How To Cook Different Types Of Fish

Learning how to cook different types of fish will help you bring out the right flavours in each meal. Some of the fishes and seafood have particular tastes that can either be delightful or disastrous for your palate. The difference will depend on how you prepare it.

You do not need the best culinary skills to learn how to cook seafood. However, it helps to understand the different types of fish and seafood that you will cook – because they require varying methods to prepare. It will help you make the right decisions as to how you will serve them at the family table.

For instance, Salmon is a favourite because of its flavour and the fact that it contains healthy omega-3. Since it is very tender and rich, the best way to prepare it is either grilled, smoked, or poached. Whitefish, on the other hand, is light and flaky. It is better if you fry, bake, or broil it.

Two types of fish and how to cook them

Before we learn how to cook different types of fish, let us start by discussing the two main types first: round and flat fish. Once you have identified the shape, you can determine other details like freshwater or saltwater and fat or lean fish.

Round fish

Among the popular round fish includes catfish, cod, bass, arctic char, herring, tilapia, sardines, trout, salmon, haddock, red snapper, tuna, and swordfish. Based on these examples, a round fish has a cylindrical shape. These can either be fat or lean. You have to identify which it is because it will define how the fish should be cooked. If the fish is fat, you can bake, fry, grill or saute it. You can use dry-heat methods because the fish has enough juiciness to keep it from being too dry when cooked. When the fish is lean, it has to be subject to moist-heat methods – usually in steaming, poaching, etc. This type of fish is also best for chowders and soups.

Flat fish

This type of fish is mostly lean and firm to the touch. The fish included in this group includes sole, halibut, flounder, and turbot. In cooking this type of fish, you need to consider how tough the meat of the fish is. The thing is, it might be tough but if cooked incorrectly, the fish can still break down. So you have to make sure you prepare it properly. Poaching, steaming, frying, grilling, and baking are among the common ways to cook flat fish.

Sometimes, specific fishes should be prepared differently so it is best to do your research well before you cook different types of fish.

How to cook other types of seafood

Other types of seafood also have specific instructions in cooking.


There are two types of mollusks – univalve and bi-valve. These have hard outer shells with a soft interior. The best way to cook this is like a soup or chowder. Some types can be fried but you have to be prepared carefully because it might leave the soft interior too tough to eat.


An octopus and squid are considered as cephalopods. They are part of the mollusk family but they do not have outer shells. These have to be prepared properly or else they will end up being tough. Make the meat tender before grilling, baking, or frying them.


These include crabs, lobsters, crayfish, and shrimp. These can be sauteed, steamed, fried, or including in a soup or chowder. The meat of crustaceans are very flavourful and must be prepared well so it does not break down too much.

Having the knowledge to cook different types of fish and seafood will really help you enjoy various dishes that are not only flavourful but also healthy.