What does Kingfish Taste Like?

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King mackerel, the magnificent game fish, entices you with a treat of flavors. This sea dweller has enormous size and a strong ocean taste.

You can compare the taste of kingfish with its small relative, the common mackerel. It can offer a basic idea about what does king mackerel tastes like.

You can bring about the delicious savoriness of kingfish when prepared with care. Many people state that this fish doesn’t taste great. Taste loss can result from incorrect preparation techniques and poor storage conditions.

What is Kingfish?

King mackerel, also known as kingfish, belongs to the family of mackerels and tuna. This fish has a reputation as one of the most sought-after game fish. Its unparallel agility, size, and strength enchant anglers who love a good challenge. 

King mackerel or Scomberomorus cavalla shows migratory behavior. They roam the western Atlantic and Mexican Gulf regions. The Indo-Pacific kingfish, Scomberomorus guttatus, gets considered a delicacy in the Indian subcontinent. King mackerel have considerable commercial importance.

What does Kingfish Taste Like

Kingfish give justice to the name not only because of its size. The flavorful meat also contributes to this name. The flesh of king mackerel has a strong taste and oily nature. You can bring out its flavor by relying on correct cooking methods. Different marinades can enhance the sharp oceanic taste of this fish.

King mackerel has a sweet flavor rich in umami. This combination of tastes stands as a standard feature of the mackerel family. Like tuna, kingfish has a distinct flavor that you can relish on its own. This taste will stand out in whatever dish you prepare using kingfish.

The pinkish flesh of king mackerel has a flaky character. This firm fish becomes soft with cooking and somewhat melts on your tongue. Though the texture feels solid, it tastes juicy when you bite into it. This bursts in your mouth with each bite, releasing the savory taste. This protein-filled fish offers an alternative for people opting for lean meat.

Kingfish has a fishy side to its flavor. It sounds like a normal fish thing, right? But this may stand out more than you would expect. People often mention that kingfish doesn’t taste as good as its relatives. But still, it possesses lots of flavors. Using fresh fish and thorough rinsing can help you enjoy the original flavor.

You want to take extra care while filleting and cleaning king mackerel. Wash each fillet after cutting them out and place them in ice water. It helps to keep the fish fresh till you start cooking. Kingfish loses its taste and texture easier than other fish, even when refrigerated.

How to Eat Kingfish

Kingfish tastes best when smoked. Oily nature and high moisture content make it an excellent choice for smoking. Use different woods and seasoning to twist the flavor to your liking. 

You can grill king mackerel or make it into a delicious, juicy steak. As an oily fish, it doesn’t need much butter when preparing steak. You can remove the dark parts near the skin if it overpowers you. 

Deep frying kingfish after marinating for some minutes gives a crispy delight. Crispy on the outside, this fried fish will stay soft and juicy inside.

Due to its unique flavor, kingfish do well in curries. Spices don’t mask the taste but only empower it in a good way.

What Makes Kingfish Different from Mackerel

Kingfish and mackerel have many similar features. They have comparable taste and looks. But the most striking difference between these fish can be the size. King mackerel can reach up to 100 centimeters in length. But mackerels can grow only up to 30 centimeters.


King mackerel, the highly-priced sport fish, has an intense flavor. It has a mouth-watering savory taste that tantalizes your tongue. This powerful fish can grow up to 1-meter in length. Its weight can reach around 40kg. This sweet, oily fish exploding with umami keeps its identity among other flavors.

The taste of kingfish may fall a little short to its kin like tuna. But you can create many flavorsome dishes with this fish. Use fresh fish to savor the taste at its best. Kingfish differs from mackerels due to their size and taste.

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