According to this question freshwater fish should not be used in Ceviche--why not?


You should never eat freshwater fish in raw preparations. Freshwater fish are far more likely to have nasty parasites such as the lung fluke, that can only be killed by cooking. There is a slew of other nasty beasts that can be harmful if not killed.

Unless you want to end up on an episode of Monsters Inside Me, stay away.

  • Ewwww, now I wish I hadn't asked the question! – Jay Sep 14 '10 at 17:07
  • Also, because it lives part of its life in freshwater, Salmon must be frozen for a period of time (which depends on temperature) before being consumed raw. Usually it is flash-frozen, so the texture is not affected. – Steve Jun 13 '13 at 3:55

In addition to hobodaves fine answer, freshwater fish usually contains a lot more mercury and other very unhelathy substances caused by human pollution. Some doctors recommend you to only eat freshwater fish twice a month.

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    The higher mercury level is a concern even for cooked fish. It doesn't go away when cooking, unfortunately. – hobodave Sep 14 '10 at 6:52
  • Wow, I had no idea. Does the mercury content apply to farm-raised fish? I would guess trout caught from a high mountain lake would be safer from mercury, or is that just wishful thinking... – Jay Sep 14 '10 at 17:05
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    @Jay: Mercury usually isn't a concern in farm raised fish, though you do have to worry about PCBs. Mercury pollution is a man made problem, so unless the high mountain lake is polluted it would be safer. – hobodave Sep 14 '10 at 19:17
  • I hope I didn't make it sound like cooking it would make the mercury level go away. If so, sorry, it doesn't. – Lars Andren Jan 5 '11 at 6:39
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    This doesn't really seem to have anything to do with making ceviche; it's just a general concern with freshwater fish. – Cascabel Jun 11 '13 at 18:40

Salmon is a fresh water fish that is regularly used for sushi, however it needs to go through extra preparation. Typically it needs to be frozen at -31F for seven days to kill whatever parasites are in there.


Freshwater fish as long as they are caught in clean water are totally fine to eat raw. Granted they may not be as tasty or have the mouthfeel of a fatty saltwater fish they are perfectly fine to eat.

To be honest I would much rather eat a wild fish caught in a clean lake over any farm raised 'ocean' fish that is fed garbage and has no nutrients.

If the freshwater fish you catch comes from a clean body of water and you want to eat it raw go for it. You will not get sick and will benefit from the high level of protein.

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    How can you tell whether a particular water source is free of both pollutants and parasites? Also per your last sentence, does cooking a fish reduce its protein levels? – Erica Dec 9 '18 at 13:05
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    complete nonsense. – jwenting Dec 10 '18 at 6:56

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