Fish that tastes like lobster meat is not easy to come by. Because lobster meat has its own unique flavor, it can be hard to find something that imitates the taste of this crowd-pleasing dish. Still, there are some types of fish that taste similar to lobster, even if it isn’t the real thing. Interested to know which they are? If so, stick around.
Table of Contents
- What Fish Is Closest to Lobster?
- Can Fish Really Taste Like Lobster?
- What Fish Do They Call the Poor Man’s Lobster?
- Are There Fish Other Than Monkfish That Taste Like Lobster?
- What Freshwater Fish Taste Like Lobster?
- White Fish That Taste Like Lobster
- What Is the Best Substitute for Lobster?
- What Are Fish That Taste Like Lobster? Take Your Pick!
What Fish Is Closest to Lobster?
The fish that is closest in taste to lobster is monkfish. But before we dive into more information about monkfish, let’s back up and explore a bit more about lobster, its meat, and why it is so coveted.
Lobster meat has long been associated with luxury and fine dining. It is often compared to the taste of crab, although it is much lighter and sweeter in flavor.
Because lobster is associated with fine dining and is often used as cuisine for celebratory events, lobster can be expensive. Its demand and also its sustainability causes the prices of whole lobster and lobster tails to be generally very expensive. It is for this reason that many people seek an alternative to cooked lobster. But what fish is closest to lobster?
As mentioned before, monkfish fillets are the closest thing you’ll usually get to lobster. These ugly-looking fish resemble nothing of the bright red shellfish their meat is known to imitate, though their taste is strikingly similar.
There are also a few other types of fish that taste similar to real lobster and lobster tail meat. If you’re ready to learn what they are, be sure to keep reading!
Can Fish Really Taste Like Lobster?
Although monkfish and other fish types can often taste like lobster, the truth of the matter is that only lobster yields the true flavor you’d come to expect. Thus, although monkfish and crustacean sea creatures (such as shrimp or crab) may come close, nothing yields the exact flavor that lobster does on its own.
What Fish Do They Call the Poor Man’s Lobster?
The fish that is most commonly referred to as poor man’s lobster is monkfish. But there are other fish types that can yield a similar taste and texture, depending on the way it is prepared. Because of this fact, the term “poor man’s lobster” can also be used to describe any type of fish or meat that is “doctored up” to make it taste like lobster.
Why Does Monkfish Taste Like Lobster?
Monkfish is said to taste like lobster likely due to its mild and sweet flavor. Because lobster does not have a fishy taste, you can expect that if you cook monkfish, it too will not have a fishy flavor. In fact, monkfish fillets can be tender, mild, juicy, flaky, and sweet, much like lobster. Yet, the price point is much easier on the wallet. It is often for these reasons that people go for monkfish fillets over true lobster meat.
As mentioned, monkfish tastes like lobster in that it has white flesh, a firm texture, mild flavor, and a sweet taste to the palette. This is especially true when monkfish are prepared in a way that is similar to lobster. This includes cooking it in wine with clarified butter drizzled over it and maybe a bit of paprika for flavor and color.
But honestly, one who is well-versed in the nuisances between lobster and monkfish can likely sniff out the differences between the two very quickly. Still, for those who aren’t very familiar with how “real” lobster tastes (or don’t care) monkfish will certainly fit the bill for being an equivalent substitute instead.
Can You Eat a Monkfish?
In case you’re wondering if it is even safe to eat a monkfish in the first place, the answer to this is yes. Assuming that the monkfish has been responsibly sourced from clean and uncontaminated waters, monkfish are perfectly safe (and tasty) to eat.
Having said that, there are a few things we’d like you take note of before scarfing down your next monkfish meal. First, it is important to note that monkfish are ugly.
Most of their body is taken up by a large head with a big mouth and fanged teeth. So, if you’re expecting to be able to present a monkfish the way you might a lobster, forget about it. The only attractive thing about a monkfish is its meat!
Another thing to note about monkfish is the fact that their habitat is something disrupted by the act of trawling. Trawling is when boats pull fish along the bottom of the water by boats. Because monkfish are bottom feeders, this practice can be disruptive and is causing monkfish to become more depleted over time. Thus, some people think twice about eating monkfish. Whether or not you choose to do the same is completely up to you!
Are There Fish Other Than Monkfish That Taste Like Lobster?
Yes, there are fish other than monkfish that taste like lobster.
The following types of fish (or crustacean species) have been said to closely resemble the taste of lobster:
- Tiger prawn
- Chilean sea bass
What Freshwater Fish Taste Like Lobster?
Fresh water fish that taste like lobster aren’t too hard to come by, but remember, this fish will only serve as a close imitation of lobster depending on how they are prepared.
The aforementioned list of lobster alternatives contains quite a few saltwater fish, although many of the fish, like cod and pollock, can potentially be found in both fresh and salt water.
White Fish That Taste Like Lobster
Most white fish you find won’t be popular substitutes for lobster because they don’t taste the same. However, with a little sprucing up, even your standard cod fish can turn into an imitation lobster dish. Whitefish that can be made to taste like lobster include Chilean sea bass, pollock, and cod.
Consider adding the following ingredients to white fish meat to help it taste more like a lobster recipe:
- Lemon pepper seasoning
- Fresh lemon
- Melted butter
What Is the Best Substitute for Lobster?
If you’re looking for a great substitute for lobster, we’d suggest simply going with monkfish. It is monkfish that is going to get you the closest texture and flavor without the high price point that lobster usually brings with it.
Having said that, there are other types of fish, as mentioned, that can be made to taste like lobster with only a few added ingredients. Consider using cod or pollock to substitute for lobster or a lobster roll when you’re in a pinch and can’t use anything else.
Remember also that tiger prawn, Chilean sea bass, langoustine, and other fish types are also said to yield a flavor similar to lobster. So, if you’re in a bind and can’t get your hands on fresh lobster tail, be sure to check out these alternatives instead!
What Are Fish That Taste Like Lobster? Take Your Pick!
While it is true that there is no one fish that will bring the exact unique flavor and texture that lobster brings, most agree that you can help certain types of fish to imitate lobster meat with only a few alterations.
In the case of monkfish, you can expect the meat to taste oddly similar to lobster. In addition, remember that certain types of white fish can be made to taste like lobster, and also that tiger prawn and Chilean sea bass are said to be excellent substitutions as well.
On the subject of lobster, why not try these recipes?
- What To Serve With Lobster Bisque
- How to Make Red Lobster’s Butter Sauce
- Lobster Garlic Noodles
- Lobster Ravioli Sauce
Which fish that tastes like lobster will you try? See you next time!
Does cod fish tastes like lobster?
Not exactly. Fish cod can have a different texture than lobster, and has its own unique taste. Having said that, many add seasonings that would be traditionally added to lobster to give it a similar flavor. These seasonings include lemon, butter, salt, and sugar. Give it a try and see what you think!
Does grouper taste like lobster?
Grouper can be thought of as similar to lobster in that its meat is white, sweet, light, and flaky. These characteristics make grouper a solid choice in terms of lobster substitutes. Still, grouper meat won’t taste as similar to lobster as monkfish fillets might.
Does rockfish taste like lobster?
Actually? Yes! Some have attested that dipping rockfish meat into melted butter gives off a lobstery flavor so delicious that you’d never know the difference. It’s certainly worth a try.
How does lobster taste?
The flavor of lobster is rich yet the texture of the meat is very light. It isn’t quite as fishy as crab, but the meat is often thought of as similar. Lobster meat can be sweet and tastes perfect when dipped in butter. Lobster is often enjoyed on special occasions, as this delicious entree is often quite expensive
Is monkfish edible?
Despite its horrendous appearance, monkfish are actually edible creatures. In fact, their meat is often described as being just plain delicious. Who would’ve guessed?