Why Is Your Fish Malansa? There’s Still Something You Can Do

Can you make fish less fishy?

The word “fishy” doesn’t exactly bring to mind appetizing things. You’ve probably come across a bite of fish that was just too fishy for you. Is there really a way, though, to take the fishiness out of fish? If you just want to take the fishy flavor or aroma down a notch, though, here are things you can still do:

This tinola uses fish instead of chicken, and it’s just as tasty.
Photo by Majoy Siason

1 Choose the right fish.

We all have different taste buds, meaning our preference for fish will differ from one person to another. If you’re the type who doesn’t particularly love fish and can’t stand when the flavor is too strong, then you should avoid certain kinds of fish. Lapu-lapu, salmon, grouper, and blue marlin will always have strong, distinct flavors. That’s part of why they’re often expensive and sought after. It’s best not to waste your money on these fish if you don’t like it. Instead, go for mild-flavored fish like cream dory, tilapia and halibut. Don’t forget that you can always ask your fishmonger if you’re unsure about the fish you’re buying.


There’s no wider selection of fish than at wet markets.
Photo by Courtesy of Atreena

2 The fresher the fish, the better.

Fish, while it’s still alive, contain trimethylamine oxide that breaks down into trimethylamine once the fish dies. Trimethylamine is the compound that makes fish unappetizingly fishy. The longer the fish has been dead, the more trimethylamine there will be. This doesn’t mean your fish is necessarily bad for consumption; it’s just old.

Of course, to make sure that it hasn’t actually gone bad, you need to make sure that you chose your fish wisely. We have tips on how to find the freshest fish. Always remember, if the fish starts to itch, spit it out.

Have you tried a goat or sheep’s milk?
Photo by Pixabay

3 Give it a milk bath.

Trimethylamine, what makes fish stinky, dissolves in milk! Make use of that awesome bit of information by giving your fish a 20-minute milk bath before cooking. Drain and wipe your fish down with a paper towel to make sure every bit of the milk is gone, along with the trimethylamine.


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Photo by LoggaWiggler from Pixabay

4 Use citrus!

Marinate your fish in calamansi, lemon, or maybe vinegar, to get rid of its fishiness. Keep in mind that the longer you marinate, the closer you get to making it taste like daing, though! You can also squeeze a wedge of citrus after cooking for an added boost of freshness.

Photo by PIxabay

5 Season with spices!

It’s like fighting fire with fire. Fight the fishy aroma with other aromatics such as spice blends, spicy breading, or a grating of fresh ginger. You’ll not only mask the fishy smell, but you’ll also give it more flavor.


Fish is a great healthy source of protein, vitamins, and minerals—which is a great loss if you’ve been avoiding fish because of its fishiness. With these tips, we’re sure you’ll be able to appreciate fish in a whole new way.


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