The Best Cheap Sustainable Fish

3 mins read
Photo by Harris Vo on Unsplash
This article showcases our top picks for the Cheap Sustainable Fish. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.


This product was recommended by David Reid from VEM Tooling

Commonly available for under $10 per pound, dorade has a buttery, mild flavor similar to cod. When it comes to farmed fish, dorado is a huge success. Farmed is not a four-letter term regarding economically viable and environmentally friendly fish options. Dorade is inexpensive and easy to prepare for a small group because of its modest size. It can be salt-baked to retain moisture if purchased whole. Dorade filets can be prepared in the same ways as bream: in the oven, on a skillet, or in a sauté pan.

Skate Wing

This product was recommended by David Reid from VEM Tooling

The skate (Skate wing) stands out as an unusual specimen in this group of bottom-dwellers. If I didn’t mention this inexpensive, sustainable, simple meal choice, I’d be doing you a disservice. Skate is frequently caught as bycatch, but rather than discard it, fishermen bring it to market, where chefs find creative ways to prepare it. On the West Coast, you can find a skate caught using bottom longlines or a bottom trawl. Longnose variations from fisheries in British Columbia that are not well managed should be avoided. Skate tastes best when prepared like flounder or catfish—dusted in flour or cornmeal and fried in a skillet.

Red Mullet

This product was recommended by David Reid from VEM Tooling

A red mullet is a great option if you’re looking for something unique that won’t break the bank. Red mullet has gorgeous crimson skin and tender, firm white meat when purchased whole. They are captured in the Mediterranean, typically in the areas near Spain and Portugal. You can’t generalize about a red mullet. It has a more daring flavor than regular fish. The flaky fish’s oily, bitter, and herbal flavors are still present after being packed and baked like striped bass.


This product was recommended by Irene Graham from Spylix

Porgies, or the Montauk Sea Bream, are related to dorade. Since commercial harvesting of porgy is prohibited by law, it is abundant in the Atlantic Ocean, from the Bahamas to Massachusetts, and it is not targeted by fishermen. The skin should be dark brown, and the eyes should reflect white. There’s a good reason it’s one of the cheapest fish options: it tastes terrible.


This product was recommended by Irene Graham from Spylix

Though catfish has traditionally been seen as a low-cost option for a fish fry, it is also extremely sustainable, especially if it is a wild invasive type. This hungry catfish is nothing I’d want to run into in a murky reef environment; it has four sets of black barbs that resemble whiskers on its face, can weigh up to 100 pounds, and has no scales. But after being fried in some hot oil, I feel much better.


This product was recommended by Mark Wilcox from Camping Forge

Sardines are the best cheap sustainable fish. While most Americans think they are gross that’s because of how they have been marketed. Sardines provide 18 grams of protein in 3 ounces plus calcium and other vitamins. If you get the fish packed in olive oil, you can even re-use the oil for seasoning on a pasta dish. Sardines are small and reproduce quickly. It’s hard to imagine a more sustainable fish.


This product was recommended by Steven Zhang from Lure Me Fish

Similar to sardines, anchovies are a great option for those looking for a sustainable fish option. They are often used in Mediterranean dishes and can be found canned or fresh. I recommend Crown Prince Anchovies


This product was recommended by Steven Zhang from Lure Me Fish

This fish is a great option for those looking for a sustainable fish option. It can be found fresh or canned and is often used in sushi dishes. I suggest Season Mackerel


This product was recommended by Gretchen Boyd from NYC House Cleaners

Wild Planet Albacore is the greatest canned tuna for Salade Niçoise because it’s packed in good olive oil, moist, and flavorful, and it’s one of the best-canned tunas I’ve found. It is hand-cut, hand-packed, and simply cooked once with a dash of sea salt to preserve its natural juices and flavor. We don’t add any water, broths, or fillers to our tuna, so there’s no need to drain it. The tuna steak can also be used to improve any tuna sandwich or in seafood recipes. It is cheap and more convenient.

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