What Does Triggerfish Taste Like – A Fishy Adventure For Your Taste Buds!

What Does Triggerfish Taste Like

If you’re not an avid fish fan, hearing a ‘triggerfish’ can really trigger you. (See what I did there?)

Actually, a triggerfish is completely safe to eat and is pretty tasty with a lot of depth and flavor. It’s similar to crab meat, so if you love that, you’ll certainly crave triggerfish, too.

If you’re reading this, you probably don’t know where to even start. That’s why we made this quick guide–know more about what triggerfish taste like in meals and how to prepare them!

The Triggerfish’s Flavor Profile

Now, to the most thrilling part, what does triggerfish taste like?

Triggerfish is definitely not short on flavor. They are smaller, but the taste is not! The grey triggerfish is the best starter if you’re eating this fish for the first time.

Fresh Triggerfish caught by a fisherman

The meat of triggerfish is similar to the sweet crab meat when cooked. It has a deep flavor that will dominate any fish dish, so it’s best served on its own. The sweetness it provides can be compared to a grouper, but it’s more shellfish-like in its own unique way.

The filets that come from triggerfish are super thin and light, making them perfect for frying, grilling, or baking. Fishers have ignored this delicacy for a while, but chefs have found ways to prepare triggerfish as a yummy dish.

Queen triggerfish is also another great species to try out.


Don’t fill the pot with too many ingredients! You will hide the flavor of the triggerfish, making it lost in the dish. Less is more.

Cleaning The Triggerfish. A Step-by-Step Guide 

Triggerfish’s skin can be very hard, but it’s easy to clean once you get your knife through it.

 1. Locate the Soft Spot:

   Insert your knife into the skin at the soft spot under the dorsal fin. This is the starting point for a clean filleting process.

 2. Head Removal:

   Since you’ll only be preparing the body, remove the head by making a clean cut. This ensures you focus on the edible parts.

 3. Skinning Technique:

   Take your filet knife and carefully insert it under the skin, as close as possible to lift and remove it slowly. This step ensures you have access to the delicious meat.

 4. Chopping Strategy:

   Now that the triggerfish is skinned, proceed to chop up the desirable portions. Run your knife down the ribcage on the top and around the base of the bottom to locate the knuckle where the head and body meet.

 5. Knuckle Maneuver:

   Work the knife up and over the knuckle to separate the meat from the bones. This technique helps extract the maximum amount of meat from the triggerfish.

 6. Trimming Process:

   After removing the meat, it’s time to trim it up. Identify the prominent spine in the middle of the triggerfish and make precise cuts to minimize bones, ensuring a more enjoyable dining experience.

  7. Boney Spine Removal:

   Specifically, cut the famous spine in the middle of the triggerfish to eliminate any unwanted bones, leaving only the succulent meat for your dish.

 8. Enjoy Your Filleted Triggerfish:

   With these steps completed, you now have a beautifully filleted triggerfish ready for cooking. No bones, just pure enjoyment of the delicious flavors!

I know this process seems sort of intimidating for the first time doing it, so I recommend you get a sous chef to help you out. Two heads are always better than one!


3 Methods to Cook Triggerfish

Like I mentioned before, the thin filets of triggerfish can be fried, baked, or grilled. Let’s look at the various ways you can make it.

 1. Baking The Triggerfish

  • Preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit, and put olive oil on the skillet so the fish won’t stick.
  • Add your triggerfish into the pan, and sprinkle some lemon juice over the top. You can also add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Put the triggerfish in the oven and set to bake for 8 minutes.
  • Afterward, turn the filets and bake again for 8 minutes. The filets are thin, so they can get overcooked if you take your eyes off them for too long.

Once they are opaque and flaky, they are done!

 2. Frying The Triggerfish

Fried fish is my all-time favorite. I would even say it’s my comfort food!

  • Crack two eggs and season them with salt and pepper. Mix it up.
  • In a separate dish, add some flour. Dip the meat in the egg then into the flour. If you want double coating, repeat this step twice.
  • Heat four cups of oil in a deep frying pan. This must be done on high heat. Once it’s hot, add your dredged fish.
  • Fry for ten minutes and turn them over to make sure that they are evenly cooked.

After frying, put them on a plate covered with paper towels. Serve with lemon and some tartar sauce if you like.

 3. Grilling The Triggerfish

Grilling adds a smoky flavor to the fish!

  • Pat the filets dry with paper towels and let them rest at room temp for 10 minutes. At this time, coat your grill with a little oil, then preheat to medium-high heat.
  • Put oil on both sides of the fish, and add salt and pepper. Place it on the grate and grill with the lid closed for 4 minutes.
  • Carefully turn the filet over and grill again, but uncovered. Do this for about 2 minutes.

Don’t rush, and don’t flip them too fast. They will not stick to the grill when they are fully done.

Make sure to add some triggerfish in your cooler next time you go fishing. Keep the smaller ones, and you’re guaranteed a good meal!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to catch triggerfish?

Make use of smaller hooks and baits such as shrimp or strips of squid. Cast your rod in the area of a triggerfish. Be ready when they bite, as they put up quite a fight! Be careful of its teeth when you remove it from the hook.

2. Is it safe to eat triggerfish?

Well, this fish, alongside other reef fish, can carry ciguatera. This does not mean that triggerfish aren’t safe. Your risk is completely eliminated if you avoid eating large fish. Out of the 40 species of triggerfish, the clown triggerfish is the one you should not eat at all.


So, after this exciting exploration of the unique flavors and textures of triggerfish, where do we stand? Have you been tempted to take the plunge and try this culinary catch?

Remember, triggerfish offers a sweet and mild adventure for your taste buds, with a delicate texture that sets it apart from many other fish. Whether you savor it raw in sushi or delight in cooked preparations, triggerfish has the potential to become a new favorite.

However, it’s crucial to be mindful of sustainability concerns. Opt for sources committed to responsible fishing practices to ensure you’re enjoying triggerfish without harming the ecosystem.

Ultimately, the decision to dive into the world of triggerfish is yours. But with its unique taste profile and versatility, it’s certainly worth considering for your next seafood adventure. So, why not reel in this exciting catch and see what all the fuss is about?

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