Help me to like FISH

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  • As I was looking over this forum I found a thread with a post about not liking fish, but now they love it.

    I don't like fish either. Something about the texture, the way it feels all yucky like it's not fully cooked. That's been my experience so far. But I know fish is good for you and I'd love to find a fish and a way to cook it that I can enjoy.

    I love spicy foods. Any suggestions on how I can "spice" up a fish would be appreciated.
  • Various fish taste and feel (texture) differently. I personally can't stand cod and most flounder but I love mahi-mahi, shark and salmon.

    Here's a link discussing various types of fish:

    Usually if you like the texture of one in a group you'll like the texture of the others, although flavor is varied from fish to fish so you'll need to find out what flavors appeal to you.

    As for spicing it up (I'm part mexican and love spicy foods too), here's a pretty good recipe for tuna:

    Grilled Texas Tequila Tuna
    from Texas Sampler cookbook

    1/4 cup tequila
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    2 tbsp lime juice
    1 tbsp ground red chiles
    2 cloves finely chopped garlic
    1 finely chopped red bell pepper
    2 pounds fresh tuna (4 steaks approximately 3/4 inch thick)
    1 roasted or pickled jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped ***
    1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped ***

    *** I added these things myself because I like them. You may like less or more pepper, so experiment.

    Mix all ingredients together except tuna in a bowl. Place tuna in shallow dish. Pour marinade over. Refrigerate 1 hour. Remove tuna from marinade and reserve liquid. Place tuna on grill over medium hot coals, turning once. Cook until done, approximately 6-7 minutes per side. Heat marinade to boiling in saucepan. Cook until pepper and onion is tender. Serve over tuna.

    Serves 4.

    Alternative fish: Swordfish, halibut
  • I find salmon to be the most "meaty" fish. Very unfish like.

    I make it a few different ways.

    -I rub homemade pesto on it.
    -I rub lots of fresh crushed garlic on it. Add some spices - like pepper, parsley, onion powder, Mrs. Dash and squeeze fresh lemon juice on it.
    -I make a sauce using sugar free apricot preserves, soy sauce and fresh crushed garlic.

    I bake it in a pan at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

    I would definitely give salmon a chance. But keep in mind, you don't HAVE to eat fish in order to lose weight and eat healthy. I think it's great that you are open to experimenting. But after giving it a real good try, if you should still not like fish, (I think you may though), know that there are other heatlhy options out there.

    snapless, that tuna (another REAL good unfishy fish, with a great texture) sounds awesome.
  • Like I said, I can't stand most flounder (bleh bleh bleh). Cod, sole, haddock, etc. Find them really nasty. I'm from Texas and I don't even care for catfish (wierd, eh?). They all come from the same 'family' of texture. That "flaky, tender texture" if you read the link I posted.

    The others all have a "moderately firm texture" which I find more appealing. I don't like the flavor of every fish in the list there, which is why I told you to experiment, but the texture is appealing to me.
  • I agree that you need to try fish with different textures. I don't like 'slimy' fish but like those with a firm texture - mahi mahi, grouper and red snapper are all great. I also like tuna and swordfish steaks as these are very 'meaty'. I also have to have my fish skinned, as that's another thing that is off putting for me.

  • Thank you all for the tips!

    snapless, that tuna does sound good! I think I'll try that. All thoses flavors sound wonderful and un-fishy.

    rockinrobin, I like your idea too! That sauce made with preserves sounds d-lish. And I like the baked part too. DH runs the grill at my house, I'm not allowed to touch it

    KforKitty, I totally agree with you on the skinning part. EEWW!
  • One of my fav ways to eat salmon is with this marinade (it also works well for pork, tofu, chicken and aspargus)

    3 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 teaspoon dried chile flakes or hot chile paste
    1 tablespoon virgin olive oil

    Marinade salmon for about an hour then either grill or broil.

    Here's another tip for Fish:

    MILK DOES A FISHY GOOD: If you prefer your fish to be mild and as non-fishy as possible, soak it in milk for at least 1/2 hour. The milk removes most of the fishy taste and helps frozen and re-thawed fish to taste fresher. Consider placing frozen fish in a sealed container with milk (alone or with seasonings) to soak and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. The fish should be rinsed before soaking in the milk, as it is best to take the fish straight out of the milk and prepare it for cooking without re-rinsing. However, fish rinsed after soaking in milk will still be slightly milder and fresher tasting than fish that has not been soaked in milk. (
  • That's a great tip about the milk shantroy. I'd actually forgotten about mum used to do it because she didn't care for the fish taste.

    Your recipe sounds similar to the stir fry marinade recipe I use. One of the few recipes I didn't adapt as my can find it here:
    To me it is perfect the way it is...except being low carb I leave off the corn starch.
    Sometimes I swap peanut oil for the sesame oil for a slightly different flavor.

    Probably would work well for fish too.
  • I was just going through my cookbooks and came across a whole lot of recipes you'd probably like kelleigh. The item in question, unfortunately, is no longer being printed, but you might find it at a library.

    Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publications presents Simply Perfect Hot & Spicy (1998)

    I bought it because I love spicy food.

    Here is one recipe from it.

    Grilled Salmon with Jalapeño Butter
    Nut. facts per serving (4 servings): 257 calories, 17g total fat, 8g sat. fat, 61mg cholesterol, 252mg sodium, 1g carb., 0g dietary fiber, 24g protein

    1 3/4" cube fresh gingerroot
    2 large cloves garlic
    2 large jalapeño peppers, halved and seeded
    1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
    1/2 cup butter, softened (not melted)
    1&1/2 lbs. fresh or frozen salmon fillets or steaks, cut 1" thick
    salt and pepper to taste

    For jalapeño butter, combine gingerroot, garlic and jalapeño in a blender container or food processor bowl; cover and process until finely chopped. Add cilantro; cover and blend or process until combined. Stir into butter. On a piece of waxed paper, shape butter into a 6" long log. Seal and chill until serving time.

    Thaw salmon if frozen. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a well-greased grill basket or on a well-greased grill rack directly over medium coals. Grill for 4 to 6 minutes for each 1/2" of thickness. Or, alternatively, broil on the unheated rack of a broiler pan 4" from heat for 4 to 6 minutes for each 1/2" of thickness. If the fish is thicker than 1", turn it halfway through cooking. Fish is done when it flakes easily when tested with a fork.

    To serve, place a 3/4" slice of jalapeño butter atop each piece of (still hot) fish. Seal remaining butter and freeze up to 3 months.
  • I really didn't care much for fish either. Until I had some cooked differently. Not breaded or fried, but baked and with lots of flavor! Now I love it. You just gotta find what works for you. You can also add fish to dishes, just like you get kids to eat their veggies by "hiding" them into dishes they like, you can do the same thing!

    Now I know this may not sound appetizing or healthy even, but my friend used to put tuna in her mac and cheese for her kids and they loved it. So just a little ex. I mean you can put it in whatever you like. Experiment. When you go out to eat, order some fish, try different things. That is what I did some were good and some were not. Split the dish with a friend or your loved one that way you both can try something new!

    Well I wish you well in whatever you decide!
  • The freshness of fish makes a big difference. I never liked fish much either, until I started buying freshly caught fish (caught within a day or so). There is a stand at my farmers market that I buy from--it is expensive, but hands down 100% better than the fish I used to get at the grocery store. If there is any place near you where you can get really fresh fish, I highly recommend it.

    Here are a few of my favorite fish recipes that are a little different than usual. The first two are spicy. The last one (the swordfish) you can hardly tell has fish in it.

    Fish in Coconut Milk
    • 1 cup light coconut milk
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 serrano or jalapeno chile pepper, finely diced
    • 6 oz onions, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric
    • 1 tsp Thai green curry paste
    • 1 lb cod or other firm white fish (halibut, tilapia, etc.)
    • lime wedges

    Heat oil in a large skillet. And chile pepper, onions, and garlic and saute until softened. Add turmeric and green curry paste. Reduce heat and allow pan to cool for a minute or so.

    Add coconut milk, increase heat and bring to a low simmer (if it gets too hot the coconut milk will separate). Add the fish and simmer until done, turning halfway through. It should only take 5 to 10 min to cook the fish. Serve with lime wedges.

    4 servings at 225 calories each.

    Coconut-Chile Snapper with Caribbean Bean Puree
    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 1/4 cup minced shallots
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 3/4 cup sliced banana (about 1 banana or 4 oz)
    • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth, divided
    • 1 tbsp lime juice
    • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
    • 1 cup shredded carrot
    • 1 cup light coconut milk
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    • 2 jalapeno peppers, minced
    • 24 oz red snapper (or other firm white fish)

    To make Caribbean Bean Puree, heat oil in large skillet over med. heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook about 2 min, until tender. Add banana and cook about 2 min more. Stir in beans, 1/4 cup chicken broth, lime juice, cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt. Cover and simmer 5 min or until liquid is absorbed. Transfer all ingredients to a food processor and add remaining 1/4 cup broth. Process until smooth. If you don't have a food processor, you can just mash everything with a potato masher and stir in the rest of the broth.

    To make the snapper, combine carrot, coconut milk, chili powder, remaining 1/4 tsp salt, and jalapeno peppers in large skillet (you can use the same skillet you made the bean puree in). Heat over medium-high heat (not too hot or the coconut milk will separate) and simmer until carrot is tender, 5 min or so. Add fish and simmer until cooked, 5 to 10 min, turning once.

    4 servings at 325 calories each (bean puree is 95 calories and snapper is 230 calories).

    Spaghettini with Swordfish Ragu
    • 6 oz red pepper, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
    • 1/4 cup white wine
    • 14.5 can diced tomatoes
    • 1 tsp thyme
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 8 oz small pasta (shells, elbows, wagon wheels), cooked al dente (8 oz is uncooked weight) (save some of the water the pasta was cooked in, just in case you need to add water to the ragu)
    • 8 oz swordfish, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
    • 1 tbsp minced fresh basil

    Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil over med-high heat in large skillet. Add pepper and garlic and saute until just tender. Add the wine, tomatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper and simmer until liquid is reduced. Stir in pasta and simmer until remaining liquid is absorbed. If it gets to dry add some of the reserved pasta water. Move ingredients to outside edges of pan and add remaining 1/2 tbsp olive oil in center of pan. Place swordfish in olive oil and saute until cooked (this will only take a min or so--don't overcook it). Stir in basil.

    4 servings at 325 calories.
  • Shantroy, I have never heard that about milk taking the fishy outta fish. How amazing!

    Snapless, I love spicy food too!

    Sassy_Chick, I like the idea of splitting a new dish with someone.

    BlueToBlue, your ideas sound great! I was trying to decide where to get the best fish. We have a local farmers market, but it's mostly veggies and flowers and crafts. Maybe I'll just buy a pole But then, who'd clean them?

    Thank you all so much. I appreciate all your ideas and I know it took a lot of time to post those recipes.
  • I used to love fish (from sardine to rock bass) when I was a kid but I lost my taste for it. I don't know if it was having to clean them or always missing some bones :O
    When I wanted back into seafood for the health benefits I swallowed the memory of the dead carp choked channels of my hometown, and went straight for the tilapia.
    It's light, flaky, and non-fishy. There are many ways to prepare it and few to really screw it up (I love mahi mahi but there have been a few disasters).
    It's best with sweet and spicy salsa.
  • Quote: BlueToBlue, your ideas sound great! I was trying to decide where to get the best fish. We have a local farmers market, but it's mostly veggies and flowers and crafts. Maybe I'll just buy a pole But then, who'd clean them?
    You might look around for a local fish market, but I realize that I'm blessed with this stand at my farmers' market and not everyone has the same opportunity to get fresh fish. I mentioned just in case there is a place near you that sells really fresh fish that you just haven't tried, thinking that it wouldn't make a difference. But if there isn't, then there isn't. Just get the freshest fish you can at your grocery store and try the recipes with that. There's lots of flavor in these recipes, so they should still be good. I've made the swordfish recipe with supermarket fish and it was still great.
  • I love flounder, but I overcook it. I don't like when it's too moist, so I cook it until the texture is a little more dry and flaky. Sometimes I use oven fry to coat it and bake it in the oven. We also use this delicous mango marinade sometimes which I absolutely love.