10 Kinds of White Fish and How to Eat Them

Cod fish coast fishing

White fish is a culinary blank canvas just waiting to be painted. It is known for its mild flavor and delicate texture. These adaptable and healthy seafood options, which range from cod and haddock to tilapia and sole, are served on our tables in a delectable assortment of preparations. In this culinary journey, we explore the diverse ways to enjoy white fish and delve into their fascinating world. This guide is your ticket to understanding the various types of white fish and how to appreciate their special qualities, whether you’re an experienced seafood enthusiast or a novice looking for culinary inspiration. We’ll discuss the variety of dishes that can be made with white fish, from traditional fish and chips to elegant pan-seared dishes.


four atlantic cod

Cod, a widely sought-after seafood, inhabits the icy depths of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. It is one of the more popular food sources across many countries in the northern hemisphere.  Cod boasts a delicate taste that makes it ideal for various cooking methods. You can bake, broil, steam, or fry cod for a warm dish. Some people pickle it or even eat cod raw.  The high-protein, low-fat flesh makes cod a healthier option for many people. Like other fish, cod features omega-3s that can help reduce inflammation and cholesterol levels.



In terms of culinary uses, flounder is highly sought after due to its delicate flavor and texture when cooked properly. It’s most often baked, broiled, or fried with fresh herbs, lemon juice, or butter-based sauces to draw out the complex flavors. When it’s fresh, you can safely eat flounder raw. Flounder doesn’t just taste great, it is another high-protein, low-fat meal option. Plus, you can get several useful vitamins, like magnesium and vitamin B.



Haddock is a popular North Atlantic Ocean fish species and an important commercial fish. Humans can dine on its flesh while manufacturers repurpose the fish oil for various uses.  People who prefer a mild flavor might try haddock with fresh herbs or creamy sauces. It’s also one of the most popular options for fish and chips. Interestingly, the flesh breaks into flakes when cooked, making it suitable for several techniques such as baking, broiling, poaching, steaming, or frying.



Halibut is a large, flatfish species belonging to the family of Pleuronectidae. It’s not uncommon to catch a massive halibut since some specimens can be taller than a grown man at 8 feet in length and approaching 500 pounds. You can find these massive white fish in shallow and deep waters throughout much of the North Pacific Ocean. You can prepare this delectable fish many ways, making it ideal for nearly any occasion. Pan-seared halibut is a popular presentation of this fish; cooking it quickly on high heat releases some delicious flavors. 

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Sea Bass

sea bass

Sea bass live in warm tropical waters and have long, thin bodies. They provide several necessary nutrients in a low-fat, high-protein package.  You can find sea bass in sushi, grilled, or served whole as an appetizer for several people to share. The flesh has a buttery texture but flakes a bit like haddock. It’s one of the milder fish in terms of flavor, making it ideal for people trying seafood for the first time.


Two raw grouper fish with lime prepared for grill

Grouper have firm white flesh with a mild flavor that pairs well with bold seasonings like garlic or herbs. The most popular way to prepare grouper is by grilling it on skewers or baking it in foil packets with vegetables such as bell peppers or onions. Grouper also makes excellent ceviche when marinated in citrus juices like lime or lemon juice before serving chilled. Choose grouper for a meal that’s high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals withough excess fat or calories. Grouper is a versatile white fish with a mild, slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with many different ingredients and cooking methods. 


red snappers

Snapper is a mild-flavored fish with a firm texture and delicate flavor, making it a popular choice around the globe. Depending on where you go, you might find snapper grilled, baked, fried, or steamed with a range of sides and seasonings. Grill or bake the snapper whole for about 10 minutes per side over hot coals or wood chips to bring out its natural sweetness and ensure it’s cooked through while staying moist and tender inside.  When frying, use high-heat oil so that the outside gets crispy without burning while still maintaining moisture on the inside. For steaming, place the fillets in a basket over boiling water for 5 minutes until cooked but not too much to avoid dryness. Snapper is an excellent lean protein option that can be prepared in a multitude of ways, making it the perfect fish for any dish. 


sole fish

Sole has become increasingly popular among seafood lovers due to their mild flavor and delicate texture when cooked properly. When buying sole fillets, look for those that are firm to the touch with no discoloration or signs of spoilage.  When preparing sole fillets for cooking, rinse them under cold running water before patting them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper before cooking over it in a lightly oiled or buttered skillet until golden brown on each side. Serve immediately while still hot alongside your favorite sides, such as mashed potatoes or steamed vegetables for a delicious meal. Sole is a delicious and versatile white fish that can be enjoyed in many recipes.

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catfish in net

Moving on to the next type of white fish, let’s explore the unique flavor and texture of catfish. Catfish are a diverse group of ray-finned fish with a flattened body shape, long barbels around the mouth, and large scales that protect them from predators. These whiskered fish scavenge the waters for bugs, crustaceans, snails, annelids, and other fish. Catfish are often grilled, though the fried version is also extremely popular. It has a mild, sweet, and tender flavor, and can be prepared in a multitude of ways, including barbeque. Its texture can be somewhat chewier than other fish, but many people find that a positive aspect. These whitefish are often used in Cajun cooking!



Tilapia is one of the most popular white fish varieties in the world thanks to its delicate taste and diverse uses. It’s ideal for people seeking a healthier meat because you can pack in a lot of nutrients and protein with limited calories and fat. People bake, grill, pan-fry, and even deep-fry tilapia to meet their needs, but it all comes down to the seasoning. Use a little salt and pepper before baking or select a range of your favorite fresh herbs and spices. For something a little different, try brushing the tilapia with olive oil and topping it with lemon slices. 

What Is White Fish? 

Fresh fish seabass

White fish is a generic term that covers many different kinds of fish. Common white fish may comprise cod, haddock, pollack, whiting, halibut, sole, and flounder. These types of fish are generally mild in flavor with a firm texture and low fat content.  They often get used for baking or frying due to their delicate nature and versatility in recipes. White fish can also be smoked or poached for use in salads or other dishes. Whatever recipe you decide on, you won’t regret buying delicious white fish!

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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