What Does Cobia Fish Taste Like?

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You might not come across cobia fish often, so when you see it on a menu or at the grocery store, you might be wondering if it is worth trying.

What does cobia fish taste like? Cobia fish has a mild, sweet taste to it, and it has little fat found in the meat. It is a saltwater fish that can be served in a few different ways, and it is a great-tasting fish that many people enjoy. Cobia is considered to be an affordable fish as well. It is caught off the Gulf of Mexico, and fishermen use longlines and nets to catch it, which means that they are fairly easy to come by.

Many people consider cobia to be the more affordable option to salmon and tuna, but the truth is that cobia should be considered a great fish on its own!

Read on to find out all there is to know about cobia, what it tastes like, how it is served, and the best ways to cook it!

What Type Of Fish Is Cobia?

Cobia is a deep-sea fish that is also known as a Crabeater or Sergeant fish. Cobia is often found living between 50-100 meters below sea level.

The average cobia fish weighs around 80 pounds, but they can grow up to 150 pounds.

They are most commonly found in the Gulf of Mexico, but can also be found in North Carolina. Cobia prefers warm waters and tends to migrate to warmer water in Florida during the winter.

One of the other names given to cobia, Crabeater, speaks to the fish’s favorite food of crabs, shrimp, and other crustaceans.

Cobia is also known to feed on other small fish too. They have strong, sharp teeth which help them crush the shells of their prey.

It is fairly easy to spot a cobia fish. The dorsal fin has a row of short spines which are followed by a softer ray fin that allows them to swim at speed and with precision at greater depth, helping them catch their prey.

The color of a cobia can range from light brown with lengthwise stripes, to a very dark grey.

Can You Eat Cobia Fish?

Cobia is a great fish to eat, and it is becoming more popular as more people realize the great taste and texture that cobia has once cooked.

Not only has cobia been deemed a healthy choice for human consumption, but it is also considered a sustainable food source as well.

The health benefits that cobia has are quite astounding. It is high in protein, selenium, and omega-3 fats. One concern with saltwater fish, such as tuna, is the mercury content that the fish has.

Luckily, cobia has a low mercury content and is, therefore, safe for nursing or pregnant women to eat, but this is only true for farmed cobia.

Not only is cobia safe to eat, but being a healthy and sustainable fish makes it such a great option, and it definitely deserves to be better known for this!

What Does Cobia Fish Taste Like?

Cobia is a wonderful fish, and it can be prepared in so many different ways to accentuate the different natural flavors that the fish holds.

While being a mild-tasting fish, cobia has a great flavor profile. It is low in fat but has just enough fat to ensure that it is moist and juicy. When cooked, the flesh is firm and flaky, but not dry or hard.

It is a white meat fish that is slightly similar in taste to mahi-mahi or tuna. The firm texture and mild flavor stand out on their own though and make it such a versatile fish when prepared in many different ways.

The versatility of the fish comes from the fact that it is mild and does not overpower the different flavors that it is cooked with. It is still very buttery though, which makes it flavorful enough to grill or fry on its own.

Cobia can be paired with just about any ingredient in most fish dishes, and prepared in so many ways. The fish will still hold a great flavor profile, but will allow the ingredients it is cooked with to shine too!

Is Cobia Fish Usually Expensive?

The beauty of cobia is that it is a great-tasting fish, it is sustainable, and it is fairly inexpensive. Many people consider cobia to be the more affordable option compared to tuna and salmon.

You can find cobia sold fresh in most seafood markets, or you could find it frozen in grocery stores.

It is important to remember that the further away you go from the source, the more expensive cobia gets. However, as it is caught in the Gulf of Mexico, prices stay considerably steady throughout the USA.

How Do You Cook Cobia Fish?

Cobia can be prepared in a wide range of ways. The mild flavor makes it compatible with so many different ingredients and many ways of preparation. However, there are some ways to cook cobia that are better than others.

Here are some of the most popular ways that cobia is prepared:

Sauté Cobia Fish

Cobia is most popularly sautéed. This is when the cobia is placed in a hot frying pan with some olive oil or butter and is cooked over medium-high heat.

The fish only needs to be cooked for around 4 minutes per side, or until the edges of the cobia develop a brown crust. The cooked cobia is then served with lemon wedges.

Grill Cobia Fish

Cobia does well when placed on a grill. It can be cooked on an outdoor grill that has been sprayed with some non-stick spray.

The cobia should be cooked for about 4 minutes a side until cooked through. It can be served with lemon wedges and some tartar sauce.

Broil Cobia Fish

Broiling cobia results in a crispy outside and juicy, moist flesh that is flaky and super soft.

The cobia can be placed in a baking dish and seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and olive oil. It can then be broiled for around 12 minutes a side until it is cooked through.

Can You Eat Cobia Fish Raw?

Certain fish, such as the right salmon or tuna, can be served raw.  Cobia is another fish that can be served raw too.

The thick meat of cobia makes it firm, which is ideal to use to make sushi rolls.

The sweet, mild flavor of cobia makes it a great option as a raw fish, as it is not too overpowering. It can also be served without seasoning as it holds a good flavor profile.

Being mild, the cobia will also not overpower any other ingredients it is served with if made into sushi.

Whether you enjoy cobia raw or cooked is up to you, but it is definitely something you should try both ways.

Just ensure that you are purchasing the cobia from a reputable seller and that you have handled, stored, and prepared the cobia properly to reduce any risk of foodborne illness.

You can enjoy both fresh and frozen cobia raw, as the freezing process helps to kill off any bacteria and parasites, but fresh cobia would have a fuller flavor and a better texture.

How Do You Store Cobia Fish?

Cobia fish can be stored just the same as any other fish. The best way to store it is to wrap it in plastic wrap and then place it in an airtight plastic container or in a plastic sealable bag with all the air squeezed out of it.

This can then be placed in the freezer for long storage. If you are planning to eat it sooner, you can place the plastic container or plastic freezer bag at the bottom of the fridge.

When placed in the fridge, it is best to eat the cobia within 2-3 days. If kept in the freezer, eat the cobia within 3 months.

It would still be safe to eat it if you leave it in the freezer for longer, but the taste and texture of the fish will decline in quality, and it will not be as enjoyable to eat!

How Do I Thaw Cobia Fish?

Cobia needs to be thawed slowly and safely. There is a chance of bacteria growth and possible foodborne illness if cobia is not thawed in a safe way, just the same as there is with other types of fish.

To thaw frozen cobia properly, you should remove it from the freezer and place it in the fridge overnight or for 4-5 hours.

This ensures that it thaws slowly and at a safe temperature, and does not experience too many temperature fluctuations.

This does take some pre-planning, so if you know that you are going to have cobia for dinner the next night, you should take it out of the freezer and place it in the fridge at night before you go to bed.

Take care to not leave the cobia out for more than 2 hours at room temperature either to ensure it is safe to eat.

What Other Sustainable Fish Are Good To Eat?

Cobia is fast becoming more popular thanks to it being delicious, widely available, and sustainable. We all need to move towards eating more sustainable seafood; it really is just the most responsible thing to do!

Cobia is a good place to start, as it is a mild-flavored fish that most people would enjoy. If you are looking at branching out a little more, here are some other sustainable fish that are good to eat, just like cobia:


Anchovies have a quick growth cycle and reproduce quickly. If caught from the Northeast Atlantic, anchovies can be very sustainable.

They are an oily fish that is most commonly sold cured packed in oil or salt. However, you can also find them fresh if you prefer to prepare them your own way.

Farmed Arctic Char

Arctic char is a subtle-flavored fish and is considered to be a good substitute for either salmon or trout. It has a meaty texture and is not prone to being overcooked. It is delicious pan-seared!

Arctic char does well when farmed, and this helps it be a very sustainable option of fish.


Hake is an already popular fish, and luckily it is a sustainable option too. It is part of the cod family, so it can be used in place of haddock, cod, and Pollock.

With white flesh, hake has a lighter flake than what cod does, and this makes it a great choice to fry, pan-sear, or braise.

Skipjack Tuna

Skipjack tuna is often sold canned and has quite a strong flavor. The benefit of skipjack tuna is that it contains up to 3 times less mercury than albacore and yellowfin tuna.

This tuna grows faster than other kinds, so they typically have the chance to reproduce before they are caught

Skipjack tuna can be sold canned, but you can also use it fresh in place of yellowfin or Bigeye tuna.

Alaskan Salmon

There are a few options of Alaskan Salmon to choose from, all with their own taste. Wild Alaskan salmon is heavily regulated and is caught using a pole and line or troll, which have a very small impact on the environment.

There are many ways to cook Alaskan salmon, such as broiling, pan-frying, baking, or grilling.

Silver Hake

Silver hake is a white fish that is often used in place of cod and haddock. It is quickly gaining popularity with more chefs and home cooks!

While it was previously overfished, silver hake is now thriving well as a species and available as a sustainable option.

One thing to note is that silver hake from Cape Hatteras in North Carolina is still not fully recovered to the right population size, so stay away from this type!

Silver hake has a similar texture to sole and is a mild-tasting fish. It can sometimes have a sweet flavor to it, but this is not overpowering at all.

It is best served sautéed or battered and fried. It is also the popular choice for fish and chips!

Related Questions

Now that we’ve gone over the flavor of cobia, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!

Does cobia taste fishy?

Cobia does not have a very fishy taste and has a mild fish flavor that is not very noticeable.

This means that there are many ways you can prepare cobia, without the fishy flavor being too overpowering. It is similar to other mild saltwater fish.

Can you smoke cobia?

You can smoke cobia successfully. Other fish to smoke include mullet, mackerel, marlin, swordfish, and stripers.

As cobia is a firm fish, it tends to hold up to smoking really well.

What is the best way to eat cobia?

The best way to eat cobia will be dependent on how you prefer to eat your fish! Some prefer cobia that is sautéed, while others prefer their cobia crispy from being broiled.

It is a versatile fish that tastes great cooked in many ways.

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