific rockfish.

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how to fillet a flat fish

How to Fillet a Flounder or Halibut

Halibut, fluke, flounder, sole. This is how you fillet them. It’s simple, different from a regular fish.

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A plate of beer battered fish and chips

Halibut Fish and Chips

This is a basic fish and chips recipe you can use with any firm fish. Halibut, cod, haddock, redfish, walleye, perch, catfish, lingcod, shark… you get the picture.

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Fish Tacos Recipe

Fish Tacos

Baja California-style fried fish tacos you can use any white, firm fish to make. These are lightly battered, like tempura, and served with your favorite taco accompaniments.

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A bowl of ceviche with tortilla chips.

How to Make Ceviche Safely

Ceviche is great, and it works with all sorts of fish and seafood, but you need to know some things to make it safely.

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Two hands holding a fried fish sandwich

A Simple Fried Fish Sandwich

Who doesn’t love a fish sandwich? I used Pacific rockfish for this, but any lean, firm, white fish would work.

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butter poached fish on the plate

Butter Poached Fish

Poaching a fish in butter or oil is a wonderful way to enjoy a lean fish and actually taste its subtlety. A good skill to learn.

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A plate of sake poached fish with greens and togarashi.

Poached Fish

“Water” poaching is perfect for fatty fish, but works on lean fish as well. The secret is not using just water – a flavorful poaching liquid is key.

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A grilled whole fish over the coals.

Simple Grilled Whole Fish

Grilling a whole fish is an important skill to know. It requires a clean, hot grill, some oil, and lots of finesse.

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A fillet of barbecued fish, in this case striped bass.

BBQ Fish, Fish on the Barbecue

Most fish can be barbecued, slow and low. It’s a great technique to learn.

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whole fried fish

Hmong Style Crispy Fish

This is what I do with whole bass-like fish, such as rock cod, bass, seabass, crappies, big bluegills, croakers, etc. This particular recipe is a light and fresh Asian take on a whole fried fish.

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grilled fish on the half shell

Grilled Redfish on the ‘Half Shell’

This is how you grill fillets from large fish that have large scales, i.e., redfish or large rockfish or seabass — with the skins and scales on. It’s a good technique to master.

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Butterflied trout with peas and parsley on a plate.

How to Butterfly Fish

This is how I butterfly and debone small fish like trout and small bass. You can either prep them for the pan, or for stuffing.

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pan seared grouper on a plate

Perfect Seared Fish

How to pan-sear fish fillets, skin on or skinless, perfectly every time. It’s not hard, but there are a few tricks to it.

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Italian salsa verde served with saffron brined halibut

Italian Salsa Verde with Halibut

Saffron brined halibut seared simply and served with an Italian salsa verde. You can skip the saffron and it’ll still be wonderful.

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Halibut poke in a bowl .

Halibut Poke

Yep, you can eat halibut raw in this Hawaiian salad — just freeze it first. Every bit as good as ceviche… maybe better.

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Fish puttanesca on a plate.

Fish Puttanesca

An old school Italian way to served very firm fish like halibut or swordfish or shark steaks. You need a thick, firm fish you can cut into cubes for this dish.

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Nordic fish chowder in a bowl

Nordic Fish Chowder

You can use halibut for this Scandinavian take on chowder, but really any lean fish works, and it’s better with some seafood added in, too.

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Crispy Vietnamese fish in a bowl with chopsticks.

Vietnamese Fish with Cilantro

While I used halibut for this recipe, any firm white fish will work: Catfish would be traditional. It’s a very simple weeknight recipe that carries a ton of flavor!

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Thai fish curry with halibut in a bowl

Thai Fish Curry

A classic Thai green curry, good with any firm fish. I designed this recipe for halibut, but I’ve used a lot of other firm fish here, too.

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fish with honey and ouzo on a plate

Greek Fish with Honey and Ouzo

Quite possibly my favorite fish recipe ever. Sweet, salty and fried. I could eat this every week.

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fish risotto recipe

Fish Risotto

I do this dish with any white fish, but striped bass is especially good. The secret to this dish is the broth you cook the rice in.

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grilled fish collars recipe

Grilled Fish Collars

Don’t waste the collars on your big fish! I almost always do this with striped bass, but any large fish will work with this recipe. Grilled, these meaty, fatty bits are like pickin’ chicken bones, only better.

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tuna red pepper sauce

Tuna with Red Pepper Sauce

While you could use any tuna — or any firm fish — with this recipe, I designed it for bonito, a dark, rich tuna that can handle this spicy sauce from the Portuguese islands.

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Grilled tuna steaks with Sicilian salad on a plate

Grilled Tuna Steaks Sicilian Style

A Sicilian way to grill tuna, served with a simple salad that is fantastic. Works with any firm fish, not just tuna.

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sicilian tuna meatballs recipe

Sicilian Tuna Meatballs

Another Sicilian tuna recipe, this one is perfect for the tail ends of the tuna, which are pretty tough. Grind the trim off a tuna and you will not waste anything. And fear not: These meatballs are not “fishy” at all — they are shockingly meaty.

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Hamachi sashimi on a plate with shiso, wasabi and julienned daikon radish.

Hamachi Sashimi

Hamachi sashimi or nigiri is one of my favorite things to order when I go to a sushi restaurant. While nigiri can be very challenging to make, though, sashimi is much more accessible.

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Slices of tuna crudo on a platter

Tuna Crudo

Think of this as Italian sashimi. It’s made for tuna, but works well with amberjack, yellowtail, almaco jack, Spanish mackerel, wahoo and dorado. The key is quality, and a firm fish that you can slice easily.

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Mexican aguachile recipe on a plate, ready to eat

Mexican Aguachile

Aguachile might seem like another take on ceviche, but it’s more a Mexican version of sashimi. Often made with shrimp, I like it with tuna or yellowtail.

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Hamachi kama on a platter.

Hamachi Kama

Classic Japanese, this is marinated, grilled yellowtail collar. Also good with small tuna or wahoo.

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My tutorial on How to Fillet A Northern Pike, on Game & Fish Magazine’s site.

pickled pike recipe

Pickled Pike

A Northwoods classic. Think of this as ceviche, only from Scandinavia.

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Finished fish cakes recipe on a plate with a green salad.

Fish Cakes with Wild Rice

I do these Midwestern style fish cakes with pike, but any firm, white fish will work. Hell, you could even use trout if you wanted to.

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A bowl of pike soup.

Pike Soup

A German-inspired pike soup with root vegetables, wild rice and a special broth.

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Pike dumplings in broth recipe

Pike Dumplings in Broth

Dumplings made of pike (or any other fish) that are light and lovely. The can be served in lots of ways, but I like this mushroom broth.

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Blackened catfish with relish and rice

Blackened Catfish

A modern, sustainable take on the 1980s classic, blackened redfish. Of course if you catch your own redfish, you can use this recipe, too.

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Sichuan Catfish with Garlic

An awesome sweet-spicy way to serve catfish. And yes, this dish is loaded with garlic, so beware.

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Vietnamese claypot catfish recipe in a bowl

Vietnamese Claypot Catfish

One of the most iconic catfish recipes in the world, this Vietnamese classic is especially good with smaller catfish like bullheads or channel cats.

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A bowl of caldo de pescado, Mexican fish soup.

Caldo de Pescado

This is a very simple, rustic soup that relies on fresh fish broth and vegetables based on recipes from northwest Mexico.

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Seared fish and asparagus on a plate

Seared Fish and Asparagus

Any fish will work with this lovely, light, springtime recipe. I used sturgeon here, but use your imagination.

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A bowl of perch chowder.

Lake Erie Perch Chowder

A classic fish chowder with a Great Lakes flair: Sour cream, dill and Polish kielbasa. It is fantastic with any firm, white fish.

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Several ceviche tostadas on a platter with mahi mahi ceviche.

Ceviche Tostadas

An Ensenada-style tostada that uses ground mahi mahi. Yes, ground.

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A bowl of East African fish stew

East African Fish Stew

Sort of a curry stew with fish from East Africa. Easy to make yet exotic tasting.

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A plate of sweet and sour fish

Sweet and Sour Fish

I normally make this with Pacific rock cod or lingcod, but any firm, white fish will work. It’s a little like General Tso’s chicken you get at Chinese places, but a little zipper.

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smoked fish salad recipe

Vietnamese Smoked Fish Salad

You can make this with pretty much any smoked fish. It’s a light, tasty salad that’s best in hot weather.

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Basque cod al pil pil

Basque Cod al Pil Pil

A classic Basque recipe that combines just a few ingredients into a magical sauce.

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A plate of Southern fish and grits, made with tripletail.

Southern Fish and Grits

Tripletail has a meaty texture like grouper, but any firm fish works with this Southern classic.

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Butter poached tripletail over corn and peppers, in a shallow bowl.

Tripletail Ooh La La

A little bit French, a little bit Alabama, this is a fun recipe for tripletail or any firm white fish.

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fried speckled trout recipe

Fried Speckled Trout with Black-eyed Peas

A simple fried fish with a nice Southern-style salad of black-eyed peas, turnip or mustard greens, roasted red peppers, and yep, a bit of bacon. Any white fish will work here.

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kelp pasta recipe

Kelp Pasta with Rockfish

A dish that looks fancier than it is. If you use regular pasta, this is an easy recipe that works great with Pacific rockfish, lingcod, or any firm, white fish.

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pan seared red snapper on a plate with roasted cherry tomatoes.

Pan Seared Red Snapper with Cherry Tomatoes

A light, fresh summertime dish you can do with Pacific rock cod, lingcod, snapper, grouper or any bass-like fish. Walleye and smallmouth bass is a good inland fish to use, too.

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fish balls grune sosse

German Fish Balls with Green Sauce

Fish meatballs German style, gently poached and served with a tangy, herby green sauce.

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fried snapper bites

Fried Red Snapper Bites

Chunks of snapper or other firm fish, breaded with Saltines and fried, then served with New Orleans remoulade.

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Dorado fish with cilantro sauce on a plate with avocado and rice.

Dorado with Cilantro

A classic Mexican recipe for snapper or dorado. The key is lots of fresh cilantro to make a vivid green sauce. Green jalapenos add some bite, too.

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Smoked bluefish pate on crusty bread.

Smoked Bluefish Pate

Smoked bluefish mashed into a rough pate or rillette, this is a winner on crackers. One of my go-to appetizers when I can get my hands on bluefish. Mackerel, wahoo, skipjack tuna or jacks work well here, too.

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Fried Asian Fish Balls

Sometimes, when you catch fish in warm water, they can be mushy. This happened to me with some crappies. So I decided to chop up the fillets and make them into Asian-style meatballs — deep-fried, of course.

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A grilled whole fish over the coals.

Simple Grilled Whole Fish

Oftentimes rock cod, perch or black seabass are too small to really fillet properly without losing too much meat. My answer, especially in summer, is to grill them whole with an herby dressing.

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