7 Insights: What Does Perch Taste Like? Health & Cooking Guide

Perch is a freshwater fish with three varieties: European, Balkhash, and yellow. It has a mild, sweet taste, thin fillets, and is high in omega-3 fatty acids. It cooks quickly and is versatile in recipes, making it a popular choice for healthy eating and delicious meals.

what does perch taste like

If you like to eat fish or want to have a healthier diet, perch is a good choice of fish to try. Perch comes in three varieties – European perch, Balkhash perch, and yellow perch.

Perch is a freshwater gamefish that fishermen around the world love to catch because it puts up a good fight.

European perch is found in Europe and Asia. These fish are green with vertical bars or stripes on the sides, and they have a reddish color on the tips of their tails and fins.

European perch have been introduced in other regions, including Australia and New Zealand. European perch grows to a size of 6 lbs. at maximum.

Balkhash perch are found in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and China. These fish are very similar to the European perch, growing to 6 lbs. as well.

The third variety, yellow perch, is lighter in color and smaller than the European perch. This species of perch is found in North America, where it is often referred to as lake perch.

The North American perch is considered good-quality eating, so much so, that it is farmed fished in hatcheries and introduced into the wild even in areas where it isn’t native

Yellow perch looks similar to European perch with a more yellow or lighter coloring. These perch grow to a size of a little over 2 lbs.

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Is Perch Good to Eat?


Perch is a favorite among people who love to eat fish. Perch fillets are thin, with white flesh or pink flesh, and can be cooked and served in many different ways.

Many perch fishermen say that perch tastes the best when freshly caught and cooked over an open flame. But, for those who don’t have access to fishermen and fish caught daily, perch is sold in most fish markets and grocery stores.

Because perch provides thin fillets, it cooks quickly, so it can be ready to serve in a short amount of time.

Thin fillets also absorb marinades and seasoning more readily, meaning using a dry or wet marinade will work well with perch.

What Does Perch Taste Like?

Perch is a very popular fish whether you fish for yourself or pick it up on your way home for dinner. It is a tasty fish, often having an almost sweet taste.

It has a bit more flavor than tilapia but is still considered a fish with milder or delicate flavor. It can be used instead of sea bass or tilapia in a recipe, although you may need to adjust seasonings and cooking time a bit.

The texture of perch is thinner than sea bass or salmon or trout, and flaky. Although it’s more flavorful than some white fish, it doesn’t have a fishy aftertaste. Perch is most comparable to walleye, a fish that comes from the same family as perch.

Perch is also plentiful and has a lower price than many other fish if you buy it in the grocery store. It makes a good choice for recipes with sauces and marinades.

According to the USDA, perch has the following nutritional values:

  • 54 calories per fillet
  • Total fat .5 g
  • Cholesterol 53 mg
  • Sodium 36 mg
  • Potassium 158 mg
  • Total carbohydrates 0 g
  • Protein 11 g

One serving of perch provides one-third of your daily recommended intake of selenium, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B-12, and vitamin D. Perch is high in omega-3 fatty acids, and just one serving gives you 90 percent of the daily recommended intake.

Purchasing Perch

When you purchase perch fish, the flesh can range in color from light pink to deep pink. When buying perch, the meat should be transparent, not opaque.

Once it’s cooked, it will become opaque completely. Perch fish has very little odor, even when cooking (similar to pollock). You can usually buy single fillets or butterfly fillets (both sides of the fish attached to its skin).

Is Perch Very Fishy?

Fresh perch has very little fishy smell, which is one of the reasons it is popular. When you buy the fish raw, it should only have a slight odor.

If it smells strong, then it’s either not perch or there is something wrong with it.

While perch can range in color, the smell is practically the same for all varieties of perch. Although in the US, the most common perch is yellow perch, sometimes sellers sell walleye as perch. Walleye tends to be larger than full-sized perch.

Preparing Perch for Cooking

You can cook the fish with the skin on or off. Many people like to fillet perch by splitting the fish into two pieces, then removing the bones from the center.

Another option is to cut the skin off completely. To do this, place the fish fillet side down on a cutting board. Using a flexible sharp knife, insert the knife parallel to the skin while holding the tail in place. Cut the skin pointing the knife away from your hand. You can remove bones in the belly section or the center.

Is Perch Better Than Tilapia?

It’s hard to say whether perch is better than tilapia. Since flavor is subjective, each person experiences it in their own way. Tilapia is one of the mildest fish with a very mild flavor and medium-thick fillet.

Tilapia is often sold in single fillets instead of a butterfly cut because of its thickness. It is the best choice for someone who doesn’t like strongly-flavored fish.

On the other hand, perch is also on the milder side when it comes to flavor. It has more flavor than tilapia, and the fillets are thinner. If you want a fish that has more flavor than tilapia, the perch is a good choice.

Or if you’ve started eating fish and want a variety, perch is a great fish to try. Perch offers a different texture and is easy to cook.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if you like perch more or less than tilapia. You can easily compare them by buying one fillet of each type of fish, then cooking them to do a taste test.

FAQs about Perch

Is perch a good fish to eat?

Perch is indeed a delicious fish to eat. Personally, I consider it to be one of the best options when it comes to white, flaky fish meat. Other freshwater fish that fall into this category include Walleye, Pike, Crappie, Sunfish, and even Rock Bass.

Does perch have a lot of bones?

Perch does not have a lot of bones; in fact, it has a simple bone structure that makes it easy to fillet and skin, unlike trout which has a line of pin bones.

Is perch an oily fish?

Perch is considered the leanest fish, while farmed salmon is known to be the fattiest fish, based on the variation in Total Fatty Acid (FA) content (mg/100g wet weight) within fish species.

Is perch considered a whitefish?

Perch is indeed considered a type of whitefish.

Do you eat the skin on perch?

The skin on perch is soft and thin, which means you can easily eat it without even noticing in most preparations. This quality also simplifies the cooking process as there is no need to remove the skin beforehand. Additionally, it is worth noting that fish skin is highly nutritious and rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Which perch taste best?

The best tasting perch is believed to be the White Perch caught around Chesapeake Bay, according to popular belief.

Is perch a fishy tasting fish?

Perch can have a fishy taste, although it may be considered bland by some individuals. However, others appreciate its delicate flavor, which can range from a hint of saltiness reminiscent of the ocean to a distinct taste similar to salmon. The perception of perch’s taste can vary depending on geographical location, as different species of perch are available in different regions.

Is perch similar to bass?

Perch and bass have similar fins and tails, but there are distinct differences between them. Bass are deepest directly under their front dorsal fin, while perch are deepest in front of their fins, giving them more of a forehead. Additionally, one can differentiate between the two by looking for stripes.

What does perch taste similar to?

The taste of perch is similar to tilapia and codfish, but with a stronger flavor. The sweet, mild, and moist meat of ocean perch is difficult to dislike, just like its vibrant outer appearance.

Does perch taste better than whiting?

Perch does not taste better than whiting.

Does perch fish have bones?

Perch fish belong to the class Osteicthyes, which means they have a skeleton made of bone instead of cartilage. Bony fish, including perch, are the most abundant group of vertebrates on Earth today, with millions of individuals and approximately 30,000 different species.

Is perch a white meat?

Perch is considered a white meat due to its delicate flavor and white, flaky texture. Its taste is similar to striped bass, being mild yet more delicate. Traditionally, white perch can be prepared by roasting it whole in the oven or pan frying it.

Does perch taste like bluegill?

Perch and bluegill do not taste the same, although they produce fillets of similar size. In terms of taste and texture, bluegill has a meatier flavor compared to perch, but it is not overly fishy. Similar to perch, bluegill is typically prepared by pan- or deep-frying.

What tastes better bluegill or perch?

Bluegill and perch are not related, scientifically speaking, but they both yield fillets of similar size. In terms of taste and texture, bluegill has a meatier flavor compared to perch, without being overly fishy. Similar to perch, bluegill is typically prepared by pan- or deep-frying.

Is perch and tilapia the same fish?

Perch and tilapia are not the same fish. Although sometimes referred to as Nile perch, this name is incorrect. The scientific name for tilapia is actually tilapia, not Nile perch. Nile perch is a species native to Africa and can grow to be 150 to 200 pounds when fully mature, according to McKinney.

How do perch compare to bass?

Perch and bass can be compared based on their fin and tail similarities. However, the distinguishing factor lies in their body structure. Bass are deepest directly under their front dorsal fin, whereas perch are deepest in front of their fins, giving them a more prominent forehead compared to bass. Additionally, it is important to observe the presence of stripes when differentiating between the two species.

Is perch a oily fish?

Perch is considered to be the leanest fish, while farmed salmon is known to be the fattiest fish, based on the variation in Total Fatty Acid (FA) content (mg/100g wet weight) among different fish species.

Is ocean perch like cod?

Ocean perch is not exactly like cod, but it does share some similarities. It has a firm flesh that is slightly coarse and has a mild delicate flavor. The fillets are typically thin and can be cooked in various ways. While the flesh is white, it is not as light as cod, and it becomes opaque white when cooked.

Does perch taste better than walleye?

Perch and walleye have different taste preferences among individuals, but it is generally believed that walleye has a superior taste compared to perch. However, it should be noted that perch are generally easier to catch than walleye.

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