How to Get Rid of Fishy Taste in Soup?

Last Updated on July 21, 2023 by Lauren Beck

As an avid explorer of flavors and a lover of all things culinary, I’ve encountered my fair share of fishy tastes in soups. 

But fear not, my friends! I’ve got a bag of tricks up my sleeve to rescue your soup from the clutches of that unpleasant flavor. 

Join me on this flavorful journey as we uncover the secrets to banishing the fishy taste and transforming your soup into a delectable masterpiece.

5 Ways to Get Rid of Fishy Taste in Soup:

Add Acidic Ingredients

  • Lemon juice: Squeeze fresh lemon juice into your soup to counteract the fishy taste. The natural acidity helps neutralize the odor, leaving a refreshing citrus note.
  • Tomatoes: Adding tomatoes or tomato paste can also help balance the fishy flavor and add depth to your soup.

Incorporate Aromatics

  • Garlic and onion: These aromatic powerhouses can work wonders in mitigating the fishy taste. Sauté them before adding other ingredients to infuse your soup with their delightful flavors.
  • Ginger: Known for its ability to enhance and mask unwanted flavors, ginger can offer subtle warmth to your soup while diminishing the fishy taste.

Use Fresh Herbs

  • Parsley and cilantro: Sprinkling fresh herbs, such as parsley or cilantro, over your soup just before serving can provide a fresh and vibrant contrast to the fishy notes.

Employ Flavorful Broths

  • Vegetable or chicken broth: If the fishy taste is overpowering, dilute it by adding vegetable or chicken broth to your soup. The additional flavors can help mellow out the fishiness.

Soak and Rinse the Fish

  • Pre-soak the fish: Before adding it to your soup, take it in milk or buttermilk for about 30 minutes. This technique can help reduce the fishy taste.
  • Rinse the fish: Giving the fish a quick rinse under cold water can also remove any excess fishy flavors.

Does Vinegar Get Rid Of Fishy Taste?

Bowl of Chicken Soup

Yes, vinegar can be an effective tool in neutralizing fishy taste. Adding a splash of vinegar, such as white vinegar or rice vinegar, to your soup can help cut through the fishiness and provide a tangy balance. 

However, be cautious not to overpower the soup with vinegar, as a little goes a long way.

Should Fish Stock Smell Fishy?

Contrary to what one might assume, fish stock should not have an overpowering fishy smell. 

Well-prepared fish stock should have a delicate and savory aroma rather than an off-putting fishiness. If your fish stock smells excessively fishy, it may indicate improper preparation or using fish past its prime.

Why Does Lemon Juice Remove Fish Odor?

Lemon juice contains citric acid, which can help neutralize the odor molecules responsible for the fishy smell. 

The acidity of lemon juice disrupts the volatile compounds in fish, reducing their potency and allowing other flavors to shine through.

What Causes Fishy Flavor in Fish?

The fishy flavor in fish is primarily attributed to a compound called trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) [1]. 

When fish is exposed to heat or begins to spoil, TMAO breaks down into trimethylamine (TMA), which is responsible for the fishy odor and taste. 

Proper handling, storage, and cooking techniques can help minimize the development of the fishy flavor.


With these tried and tested methods at your disposal, you can bid farewell to the dreaded fishy taste that can tarnish an otherwise delicious soup. 

By incorporating acidic ingredients, aromatic herbs, flavorful broths, and employing proper fish preparation techniques, you can rescue your soup from the clutches of unpleasant flavors and elevate it to new heights of culinary delight. 

So, fear not when faced with a fishy soup; armed with these tips, you can transform it into a masterpiece that will leave your taste buds singing with joy. Embrace the flavors, experiment with confidence, and let your soup shine!


Lauren Beck
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