The Best Catfish Substitute – 6 Best Catfish Replacement!

If you love having fish as your entree, you cannot turn a blind eye to catfish – one of the best fish to utilize in high-quality dishes of famous restaurants or a simple three-course fish meal at home.

Although catfish come in various plates, it is sometimes not easy to find them in the market. In this case, what fish can be used as the catfish substitute? If that’s what you want to know, follow us to this article to find out!

The Best Catfish Substitutes

You can substitute catfish with many fishes such as Flounder, Haddock, Tilapia, or others. Because they have a similar flavor and texture to catfish. Moreover, they have the same way to handle cooking such as fillet, seasoning.

eating catfish

For those who are looking for a list of fish similar to catfish, we provide you with the great substitutes:

1. Tilapia

When it mentions any catfish substitute, tilapia always rises as the number one star. Like catfish, tilapia has a flaky, medium-firm texture with a mild flavor.

When we compare tilapia vs catfish‘s availability, tilapia is easier to find across US markets, while purchasing catfish requires you to visit fish specialty stores. Other than that, tilapia is exceptionally inexpensive, too.

The best catfish dish to replace tilapia with is the fillet. Catfish tend to be thicker when cut into fillet than tilapia, so ensure that the fish‘s density is not impactful on your dish.

2. Flounder

Another popular substitute for catfish is flounder. Due to the quiet-similarity in flavor and texture with catfish, flounders do a great job covering the slightly sweet taste and medium-firmness of catfish.

Moreover, flounder is the source of many great entrees because of its versatility in food making. Hence, if any recipe seems to be odd on catfish, take up flounder and give it a chance! Perhaps you can accidentally create stunning dishes!

3. Basa

What can be a better substitute for eating catfish other than catfish? Basa, a kind of Asian catfish, can come into the rescue for your catfish missing! This kind of fish is vitally important in Southeast Asia’s cuisine, often called the Vietnamese catfish.

Thanks to its mild, light flavor, amazing texture, and low price, basa fish can be found in any of your local stores, and it is likely an excellent substitute for catfish entirely without any doubt.

Remember that you must prepare the basa carefully before cooking it to ensure food safety.

4. Cod

Even though cod and catfish differ by where they come from, they can play a similar role in savory dishes. If you run out of catfish, cod can be used as an equivalent alternative without ruining the dish’s original flavor.

Cod has a delicate, flaky texture with rough skin on the outside. Once you remove this skin (the same way as you remove salmon’s skin), it’s likewise versatilely substantial and can hold up to pretty much any cooking technique.

5. Green stripe bass

Bass is also a popular fish that can replace catfish in terms of appearance more than flavor. If the dish does not require the catfish flavor to spot on, you can utilize green stripe bass in your inventory to have an exquisite dish with equal-high quality.

Green stripe bass can be found in almost every market or supermarket than catfish, so finding them is much easier. But if the bass’s flavor is against your recipe so much, try to go for another catfish substitute.

6. Haddock

Haddock is a kind of fish with a meat-like taste, a well-known cod substitute that can remind you of the earthy, roasted flavor of catfish in a very pleasant way.

If you want to alter your recipe a little bit, changing catfish to haddock, the taste change can bring your dish’s deliciousness to a higher level. Especially smoked haddock is one of the best substitutions you can find for your catfish recipe.

What To Consider Before Considering Catfish Substitute?

Although we can catfish can get a suitable substitute for catfish with different kinds of fish, there are certain criteria you need to remember and notice before making the switch:

Fat content

The first thing you need to compare between two fish before alternating them is their fat content. How to know if they have approximately the same amount of fat? Well, this characteristic can be witnessed through their color.

Fish with low-fat amounts usually have a light, soft color. For example, you can substitute catfish for tilapia or haddock for cod. If the two fish maintain the same shade, they may endure an equal fat amount.

On the other hand, the darker color the fish embraces, the higher the fat it carries. For example, tuna and salmon both have a high-fat amount with a rich, flavorful taste.


The second criterion, while substituting fish, is considering the fish’s texture. Not mentioning flavor differences, fish also has various texture. Typically, both flounder fish and butterfish are delicate in texture – the easy-to-separate meat into small pieces.

Species like mullet and trout have a moderate texture and are hard to flake. Fishes – grouper and catfish are firmer and meatier in texture even surface.

The surface doesn’t influence the taste of fish. Yet, you may pick a specific kind if you need to utilize a particular strategy of cooking.

If you need fish to cook legitimately on your barbecue, you may like a firm fish, for example, fish or salmon instead of flop or butterfish falling to pieces during flame broiling.

Keep in mind, you can change the surface of fish in the case of overcooking. Any species are extreme, dry, and chewy when cooking it excessively long.


When you substitute catfish for another kind, you expect it to taste the same, so the change won’t ruin how you want your recipe to go. As for the flavor, we have listed out six fish substitutes that can bring out most of your dishes without the help of catfish.

 However, one thing must be ensured while alternating fish is keeping the fish fresh. No matter what kind of fish is put into the dish, if it doesn’t have the required freshness, the recipes are likely to be ruined whatsoever.


catfish meat

And that’s the list of best catfish substitutes. In case you can’t find catfish anywhere, we hope that this fish substitution chart can save you from throwing away your splendid catfish recipes.

Thank you for reading our article, and enjoy your new alternating fish dishes!

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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