Triggerfish can be enjoyed in so many different ways, whether you grill it, fry it, or simply bake it in the oven, this fish is notorious for being a very easy-to-make and downright delicious seafood option.
While there are forty known species of triggerfish, nearly all of them share a very distinct and unique taste that makes them a real delight on the taste buds, and that is why they are such a common ingredient within sushi dishes across many parts of Asia.
If you’re curious to learn a bit more about this small and petite fish, keep reading as we go through how exactly it tastes, along with extra ingredients that can help to elevate and enhance its underlying flavor.
Are Triggerfish Considered To Be Rare?
Many people will assume that triggerfish must be considered rare since it’s not a fish that commonly appears on restaurant menus, or that can easily be found in a grocery store.
The truth is that triggerfish are actually extremely common, and are caught in large quantities across tropical and subtropical waters.
But because of their unique colorful appearance, they are usually presented in aquariums as decorative fish.
While they have been enjoyed in many different dishes across Asia for decades at this point, in the Western world, triggerfish have only been seen as edible fish for the last few years, which is why they can seem like such a hot commodity at the moment.
How Does Triggerfish Taste?
Triggerfish is known for having an intensely sweet flavor, especially when it’s consumed raw. The texture is very thin and light, so it is usually cut into mini filets.
This airy weight and size also mean that it can act as a great substitute for white fish in a lot of recipes.
It should be noted however that there is a slight difference in the taste that you can immediately notice when eating triggerfish either cooked or raw.
Raw triggerfish is a lot more potent and flavorful, to the point where you don’t even need to add any extra seasonings since it will already be tasty enough.
Cooking triggerfish will dilute the sweetness just a little bit so that it can become more manageable on the taste buds, but it can also be very easy to overcook, which will result in the skin becoming too rubbery.
Therefore, you are able to eat triggerfish in whichever way you would like, but your decision should really be determined by if you want to add any of your own seasonings and extra flavors, or just enjoy the maximum amount of underlying flavor from the fish itself.
Seafood That Tastes Similar To Triggerfish
Crab and grouper are two types of seafood that taste extremely similar to triggerfish, specifically because of how sweet both of them are and how they are usually served as small and soft filets.
Crabs do tend to taste a little saltier than triggerfish, so if you’re not a huge fan of salt in the first place, triggerfish will be a much more enjoyable option for you to snack on.
The incredibly potent and rich flavor that comes from eating triggerfish raw is very similar to the taste found in amberjack fish, and while it’s not quite as buttery or creamy, triggerfish still replicates the light and soft texture, making it easy to chew down on.
Different Ways To Cook Triggerfish
There are three main ways you can prepare triggerfish if you decide not to enjoy it raw, and while each of them will still result in more or less the same flavor, they can alter the texture of the fish slightly.
Here are each of these methods that work best for preparing triggerfish.
Simply preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, coat the fish with some lemon juice, and let it cool for 8 minutes before turning it over.
After another 8 minutes, the fish will start becoming flaky and opaque, making this an ideal cooking method if you want the exterior to be a little firmer than the soft and delicate core of the fish.
After preheating the grill to 400 degrees, coat the fish with salt and pepper, and then place it on the grill for 4 minutes until the grill marks begin to show.
Turn the fish using a metal tong, wait for another 2 minutes, and you’ll have a piping hot triggerfish which is a lot more moist in its texture, making it extremely easy to chew down on and cut apart.
If you really want to make the triggerfish as crunchy as possible for you and your friends and family to enjoy, coast the seafood with flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs.
Proceed by heating up ¼ cup of canola oil, and then add a ¼ cup of butter to the mixture.
Place the fish on top of the butter once it has melted, and after approximately 5 minutes, it will turn a golden brown, letting you know that it’s time to finally tuck in.
What To Serve With Triggerfish
There’s no doubt that triggerfish is packed full of flavor, but it can definitely come off as a little too strong for some people, especially when it’s eaten raw, so it’s never a bad idea to pair it up with some tasty side ingredients.
Here are a few ideas of foods that you can serve alongside a delightful portion of triggerfish.
- Zucchini Fritters – Packing some triggerfish filets into a light and crunchy zucchini fritter is an easy way to use this delicious seafood as part of a larger meal, especially when you also pack it full of crunchy veggies.
- Quinoa and Black Beans – If you can’t get enough of the incredibly potent and addictive sweet flavor of triggerfish, black beans can enhance this tremendously, while also adding a little more crunch to the meal.
- Roasted Garlic Cauliflower – Garlic is an ingredient that pairs well with virtually any type of fish, but when it’s infused with some cauliflower, it creates a mouthwatering side ingredient that is packed full of nutrition.
- Sweet and Spicy Green Beans – If you like the idea of adding a little more heat to each filet of fish, sweet and spicy green beans with a little bit of soy sauce and garlic are the way to go.
There’s a reason why triggerfish is making more frequent appearances on restaurant menus, and it’s because of just how strong and enjoyable its sweet flavor is when it is enjoyed raw.
Now that its delicious taste and texture are becoming acknowledged across the world, there’s never been a better time to try this seafood out for yourself to see what all the hype is really about.