Over 45% Of People Prefer Cooking This Fish, According To New Survey

Our seafood preferences are based on a number of factors. What's in season matters (summer's a great time to enjoy seafood, of course) but so, too, does which fish are easiest (or most difficult) to cook. We should also not neglect to mention the abundant health benefits associated with certain types of seafood. Budget also plays a part, naturally, especially given the inflationary price increases that have been a defining feature of 2022. The best thing about buying budget-friendly seafood, after all, is that you can enjoy it more often.

Which factors matter most? There are some clues offered by Tasting Table's most recent survey, which asked 588 of our readers what is their favorite type of fish to cook? Or should we say, there are a few clues offered by the overwhelming favorite in this survey: salmon. This fish was a runaway winner, preferred by 46.09% of those polled (271 votes). Salmon is in season right now (peak salmon season dovetails with the summer months of June, July, and August, per Quality Seafood Delivery). According to Chicken of the Sea, salmon's increasing popularity owes a lot to its health benefits since it's a great source of Vitamin D, not to mention loads of other minerals.

Salmon is expensive, but not prohibitively so. It's also extremely versatile and incredibly delicious whether you're cooking it on a stovetop or on a grill. So, basically, salmon is the complete package. It's no wonder it dominated our survey.

Tuna finishes second in our survey, followed by lots of white fish

Tuna is every bit as versatile as salmon and perhaps even more delicious. Like salmon, it can also be expensive. But as a fresh fish purchase, tuna is no longer close to salmon in popularity. According to the Seafood Source, salmon was the most popular fresh fish in 2020. Tuna, by contrast, finished in ninth place, only narrowly edging out trout to stay in the top 10. Tuna did significantly better than that in our survey, earning a runner-up finish with the support of 18.03% of respondents (106 votes), suggesting that people still love to cook tuna, even if it's no longer their favorite fish to buy.

The third through sixth place finishers in our survey were all white fish. No, not the freshwater species (lake whitefish, or Coregonus clupeaformis, per the U.S. Geological Survey), but rather the broad category of mild-flavored, white-fleshed fish which are invariably delicious when pan-seared or fried. Tilapia earned third place with 13.78% (81 votes), cod was fourth with 12.41% (73 votes), catfish garnered a respectable 6.63% (39 votes), and haddock brought up the rear with a meager 3.06% (18 votes).

We expected a bit more from catfish, which is a classic of Southern cuisine (Southern Living refers to it as a "delicacy") or it can even be made into nuggets. But catfish's regional popularity only translated to fifth place status in our nationwide survey.