Can you eat Koi Fish?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you eat Koi Fish?” We will also discuss why Koi Fish can be poisonous to eat and if it is legal to eat this type of fish.

Can you eat Koi Fish?

Yes, you can eat Koi Fish. Despite the multiple allegations of these animals being poisonous to humans, it is still possible to eat them. However, these fish are not known for their delicious taste, as some have described their flavor as muddy and oily.

Koi Fish are a staple in Japanese culture and many people have them as pets, actually, they are counted as sacred, so it is rare to ever consider eating these sacred animals.

Indian cuisine is the one that uses this ingredient the most and has even created certain dishes with Koi Fish,  like Koi Tel Jhal.

However, do not forget that this fish, like other carp, tend to exhibit a muddy flavor, which might not be the most appetizing thing to eat. Also, they can carry some harmful bacteria that can affect your health.

Another factor that prevents Fish Koi from being a popular food choice is that they are pricey, so you might not want to spend much of your money to get this fish from farms or specialized stores. 

What is Koi Fish?

Koi Fish are popular pets loved by many people because of their unique and vibrant colors. They are the most popular type of carp, which is commonly caught to be bred by rice farmers.

Many people tend to mistake goldfish with koi fish, but although both of them are carp domesticated species, they are distinct species. Both koi and goldfish are the most popular ornamental fish all around the globe.

Carp domestication is thought to have begun in China in the 19th century, ever since, different colors and patterns were created because of the different breeding techniques and genetic engineering.  

Why do Koi Fish have a muddy flavor?

According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Koi fish have an omnivorous diet and tend to eat whatever they find in the depth waters, like

  • Aquatic insects.
  • Floating pellets.
  • Aquatic plants.
  • Algae.
  • Worms.
  • Other fish.

Because of their diet, those who have tried this fish have said that they possess a muddy and oily flavor. If the taste is not enough, koi fish is also incredibly pricey, so you might not like the idea of spending hundreds of dollars to try a muddy fish.

What dishes can be prepared with Koi fish?

Koi fish is widely consumed by Bengali people because they prepare a famous dish called Koi Tel Jhal, which is no other than curry made with this type of fish. If you want to try koi fish, you should click here to see the full recipe.

If you are looking for a more modern recipe, you should give a chance to the Koi Fish tacos. Although you need 31 ingredients, you can end up with a new favorite dish, if you want to give this recipe a try, click here

Are Koi fish venomous?

It was believed that Koi fish can cause serious damage to human health because they naturally have harmful toxins, but this is not true. However, as their diet comes from what they find in their surroundings, if they are kept in poor quality water, they can get sick.

If you want to eat the fish koi in your pond, keep in mind that you should provide them with a balanced and rich diet, and most importantly, keep their water clean! At the end of the day, we are what we eat, right?

If you want to eat a fish that you have found dead, you better avoid eating it! It is important to know that your fish was killed properly, otherwise, this could make you severely ill.

Mercury is a common compound found in fish, so, if your koi have ever eaten another fish, the mercury could be accumulated in their body, which is not desirable by any means. 

Also, given the space where koi fish live, they can easily become infected with different parasites that could be harmful to humans. So, that is why it is important to check your fish before cooking it. 

If you want to read some more about the aquatic environmental quality of this fish, you should click here.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “can you eat Koi Fish?” We have also discussed what health effects are associated with the consumption of these animals and other queries related to the subject at hand.

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


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