Home > Freshwater Fishing > Can You Eat Catfish and Is It Safe?

Can You Eat Catfish and Is It Safe?

It’s your first fishing trip and you’ve just reeled in a huge catfish. After unhooking it from your line, you might find yourself wondering, “Can you eat catfish?”

The short answer is yes – catfish are edible and a popular fish for many recipes.

eating catfish

While certain varieties can differ in flavor, whether people like to eat catfish is solely based upon personal choice.

Here is what you can expect if you’re thinking about cooking up catfish soon.  

Do People Eat Catfish?

People have eaten catfish for decades in countries like North American, Europe, and Asia. Catfish is famous for its unique flavor that you won’t get with any other whitefish.

Some people like to fry, bake, broil, grill it, and serve it with fresh vegetables. It also tastes great when cooked with garlic or Cajun-style.  

Raw catfish with herbs, aromatic spices, lime and wine

While many prefer to eat cultivated catfish, others would rather eat the wild variety.

Since catfish are not an endangered species, you won’t have to worry about feeling guilty any time you eat one. There is plenty to go around.

What Does It Taste Like?

There are two distinct varieties of catfish: farmed and wild-caught, each with a distinctive taste. Wild-caught catfish come from rivers and ponds to have a bland and muddy-flavored taste with sweet ends.

Catfish Fillet with Plum Sauce, Jasimine rice and vegetables.

Farmed catfish are grain-fed and raised in commercial farms. When cooked, this kind has a mild and sweet flavor, with dense and moist flesh.

Fans of whitefish such as tilapia, haddock, and flounder are sure to enjoy the taste of catfish, as they share similar properties.

Unlike whitefish, catfish are not as flakey. The specific taste can vary by variety.  Blue and channel catfish are the two most common wild varieties eaten by people.

Is Catfish Edible?

Both farm-raised and wild catfish are edible. Farmed raised catfish are fed using floating food pellets that they can reach from the water’s surface.

southern fried catfish plate

Wild catfish are bottom-dwellers and feed off the bottoms of lakes, rivers, and streams. Since these have poor eyesight, dirt and mud are usually a large part of their natural diet.

When it comes to which variety is better, the answer is usually left up to personal preference. Some people with bold palates may enjoy the off-taste of wild-caught fish, while others prefer the clean and consistent taste of farmed.

Farmed-raised catfish usually have a higher fat content than wild-caught, which may dictate whether people include it as part of their diets.

Can You Eat Catfish Raw?

Some fish are not suitable to be eaten raw, and catfish is one of them. Wild-caught fish are a particular risk for parasite contaminant if it comes from water that has been polluted by feces or parasites.

Raw fillet of white fish catfish

Whenever you prepare catfish at home, it is crucial to ensure that it is cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Undercooked fish can still contain live parasites and spread illnesses such as listeria, giardiasis, and other foodborne illnesses.  

Is It Safe to Eat Catfish?

Yes, it is safe to eat catfish. The only time it is not safe to eat catfish is when it is undercooked. Catfish is low in calories is filled with many healthy nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12.

Incorporating baked or broiled catfish into your regular diet can help you promote overall good health.  

fried catfish fillets

Catfish is one of the most popular and delicious types of fish that you can enjoy eating at home or in a restaurant.

Whether you prefer the all-natural taste of catfish from the wild or the sweet taste of farm-raised is up to you.

Whichever way you like, heat the grill and grab your utensils for a mouthwatering meal that will keep you satisfied and full.   

Add comment