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Can You Eat Ladyfish? 

Ladyfish isn’t a common fish on the menu anywhere but that doesn’t mean it isn’t actually edible.

ladyfish for bait

So, you may be wondering: can you eat ladyfish? The quick answer is yes. Ladyfish is a fish that can be consumed.

And, if you happen to find yourself in an area where you can get your hands on some, it may be worth a try but there are some things to consider.

Do People Eat Ladyfish? 

Yes, you can eat ladyfish. While it isn’t a common fish to eat, it is one you certainly can eat.

fried ladyfish

Because of its texture, there are certain ways that it should be prepared. Most commonly, people who eat ladyfish prefer to have it in a pressure cooker, in cake form, or in a form of stir fry.

What Does It Taste Like? 

The taste of ladyfish isn’t something that the vast majority enjoys. You can eat this fish, for sure, but that doesn’t mean that you are going to enjoy the taste of it.

fresh ladyfish with dipping gravy

It has crumbly meat that many describe as more textured than other fish. It is more mushy and oily than other types of fish, which is why it isn’t a fish you’re going to spot at many restaurants.

The oiliness of this fish is probably the reason many shy away from eating it. Some even describe the oily taste as overwhelming.

fresh caught ladyfish for eating

The lack of texture with this type of fish is also isn’t preferred by many as it doesn’t “melt in your mouth” like some other types.

Is It Edible? 

Yes, ladyfish is edible but there are some concerns that keep many from trying it. For one, it is said to contain more bones than a number of other, more desirable fish.

catching ladyfish

While other types of fish, of course, have bones, ladyfish has enough that it is noticeable when consumed.

The number of tiny bones can make eating this dish more of a chore than others.

However, with the right chef, these tiny bones can be removed if it’s prepared properly but it is quite the task.

a ladyfish with its mouth open

Even still, there are some tricks that more seasoned chefs are aware that they can implement to make this fish quite tasty to some.

Can You Eat It Raw? 

You could potentially eat this fish raw but because of the lack of data on mercury levels that may have been absorbed by this type of fish, it’s unlikely that you would want to.

a fresh ladyfish for eating

The removal of the bones is quite the process and wouldn’t necessarily look appetizing if served as sushi or sashimi.

It certainly wouldn’t appear as appetizing as other properly prepared sushi but it can be consumed this way.

Is It Safe to Eat? 

According to all guidelines, this fish is safe to eat. As previously mentioned, there is little data about mercury levels in this particular fish.

a single ladyfish

It’s recommended that you consume it sparingly but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try.

It isn’t a favorite of many, but those who do like it, seem to really enjoy its unique taste and texture.

Final Thoughts

So, if somebody asks if you can eat ladyfish, you’ll know that it is a fish that can be eaten but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to like it.

With that being said, when it’s properly prepared, there are people who do enjoy this fish, especially when the bones are removed properly and it’s pressure cooked.

If you’ are looking to try something new, there is no reason not to give this fish a go. So, go ahead and give ladyfish a try! You may like it, but if you don’t, ladyfish always make for great tarpon bait!

1 comment

  • In south west Florida, this use to be our go to fish after a slow day and poor results. Once inside the river, throw on a white Zars spook and walk the dog. The kids would always nail more than a few. They are hard hitters and always good for a few airborne launches. They destroy light tackle. We call them the poor man’s tarpon. Question is, where did they go.