American Oceans
Fisherman holding a giant barracuda

Can You Eat Barracuda and How Does It Taste?

Barracuda is famous for its frightening look, razor-sharp teeth, and extremely thin body with a dark strip beneath it that runs across the center of its body. It’s not the prettiest fish to look at, but can you eat barracuda and how does it taste? 

Fisherman holding a giant barracuda

Barracudas are fish belonging to the Sphyraenidae family. People worldwide consume barracuda, so it’s not as uncommon to eat as one may think. It is a popular fish in West African cultures.

Barracuda fish are most commonly caught by trolling with lures or bait. They can also be caught by casting with lures or bait, and by still fishing with bait.

So, can you eat barracuda safely? Read on to find out.

Do People Eat Barracuda and Is It Safe?

Barracuda is safe to eat if prepared correctly. Barracudas have good nutrition and provide attractive and protein-rich meat.

fried barracuda dish

However, meat from large barracudas can contain harmful bacteria and viruses. These pathogens can cause ciguatera poison, a harmful infection from eating certain fish.

What Does It Taste Like?

Barracudas have an intense flavor similar to wild tuna with mild sweetness. It has a more fish-like taste than sandfish but is less intense than anchovies.

A barracuda is hard, textured, and meaty and has large flakes low in fat. It has a more robust, richer flavor typical of darker grilled meat. Barracudas offers delicious, full-flavor meat.

The fish can also contain high levels of mercury which is not safe to consume in high amounts. Pregnant women especially should not consume mercury because it could affect their fetus. 

Can You Eat Barracuda Raw?

raw cut barracuda fish meat presented in the market

Barracudas should not be eaten in raw form, and even Japanese chefs that eat most raw fish avoid making barracudas in raw dishes.

This can be due to the risk of ciguatera fish poisoning and possible illness, but the problem mainly relates to the more prominent species, also called the great barracuda, found in tropical waters. Barracudas cook better when grilled.

How To Cook Barracuda?

Although they are hard to catch, the cooking reward is great because of their taste. Most fish serve as filets, and barracuda are no exception.

Barracuda fishes in the market

Barracudas are often cooked and served as sandwiches or grilled. It is recommended to remove the skin because the skin shrinks when cooked and needs to be removed. 

Barracuda can be cooked as a stew, deep fried with batter, or grilled. Some steam the fish as a healthy alternative served with fresh vegetables

Barracuda Recipes

Here is a brief overview with a few recipes of how to cook a barracuda.

Is It Safe to Eat Barracuda?

Although barracuda fish is not a common fish you’ll find on the table for dinner, like salmon, it is safe to consume and, if prepared well, can be tasty. Be aware of eating large barracuda to reduce the chances of getting sick. Carefully selected spices and vegetables make this fish a delicious meal for any night of the week.


  • Well since barracuda is a kosher fish it should be good to eat even a large fish. God doesn’t give us food that is harmful.

  • my 14 year old grandson caught two barracufa while we were fishing off the coast of Brelize. we took the fish back to our resort and the chef prepared him for us it was delicious!!