Skip to Content

Why does My Chicken Taste Like Fish?

Fishy chicken is an unpleasant experience for many people. While some meats, such as tuna and salmon, aren’t really tainted, other kinds of fish are. This issue can result from improper storage, improper frying, or contamination. It can also occur when chicken is old or expired. If you find that your chicken tastes fishy after frying, it could be due to the wrong ingredients.

If you find that your chicken is smelling or tasting fishy after cooking, there are several common causes. The most likely culprits are bacteria and fishmeal, but other factors can also cause this unsavory taste. Other factors can include improper cooking or frying techniques. If unsure of the cause, try roasting, baking, or deep-frying your chicken. You may also need to check its expiration date and follow certain storage methods.

What Gives Chicken its Fishy Flavor?

Your chicken may have ruined it if it has a fishy taste and odor. Meat that has gone rotten has a horrible odor and flavor. Check your chicken’s expiration date first. If the chicken hasn’t been frozen and the expiration date has gone, it’s most likely ruined and hazardous to eat. Food poisoning may be serious if you consume rotten chicken.

Check whether the chicken is slimy or has a greyish tint if the expiration date hasn’t gone. If the chicken demonstrates these traits, it should be discarded. Keep the chicken refrigerated to avoid spoilage and the development of a fishy flavor and odor. Chicken should never be frozen twice, and you can’t re-freeze it once it’s been defrosted.

Reasons for Fishy Flavor of Chicken

Fishy Taste in Chicken from Frying Processes

The fishy scent in your chicken may be traced back to frying it in an unclean skillet with old oil. Chemicals that taste like fish may be produced during the frying process. Lipids and proteins The “fishy” flavor or smell can also be caused by oxidation.

When certain fatty acids are oxidized, volatile molecules with a distinct fishy stench are produced. You can avoid this by deep-frying your chicken rather than stir-frying it. Certain fatty acids form questionable chemicals when you shallow fried chicken on low heat, and the chicken has a raw fishy odor due to these chemicals.

Mistakes in Storage

It’s possible that you’re not properly chilling the chicken, and the chicken may have a fishy flavor due to improper storing procedures.

Always wrap it in cling film or keep it in an airtight container. When preserving chicken, ensure it doesn’t come into contact with other meats, and it’s preferable not to combine germs from various types of meat. So, if you want to preserve chicken, use clean containers. Additionally, keep recently acquired chicken apart from older chicken batches purchased a few days earlier.

Cutlery Contamination

The chicken will taste odd when you cook with dirty utensils and cookware. Make sure to use a clean knife, frying pan, and a chopping board when cooking.

If you use the same knife or chopping board for another meat, ensure it’s clean before using it on the chicken. This will assist in keeping your chicken safe from contamination.

Bacteria may be found in many types of meat, and it’s preferable not to combine germs from various types of meat. So, if you want to prepare meat, use a clean pan and utensils, and using a dirty knife might make the chicken taste off after it’s been cooked.

Bacterial Contamination

The reason for your chicken to have a fishy odor is likely contamination. If the bacteria that cause the smell and the bacteria that cause it to have access to the water, they can multiply, causing your chicken to taste fishy. If your chicken has a fishy odor, it may be contaminated with bacterial contaminants.

Besides bacteria, another factor that causes your chicken to smell fishy is the cooking process. If the chicken is not fresh, it might have an odor and a fishy taste, which is likely to be a combination of fishmeal and bacteria. It’s also important to note that some types of poultry may be contaminated. Therefore, you can consult a professional if unsure what’s causing the odor.

Chicken of Poor Quality

Most of the time, store-bought (most likely from Kroger) or un-fresh chicken has distinct aromas and a terrible aftertaste. These chicken meats have a foul odor and flavor, yet they are safe to consume.


Fishmeal or poultry feed is used by individual farms. The practice of feeding fish-based meals to hens began in the 1960s, and it was to boost the meat’s protein content. Many farmers, however, are increasingly avoiding this method.

Methods of Serving

It’s also vital to consider how you’ll serve cooked chicken. Before serving any other meat dishes, be sure you prepare and serve the chicken dishes first.

How do you Get Rid of that Fishy Chicken Smell?

Here are some suggestions for removing the fishy odor from chicken.

Vinegar should be Used.

Unpleasant scents and tastes are naturally eliminated by the vinegar. In a water dish, submerge your chicken and add two to three teaspoons of vinegar. Stir the water to ensure the vinegar reaches every portion of the chicken.

Allow 15 to 20 minutes for the chicken to soak in the water. Finally, remove the chicken and carefully wash it under running water.

Make Use of Flour

A salt and flour combination can neutralize your chicken’s fishy stench. The first step is to properly wash the chicken. The chicken should then be dusted with two teaspoons of flour and one tablespoon of salt, and rub the mixture all over the meat well. Wash the chicken again after 5 to 10 minutes.

In a dish full of water, combine one tablespoon of salt, 12 cups lemon, and 1/4 cup white vinegar. Soak the chicken for 15 to 20 minutes in this water before rinsing with clean water.

It may take some time, but this method of washing your chicken removes the nasty odor and fishy flavor.

Tomatoes should be Used.

Tomatoes may not be able to eliminate the fishy odor. However, they do a great job of masking it. To cover the scents of chicken flesh, make a tomato sauce. This is a cost-effective and time-saving solution.

Two mushy or crushed tomatoes, one tablespoon of salt, and 12 tablespoons of lemon juice are all you’ll need. Combine all of these ingredients and massage them into the chicken. This will assist in covering up the fishy odor. Just make sure the chicken is clean before cooking.

Make Use of Fresh Oil

Frying the chicken flesh might sometimes help eliminate the fishy flavor. When you want to cook chicken, make sure you use fresh oil.

Your Refrigerator should be Clean

Chicken may sometimes pick up odors from the rest of your refrigerator, and that’s why your cooked chicken could have a fishy flavor. To avoid foul-smelling chicken, give your refrigerator a thorough cleaning.

Is it OK to Eat Chicken that Tastes Like Fish?

Whether you can eat your poisoned fish-flavored chicken relies a lot on why it was tainted in the first place. When it comes to chicken, remember the golden rule: if in doubt, throw it away!

It will be safe to consume if you are 100 percent certain that your chicken was fresh before cooking. But whether it tastes nice is another story!

Fortunately, you can change the flavor of your chicken to make it taste less fishy. Let’s take a look at the finest ways to make fish-flavored chicken!

How can you Know if Raw Chicken has Gone Bad?

There are a few simple methods to verify if your raw chicken is okay to eat before cooking and if it has been properly kept and is within its use-by date:

  • Look for a sulfurous odor in rotten chicken. Fresh chicken should have a very slight odor; many claim it has no odor!
  • The meat of a rotten chicken has a green or grey hue, and the fat has become yellow. Fresh chicken is pale pink in color and has a white fat layer.
  • Bad chicken has a slimy, tacky, or sticky texture to it. Fresh chicken should be tender, shiny, and dry to the touch.

However, remember that it’s not always possible to identify if the raw chicken is rotten!

Even though it appears fine, fresh chicken left out in a warm room for more than an hour is extremely likely to have deteriorated to the point that it is hazardous to consume.

This is why proper preservation techniques are important for keeping chicken safe to consume.

Does Cooking Chicken Kill Bacteria?

Cooking kills bacteria in a wide variety of meats. You can effectively destroy harmful bacteria by sluggishly cooking chicken with medium to low warmth.

In any event, looking at your chicken will not tell you if it is properly cooked. As a result, using a cooking thermometer is preferable.

If you leave cooked chicken at room temperature for an extended period, foodborne microorganisms will colonize it.

Foodborne microscopic organisms are harmful to one’s health. Toxins are produced if the cooked chicken is left out of the ice chest for more than two hours. Appropriate heating and warming are fantastic ways to eliminate these microorganisms.

The morphology of the tiny creatures on flesh may become visible as they mature. Although bubbling chicken eliminates tiny organisms, the existence of form indicates that you should avoid such foods at all costs.

When I’m Pregnant, Why does my Chicken Taste Like Fish?

When you’re pregnant, your chicken may taste like fish because you’ve grown so sensitive to flavors that you can detect fish even in chicken.

Pregnant women’s senses of smell and taste are more acute, so anything with a strong odor might make them sick. This, however, is not a rule. Even though chicken does not have a particularly strong odor, many individuals dislike it.

This is quite natural and might indicate that your chicken is OK. However, you should always check to see if your chicken is fresh before eating it. If the chicken isn’t fresh, you won’t have any issues.


Several factors cause your chicken to taste fishy. Among these is the food quality. Sometimes, the bacteria in the chicken have mixed with the fishmeal, resulting in a fishy odor. Besides that, frying your dish in the wrong pan can also cause a bad smell. To be safe, keep your chicken in a fridge. The best way to keep it fresh is to keep it in the fridge.

The first step in curing a fishy chicken is to eliminate the source of the smell. The cause can be anything from the type of bacteria to the type of cooking oil. However, it’s better to find out what caused the fishy smell. You can eliminate it by changing the cooking method. The fishy smell can also be due to the type of bacteria.