Can You Eat Sturgeon and How Does It Taste?

Learn whether or not sturgeon is edible and how you can safely eat it.

A sturgeon is a large, prehistoric fish species that inhabit the coastal waters of North America.

Sturgeon Swims Underwater Head Of Sturgeon

They are closely related to paddlefish and bichir and have a long, streamlined body and a long snout. 

Featuring dark, scaleless bodies, sturgeons can grow about 20 feet in length and weigh up to 800 lbs, making them one of the largest freshwater fish. 

Unfortunately, Sturgeons are a critically endangered species due to overfishing, poaching, and river pollution.

So, can you eat sturgeon, and what does it taste like? Keep reading to learn more!

Do People Eat Sturgeon, and Is It Safe?

One look at a live sturgeon had me questioning if the fish was edible.

Despite its odd, intimidating appearance, the fish is safe to eat. It is a prized fish and considered a delicacy in many cultures.

Caviar, made from its eggs, is a gourmet dish in many regions like North America.

Sturgeon is a healthy addition to your daily diet as it provides essential proteins and minerals.

Upon first trying sturgeon meat, I was surprised to find that it is quite delicious, and when appropriately prepared, it can be a real treat. 

What Does It Taste Like?

Sturgeon meat is firm and thick, similar to a chicken, with a distinctively mild and refined flavor.

I was intrigued to find that it doesn’t taste fishy. 

Some people report its fatty meat as buttery or tangy in taste and compare it to a crab or a lobster.

However, the taste of the sturgeon depends on what the sturgeon eats and how it is prepared.

My first taste of sturgeon was at Barney Greengrass in New York. I ordered the sturgeon sandwich, which has a savory flavor that reminded me of chicken.

Can You Eat Sturgeon Raw?

While many people enjoy eating sturgeon cooked, it is more commonly eaten in the form of sashimi or sushi.

I have to agree, my favorite way to savor the fish and get the most out of its unique flavor is to eat it raw.

You can also eat the raw sturgeon eggs as caviar. Caviar is perhaps the one dish that surprised me the most.

While I admit fish eggs don’t sound appetizing, I was blown away by the juxtaposing texture of the firm but smooth eggs and the bursts of buttery flavor when I tried caviar for the first time. 

How To Cook Sturgeon

From grilling and panfrying to steaming and baking, sturgeon makes a delectable food item that you can cook in several ways.

The key to cooking a sturgeon is not to overcook it, as it can become dry and chewy. 

One way to prevent this is to cook the fish using the “low and slow” method. It involves cooking the fish at a low temperature for a more extended time. 

Another method is to cook it on the grill. It gives the fish a nice smoky flavor and helps prevent it from drying out. If you are grilling it, you can marinate the filets for added flavor. 

Sturgeon Recipes

There are several recipes to try for sturgeon fish. If you want to keep it simple, you can grill or pan-fry and serve it with lemon and butter.

For a more substantial meal, sturgeon also makes an excellent base for fish pies and chowders. Some popular sturgeon recipes you may try include: 

  • Smoked sturgeon
  • Sturgeon casserole
  • Sturgeon Szechuan
  • Vinegar-poached sturgeon with thyme-butter sauce

Is It Safe To Eat Sturgeon?

So, can you eat sturgeon? Yes, you can! With low mercury levels and a rich source of high-quality proteins and omega-3 fatty acids, it is an excellent healthy addition to your diet.

Due to overfishing and habitat loss, sturgeon populations have rapidly declined in recent years, with some countries imposing restrictions on sturgeon fishing. Accordingly, a better alternative is to try caviar to mitigate the risk of its extinction.

Learn about other tasty types of fish, including some you may not be sure about eating, like stingray.

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin is an editor and food writer who loves traveling and trying new foods and fun cocktails. Erin has been writing and editing professionally for 5 years since graduating from Temple University, and has been on the Restaurant Clicks team for 2 years. She has a long background working in the restaurant industry, and is an avid home chef and baker. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.