How does one remove the "fishy flavor" from seafood?

  • My sister really doesn't like a strong fish flavor and is very picky. Are there any effective ways to prepare the seafood in such a manner that reduces the fishy flavor/taste? If "seafood" is too broad, then please limit your answer to include fish and prawn.


    Why do you want to cook fish for someone who doesn't like it? Why not just give her something else?

    Erm, but I never said that she doesn't like fish, only the strong fishy taste.

    Aquatic bacteria are accustomed to reproducing in low temperatures and will grow happily even in very cold (i.e. unfrozen) seafood. The "seafood" smell most of us are accustomed to is the indication that the seafood is past its prime. The best solution is to use only the freshest seafood you can get. If that is not enough, try the answers below.

  • Allison

    Allison Correct answer

    10 years ago

    Fresh seafood shouldn't be overly "fishy". It's generally older seafood that will get a stronger "fishy" smell and flavour.

    That said, there are 3 approaches to a "less fishy" result:

    1. Absorb/reduce fishiness: you can always try something like soaking it in milk (which you can then save to use for a fishy bechamel when your sister isn't dining with you). You could then rinse it off and cook it however you want. This should help "absorb" some of the fishiness and make it milder.
    2. Disguise fishiness: The other angle is to "cover up" the flavour with lots of spicy glaze or garlic/lemon flavours instead.
    3. Pick mild seafood: The other thing to try is to pick a more mildly flavoured fish (e.g. a white fish instead of something like tuna or salmon). Avoid oily fish as they tend to have a stronger flavour. Choosing something really fresh also falls into this category.

    I've seen one person powder a prawn with corn starch and salt and then rinse it off, does this fit in #1?

    @subt13 - One usually dusts things in corn starch (or flour) to absorb moisture, rather than do anything affecting flavour. Dusting and then rinsing off seems a bit counter-intuitive from this perspective. I can't imagine that a light powdering would do much to reduce fishiness but it's unlikely to do anything detrimental either.

    Bay leaf is another herb which masks the fishy smell as well..

    @Allison you mean you don't recommend bluefish?

    @notthetup use bay sparingly. You only need a leaf or two for an entire 6 servings.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM