Walk into just about every grocery store or fish market and you'll find tilapia. Somewhere along the line it became as common and as popular as salmon. The fact that it doesn't taste too fishy, is versatile to cook, and isn't expensive probably has something to do with it. Most tilapia also sustainable, since it tends to be farmed pretty responsibly these days — especially in the U.S. and Canada.
So yes, tilapia is all well and good, but, excuse the pun: There are other fish in the sea. In fact, there are other fish that have similar characteristics as tilapia — mild, flaky, and easy to please the whole family. Whether you're just getting sick and tired of tilapia or simply want to expand you horizons, here are five other fish to try.
Catfish has firm texture and mild flavor — just like tilapia. In terms of sustainability, it's best to avoid imported catfish and opt for U.S. farmed or wild. Farm-raised tends to have a cleaner, less fishy flavor, similar to that of tilapia.
2. Striped Bass
Both farmed and wild striped bass are sustainable choices. Both are good alternatives to tilapia — farmed striped bass has a moderately firm texture and mild flavor, while wild striped bass has a firmer texture and richer flavor.
More Information on Fish Sustainability
It can be hard to navigate the world of sustainable fish. Luckily, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch guide is a great resource. There you'll find their recommendations for the best, most sustainable options based on where the fish is sourced.
3. Red Snapper
Red snapper might be the closest in texture and flavor to tilapia. It's mild and sweet and cooks up to be moist. It's best to avoid imported snapper if you'd like to make the most sustainable choice. Interestingly, a lot of "snapper" sold is not actually true snapper but another species. A true raw red snapper fillet will be lightly pink in color with a bit of a yellow hue.
4. Rainbow Trout
Rainbow trout isn't a fancy fish, which is exactly why it's great. Pretty much all types are a sustainable choice — especially farmed rainbow trout. While a lot of trout you may have eaten before is pink like salmon, it's not all like that. In fact it can be white, orange, or pink depending on what the fish ate. It has a very mild flavor that's a bit buttery and the texture is medium-firm.
Branzino goes by a few names, including European sea bass, loup de mer, and spigola. The mild, flaky fish is incredibly common in Italian, Greek, and Spanish cuisines, which makes sense since most comes from the Mediterranean. Either farmed or wild branzino are sustainable options.