Top 5 Fish to Eat in Singapore

Food! Fish! Curry Fish Head! Fish And Chips! Sambal Stingray! Don't We All LOVE THESE! 

You must be hungry. Don't Go Yet! We have the Top 5 Fish to Catch and Eat in Singapore all compiled for you! Trust me, it'll worth your time.

As Singapore is located in Southeast Asia and surrounded by 62 smaller islands. We are surrounded by reefy areas, which are perfect habitats for fish to live in. Not only do we have reefy areas, we also multiple mangrove systems around the country. With so many different species it can get confusing on what are the ones good to eat and what are not. 

1. Snappers

Photo credits: SGFishingRigz_Snappers

There are many different types of snappers in Singapore, Golden Snapper, Red Snapper, Crimson Snapper, Spanish Flag Snapper, Mangrove Jack and Russells Snapper.

The great thing about Snappers is that they can be cooked in every single way and still taste amazing. Boil, grill, steam, bake, barbeque, fry all you like! It tastes fantastic when roasted with lemon juice and fresh herbs. It is available both whole and as fillets. It is better to cook the fish with the skin on because it is a thin fish. When you roast fish with the skin on, the moisture is retained, preventing the fish from crumbling, and giving the skin a wonderfully crunchy quality. However, something to take note. Due to their strange bone structure and thick scales they can be hard to clean. 

Golden Snappers are a favourite fish in Singapore and can be caught on almost every coastline. The most exciting way to catch them must be by using Ran Gong offshore at night.

An awesome video was filmed by Facepalm fishing to capture how amazing the experience was to catch snappers at night. 

2. Barramundi (Did someone mention Fish And Chips?)

Big Barramundi caught by Aung Thu, credits SGFishingRigz_Barramundi

Barramundi go by multiple names in Singapore: Kim, Kim Bak Lor, Sia Kup, Barra, Barramundi, Sea-bass and Asian Sea-bass. Barramundi can generally be found in two places, mangrove systems and fishing ponds. Even though the meat from a barramundi isn't as flavourful as the snapper, it has a slightly firmer texture and is one of the easiest fish to clean. Wild Barramundi are preferred over those farmed ones due to the taste that comes from the pond, and with their firmer meat, whip up a perfect dish of super fresh fish and chips after your catch! 

The fish is deep-fried after being coated in a flour batter that contains both dark beer and sparkling water. The fish comes out of the fryer light and crispy due to the carbonation. Simple, freshly cut, fried potatoes are used as the "chips." To ensure that the fish and chips are ready to eat at the same time, fry the chips first, followed by the fish and then the fries once more (for that crisp outer and fluffy interior). Bring the pub home and serve with a pint.

3. Grouper (Curry Fish somewhere?)

Hybrid Grouper caught by Luke in Changi waters, photo credits: SGFishingRigz_HybridGrouper

Different types of groupers can be found all across the globe however, in Singapore we can find these species: Orange Spotted Grouper, Coral Trout, Malabar Grouper and the Hybrid Groupers.

One fun fact about Hybrid Grouper: it is actually an invasive species in Singapore and Marine Stewards Singapore encourages to kill all caught. This is because, if they are a species eating all the food available, this means that our local species such as the Orange Spotted Grouper will find it harder to grow. You can watch this TikTok video hosted by Ben to learn a little more about the Hybrid Grouper. Groupers are also perfect for a savoury dish of Curry Fish. Man they are SO GOOD! 

4. Tenggiri/Batang (AKA Spanish Mackerel, Fish Slice Soup, Otah!) 

Photo credits: SGFishingRigz_Tenggiri

The Tenggiri, or locally known as Batang, or generally known as the Spanish Mackerel, is quite rare to catch in Singapore but small specimens can still be caught here and there. I have seen them being caught in all areas of Singapore but personally have caught them at Bedok Jetty only. I generally catch them below the size of 1kg, however they have been spooled multiple times by much larger specimens too.

They have many teeth that are small, but beware they are razor sharp. So not only do we have to be careful when handling them, but we also have to be careful when targeting them as they can easily cut your leader. Many resort to using wire leaders to try to get around this. Despite so, they are quite leader shy. I have seen them cut through leaders multiple times. 

Now to the quality check on its meat. The fish meat itself is quite tough, and it is a great fish to pan fry as the fish holds together quite well. Even though they are quite rare to catch, they are definitely surprisingly one of the most prized fish in Singapore.  This is a very good fish to use for fish balls as well as otah.  Of course, if the fish is super fresh, you should just slice it and use it for fish soup! 

5. Stingray
(Superb with Sambal.. YUM!)

Photo credits: SGFishingRigz_Stingray
Note : The stingray in this Photo was released and not consumed :-)

Stingrays are the only fish on this list that can be found in both our saltwater and freshwater environments. When we are talking about eating Stingray, people are almost always referring to the saltwater species. There are actually 70 different stingrays that can be found in Singapore some of which can grow over the size of 100 kg.

If you want to catch stingray the best baits out there can be fresh herring, fresh squid and fresh whiting. Fishermen during the "scooping" season will actually catch fresh arrowhead squid to use as bait, generally to target big stingrays. We highly recommend releasing Stingrays back into the wild as they breed extremely slowly and due to this many species are on the brink of extinction.

This seafood dish was first originated in Malaysia in the 16 hundreds. Although stingray had been consumed in this region for generations prior to this, it became the dish we know and love today once Portuguese spice traders visited Malaysia. They brought the spices needed to create fine sambal from Europe. The interesting thing about Stingray is that it used to be considered a “trash” fish and it still is in many parts of the world, however it has taken the Singaporean palate by storm. 

The most popular Asian dish associated with the Stingray is definitely the Sambal Stingray. It’s gently grilled over a large banana leaf and slathered over with shallots, garlic, ginger and herby lemongrass, and of course a dollop of sweet, creamy sambal belacan.

I bet you are either preparing to whip up a fish meal or looking outside to check on the weather condition to fish. 

I wish you all the best in your catches! 

Happy Fishing!

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