Are you looking for a type of fish that tastes like steak?
Fish that tastes like steak is gaining popularity as an alternative to beef.
Plus you avoid the fishy taste that tends to put people off!
From texture to cooking methods, read further for the top types of fish that taste like steak.
You might be pleasantly surprised!
Table of contents
9 Types of Fish That Taste Like Steak
Below are my top fish steaks to replicate a beef flavor.
1. Tuna Steak
Put those cans away!
If you haven’t experienced a grilled tuna steak then get to your local fishmonger!
This delicious fish is first on our list of steak alternatives for a reason.
Tuna is a fatty fish with a firm texture and mild flavor.
These combined attributes make it easy to see how it can be a replacement for steak.
You can even cook a tuna steak medium rare if that’s your preference.
Try grilling under hot coals to achieve delicious griddle marks.
But not before you have seasoned the tuna generously with your choice of rub.
2. Swordfish Steak
A swordfish steak might seem a bit of a classy fish to cook!
Like tuna, it has the same characteristics in texture but is a little leaner.
The delicate taste of the white meat can be seasoned to perfection.
Making this our second choice when replicating steak with fish.
Fresh swordfish should be brought from a local fishmonger in season.
Check the availability and always by in season.
The lean and firmer texture can take direct heat and will seal like a steak.
3. Grouper Fillet
Groupers are large white fish with a sweet taste and meaty texture.
Related to seabass but with a higher oil content, a large fillet will please steak and seafood lovers.
Why not shallow fry a grouper fillet skin side down and baste it with butter and garlic?
The umami flavor in the crispy skin will mimic rendered fat on a steak.
Be a little gentle with the rub and seasonings when cooking grouper.
Sometimes best is less which is the case for this type of fish.
4. Salmon Steak (Bone-In)
Salmon steaks are cut from a different part of the fish compared to fillets.
Cut with the bone-in, these steaks will take longer to cook but have a stronger flavor.
Salmon naturally contains a high-fat percentage which makes it a great alternative.
The richer flavor (compared to fillets) and heavy texture can replicate a prime rib!
Try flame-grilled salmon steaks on the BBQ with a tangy salsa verde.
Like always, try to buy fresh and local that hasn’t been farmed.
5. North Atlantic Black Cod (Skrei)
If you’ve been to Norway you may have tried this delicacy!
Cod is one of the most popular fish eaten all over Europe with multiple species.
The more common battered and eaten next to some chips all over England!
The meat has a sweet flavor and a very flaky texture when cooked.
But the specific type of cod best for replicating steak is locally known as Skrei.
The texture of Skrei is very dense and lean due to the vast and deep waters it calls home.
It has a mild taste that can be accompanied by spices or smoked.
There is a thin layer of protective fat between the skin and meat.
Crisp up the skin and render down the fat of this best-tasting fish!
What Makes Steak Taste Like Steak?
Let’s quickly understand the factors which give steak its taste.
Remember that the taste of an ingredient also covers texture and how it’s cooked!
Below are the characteristics of a tasty beef steak.
So we can see why each fish species replicates the delicious taste and flavor!
Meaty & Dense Texture
There are many different beef steaks from different parts and cuts.
However, they all share a common texture from the dense muscle proteins!
A steak is not flakey or delicate and has a meaty, strong texture.
The Cooking Process
The cooking process for cuts of steak is hot and fast!
Direct heat from a grill or BBQ works best to seal the meat.
Whole cuts of steak like a prime rib might also be roasted for a long time.
The method of cooking makes such a difference when replicating the taste of steak.
How are you doing to get fish to taste like steak if you steam it for a long cooking time?
The flavor profiles of your steak dish are created with added seasoning.
Not just the natural beef flavor in the meat.
Steaks can have a nutty flavor or a gamey flavor.
The seasonings you use should enhance the natural savory and meaty taste.
Using the same seasoning on fish as you would a steak is the way to go.
Your favorite rub with a distinct flavor you associate with steak will help.
Avoid using the flavoring you would normally use with fish.
Ingredients like capers or lemon juice aren’t usually part of a steak recipe.
Note: Yes I know a good beef tar tar has capers… But we’re discussing steak!
The Fat Content
Most cuts of steak have a high-fat content in and out of the muscle proteins.
This is a big part of how the steak tastes and cooks.
Avoid a super flaky meat texture or a very lean fish.
Examples would be cod or haddock.
Meaty fish with natural fat and oil work best for replicating the flavor of a steak.
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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