Is Perch Good To Eat – About Perch Fish and Human Health

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If you’re an avid perch fan, you may find yourself asking, “Is perch good to eat?” This is a loaded question with a variety of answers. To learn more about this fish including how it tastes and the ways it might affect your health, be sure to continue reading.

Table of Contents

Is Perch Good To Eat

Is Perch a Healthy Fish To Eat?

Perch can be a very healthy fish to eat. It’s chock full of vitamins and nutrients that are beneficial to the body. In terms of fat, perch has been noted as the leanest fish when stacked against other fish types in its category. This means it is lower in fat, and thus in calories, than many other fish types out there.

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Is Perch Healthy To Eat?

Fish from the perch family are healthy to eat. However, perch can become unhealthy if you prepare it the wrong way. For example, if you plan to deep fry your fish or cover it in butter or heavy cream, you are drastically lowering its nutritional content. Still, the nutrients that come from the perch itself make it worth consuming–just be sure to use more health-conscious preparation methods when doing so.

The following are six of the healthiest ways to prepare fresh perch:

  1. Grilled
  2. Seared
  3. Sauteed in olive oil
  4. Roasted with vegetables
  5. Baked
  6. Pan-fried in shallow amounts of olive oil

Is Freshwater Perch Healthy?

Freshwater perch is typically healthy. Why typically? Because there are times when freshwater perch, or any type of perch, can be toxic.

This isn’t because the species itself is toxic. Most perch will be perfectly safe to eat. Rather, you need to be careful when consuming wild perch because the water they’ve been living in has the potential to be contaminated.

As NBC reported back in 2011, perch living in the San Fransisco Bay were found with “high levels of mercury and other toxic materials” due to contaminants in the water. Because of this, fishermen were encouraged to enjoy catching but avoid eating the fish, as doing so had the potential of making people seriously ill.

Is Perch Good To Eat – About Perch Fish And Human Health

What Are the Benefits of Eating Perch Fish?

So, what exactly are the benefits of eating perch? They are many! Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits that eating perch fish can provide for human health.

Benefits of Eating Perch Fish

The following are the most common benefits you can expect when eating perch on a regular basis:

  • High protein
  • Low fat
  • Thiamin
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin b12
  • Selenium
  • Phosphorus
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Are There Any Concerns With Eating Perch?

Issues with eating perch fish tend to be minimal. The main issues you may encounter are those dealing with contaminated waters. Though perch themselves are perfectly safe to eat, the waters they inhabit may not be.

When a fish lives in contaminated water, it will naturally contaminate the fish as well. Thus, it is important that your fish is sourced from a clean, healthy, and natural environment for the healthiest, safest, and best-tasting fish.

What Does Perch Taste Like?

Speaking of flavor, you may be interested in what perch fish tastes like. It’s not an uncommon question, just like asking what swordfish tastes like.

Perch has a mild flavor that is unlikely to offend those who don’t like the strong taste of fish. It is often described as being slightly sweet and pairs well with tartar sauce or atop of bed of lettuce on a sandwich.

Perch can be deep-fried, sauteed, baked, or cooked in a number of other ways. As you’d expect, different methods of cooking will yield different results. However, this mild-tasting, firm, and flaky fish is likely to steal your heart when you get the opportunity to try it!

Is Perch Fishy Tasting?

Perch is not normally fishy tasting. Because perch tastes mild it is a very popular pick among those who love fish and even those who don’t. Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and other fish like these are more likely to have that distinct “fishy” taste that has a tendency to turn people on — or off!

What Does Yellow Perch Taste Like?

Yellow perch, like most perch types, are flaky, firm, and mild in flavor. Yellow perch goes great when paired with fries, coleslaw, baked beans, salads, or whatever other side dishes suit your fancy!

Is Perch Good To Eat – About Perch Fish And Human Health

What’s the Best Way To Cook Perch Fish?

The most common (and arguably best-tasting) way to cook perch is to fry it.

Fried perch is typically what you’ll find in restaurants, although you may occasionally find it prepared other ways as well.

Of course, this isn’t to say that you can never fix perch other ways. There are many ways you can prepare perch that we’ve already mentioned, including baking, sautéing, grilling, or even pan-frying this white flaky fish meat.

How To Prepare Perch

Now that you know some of the most common ways to eat perch, it’s now time to learn how to prepare it. If perch is wild-caught, you’ll need to know how to clean it and cut it into perch fillets. If the perch you’ve purchased is store-bought or farm raised, you aren’t likely to need to cut the perch into fillets (unless you simply want smaller pieces).

No matter which way your perch comes, know that many people like to soak their fish in milk before cooking it. This can negate any fishy smells from the fish and can also help make the fish meat taste even milder than it already does!

How To Clean a Perch

The USDA does not recommend washing raw meat as it can increase the spread of germs and bacteria. This includes the washing of fish meat. However, if you’ve caught your perch yourself, it will be necessary for you to clean and fillet your fish before eating.

If you’re interested in learning how to clean your perch fish before eating, try following these steps:

  • Hold the perch by the head.
  • Take a spoon and run it down the skin to remove the scales. Do this on both sides.
  • Put the tip of a very sharp knife into the fish’s stomach and run the knife up to the fish’s head. Be very careful not to insert the knife too far as doing so may rupture its intestines.
  • Open the fish and remove the intestines.
  • Remove the anus by cutting it in a v-shape.
  • Rinse the remaining perch flesh with water.
  • Close the fish and lay it on a flat surface.
  • Cut the fish behind its gills until you reach the backbone.
  • Do not slice into the backbone.
  • Place your knife under the perch skin and run the knife up to the tail.
  • Fold the fish so that the tail is under the head with the skin on the inside of this fold.
  • With one hand on the tail, start separating the mear from the skin with your knife.
  • During this process, cut the ribs out and throw them away.
  • Clean your knife, and discard any remains.
  • Clean your surface thoroughly once complete.

How To Cook a Perch

Cooking perch is relatively simple. Whether you’re frying, sautéing, or baking the fish, you won’t find very many complicated recipes for fixing perch.

How To Prepare White Perch

  • 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1⁄2 cup butter
  • 4 fresh lake perch fillets

Fried Perch Fish Directions:

  • Mix flour, paprika, pepper, and salt together.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the egg and the milk together.
  • Meanwhile, heat butter in a large frying pan.
  • Dip your perch fillets in the milk and egg mixture before dipping them again in the flour.
  • Fry these dipped pieces in the hot butter by working in batches and until fully cooked through.
  • Drain cooked pieces on a paper towel.
  • Enjoy!

Ocean Perch vs Lake Perch

There are a few differences between ocean perch and lake perch. For the purposes of this article, we won’t go into great depth. However, you should know that lake perch tends to be higher in healthy fats and also higher in calcium!

What Is the Best Perch To Eat?

While there is no consensus on which perch tastes best, it is sometimes good to know the differences between different types to inform your decision on which kind to eat.

Are Yellow Perch Good To Eat?

Yellow perch is awesome to eat. It tastes great, has many nutritional benefits, and is relatively simple to cook.

Are White Perch Good To Eat?

Like yellow perch, wild-caught white perch is also a stunner of a dish. Its flavor is mild and not at all fishy making it easy on the tastebuds for those who don’t tend to like fish.

Is Silver Perch Good To Eat?

Like other perch types, silver perch are good to eat. However, they sometimes have a “muddy” flavor that may be off-putting to some.

Is Surf Perch Good To Eat?

Yes. In fact, surf perch is awesome in dishes that call for white fish. It is often described as one of the “cleanest” tasting types of fish you can try.

Is Ocean Perch Good To Eat?

It’s not only moist, flakey, and delicious, but it’s also packed with Vitamin B12 and selenium. Thus, you can’t go wrong with ocean perch!

Is Perch Good to Eat? Yes, Absolutely!

Without a shadow of a doubt, you can be assured that perch fish are indeed very good eating. Having said that, it is important that your perch is responsibly sourced and has not been retrieved from contaminated waters.

I hope this helps answer the question, “Is perch good to eat?” See you next time!


Is perch roe good to eat?

Yes, perch fish roe is good to eat. Many people like them, but as with anything, there are a few who don’t.

Can you eat white perch?

Yes, you can! Not only that but it tastes great and is healthy for you. So, dig in!

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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