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Can I Eat Redfish And What Does It Taste Like?

Mark Armstrong
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Redfish is a popular saltwater fish found along the coasts of North America. You’ve probably seen it on restaurant menus across the country and it’s got you wondering, does redfish taste good?

Redfish tastes like many other similar white fish, with a sweet taste and a firm texture that I think makes it versatile and easy to cook with. 

So is redfish good eating? Find out what redfish is and the best way to cook it to make it taste delicious.

What Does Redfish Taste Like?

Redfish has a buttery sweet flavor and a medium firm texture. The mild flavor makes it a versatile fish for cooking. There are a variety of different complementary flavors that work well with redfish.

Redfish meat usually has a similar flavor to a few other fish, such as walleye, sea bass, and flounder. However, redfish meat is generally not as flaky as the meat on flounder or walleye.

Although redfish are bright reddish or pink when they are caught, they have white meat once they are cooked. So, while they’re known as redfish, they’re typically white fish on the inside.

On most restaurant menus, the redfish will typically be red drum or, occasionally, snapper.

Some fish may have been frozen after being caught, which can help to preserve the delicate flavor before being cooked. 

I recommend freezing fish after you catch it, as this can maintain the freshness and flavor. So when you finally cook it, the fish tastes fresh as if you’d just caught it that day. 

However, if you’re planning to cook the fish on a campfire right after you’ve caught it, then there’s obviously no need to freeze it.

What Is Redfish?

Redfish is not a single species of fish. It’s the name often given to a group of similar rockfish that are red in color. These most commonly include red drum and red snapper.

Redfish live in the ocean. They are saltwater species that swim in schools in coastal waters and are commonly caught all year round in the Gulf Coast of the United States. 

Red drum can be found in the Atlantic Ocean along the eastern coast of the United States, all around the coast of Florida, and the entire coastline of the Gulf of Mexico.

There is also the Acadian redfish, which is an ocean perch and is found in the Atlantic, usually around the coast of Canada and New England. The Acadian redfish is not the same type of redfish that’s found on the Gulf Coast. This one is a deepwater redfish that’s generally found in the Gulf of Maine.

Red snapper can be found everywhere in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and parts of the western Atlantic Ocean. You’ll also find other varieties of red snapper that can be found throughout the Mediterranean Sea. 

Red SnapperPin

Additionally, Hawaii has its own Hawaiian red snapper (Onaga) which can be found in the deep ocean waters around the Hawaiian islands and the South Pacific.

There are other varieties and subspecies that can be found in the Indian Ocean and along the African coastline.

Are Redfish Safe To Eat When Cooked Or Raw?

Redfish is safe to eat as long as it is cooked thoroughly. I don’t recommend that you eat it raw, for example in sushi. This is because it may contain parasites which can cause foodborne illness.

I wouldn’t recommend you eat any fish raw unless you really know what you’re doing.

If you want to eat sushi, I’d recommend that you go to a good restaurant that specializes in sushi and sashimi and has trained chefs who know what they are doing. 

If you want to cook redfish to eat, it’s best to make sure it’s cooked properly. Pan frying over a medium heat with melted butter is one way to cook it and one I’d recommend for most fish if you want a simple and quick method. 

Baked redfish can also be an easy one-pot method for making sure it’s cooked all the way through. I would usually recommend wrapping the fish in aluminum foil if you’re baking it in the oven to keep the fish from drying out.

Alternatively, you could cover the entire baking dish in aluminum foil.

How Healthy Is Redfish To Eat?

Redfish, like many other fish, is a healthy fish to eat. It can be a great source of protein while being relatively low in calories and saturated fat, despite having a sweet flavor.

As well as being high in protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscles and bones, redfish is also high in Omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acid is known for its health benefits and it is particularly beneficial for heart health and brain function.

Redfish is also packed full of vitamins and minerals. It’s rich in vitamin D, which is essential for bone health and the immune system. 

Redfish is also rich in vitamin B12, which is important for maintaining the nervous system and healthy blood cells. This vitamin can also help to prevent anemia, so it can do you good to eat some grilled redfish once in a while. 

Is Redfish A Fatty Fish?

No, redfish is not a fatty fish. It’s a lean fish with a medium firm texture with a mild flavor. This is not an oily fish, like salmon, mackerel, or sardines.

This can make it a good fish to cook with as it can be easily incorporated into various recipes.

While it’s not a fatty or oily fish, it is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are the good fats. Unlike the unhealthy saturated fats, these good fats are essential for maintaining a healthy body and good cholesterol levels. 

These good fats can help to protect against heart attacks, heart disease, and strokes.

Is Redfish High In Mercury?

Redfish, which includes red snapper and red drum, are categorized as being low in mercury levels. 

Mercury levels in fish can vary depending on the size of the fish and the geographic location where it was caught. Larger redfish will generally have higher mercury levels than smaller ones.

Can You Eat Redfish When Pregnant?

Yes, redfish is considered a low-mercury fish. This means this healthy fish is safe to eat during pregnancy. 

However, it is recommended by the American Pregnancy Association that you limit your consumption of red snapper to no more than six 6-ounce servings per month.

Is kayaking while pregnant safe?

Redfish Vs. Other Seafood

Redfish is generally considered one of the healthiest fish to eat. In particular, red drum is one of the healthiest fish compared to most other fish because of its low fat and high vitamin content.

Redfish doesn’t taste as fishy as some of the other seafood options out there. For example, salmon has a much fishier flavor than redfish. Unlike redfish, salmon is pink or red on the inside as well as the outside. Redfish is white on the inside, remember.    

Salmon is also not as versatile in recipes as redfish because of its stronger flavor.

Is Redfish The Best Tasting Fish?

The answer to this is probably down to personal opinion. But what makes redfish taste good is that the milder flavor can be adjusted to suit most people.

Some people might not like fish that comes with a fishy taste. And redfish can be a great fish for those people who dislike the taste of fish, as you can cook the redfish with other flavors and seasonings, making the fishy taste less noticeable. 

You can also soak the fish in cold milk to neutralize some of the flavorful acids that give fish its fish taste. Soaking fish in milk is known to remove the fishy flavors and create a more mild flavor and a sweet taste that can then be used in many recipes. 

How To Cook Redfish

Redfish is a versatile fish because of its mild taste. This means it can work well in many recipes that call for a white fish. This is because redfish can take on the flavors of the seasonings in your recipe to give it an entirely new flavor profile. 

It can be pan fried with some vegetable oil and a little lemon juice for a quick and simple way to cook it, especially if you’re cooking outdoors after a fishing trip. This can work well for seafood lovers who want to enjoy the delicious taste without altering the mild flavor of the fish. 

Because of the medium firm texture, redfish can also be a good fish for pies and stews, as it generally holds its shape and doesn’t fall apart like some of the flakier fish out there.

Blackened Redfish Recipe 

(adapted from Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Redfish Recipe)

Ingredients (six servings):

  • 6 x skinless redfish fillets (8-10 oz. per fillet)
  • 1 x tablespoon paprika
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon thyme (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano (dried)
  • 1 ½ cups of melted unsalted butter

Step 1: Mix The Seasonings

First, mix the oregano, thyme, salt, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, and onion powder together in a bowl.

Step 2: Preheat Your Skillet

Heat your skillet over a high heat for around 10 minutes. Prepare to turn off your smoke detectors as things will get smoky and your alarm will likely be triggered. I recommend opening a window before you start.

Step 3: Coat The Fish

Grab six ramekin dishes and put a little butter (2 tablespoons) into each one. Pour the rest of the butter in a shallow dish. 

One at a time, dip each redfish fillet in the shallow dish of butter. Be sure to coat both sides of the fish.

Grab your bowl of seasonings and sprinkle the mix over both sides of the fish so that you have an even coating of spices on both sides. 

Step 4: Start Cooking

Place your coated redfish fillets into the hot skillet. Pour a tablespoon of melted butter on each fillet and cook for around two minutes. 

Once the underside is blackened, turn the fillets over. Pour another tablespoon of butter over the fillet and cook for another two minutes. 

Step 5: Serve

Once the redfish is fully cooked with a blackened appearance on both sides of the fillet, serve each one with the ramekin of butter you prepared in Step 3.

Can I Eat Redfish And What Does It Taste Like? - Pinterest ImagePin

2 thoughts on “Can I Eat Redfish And What Does It Taste Like?”

  1. Hi, I was at a restaurant and tried their blackened redfish. I thought it was talapia, pretty sure of that. Can they get in trouble for that. It wasn’t an expensive meal but if they’re telling me its redfish it should.

  2. LOL.

    However, it’s not recommended for you to eat it raw, such as in sushi, because it’s an ocean fish that could contain parasites.


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