Also known as:

German carp, Chinese carp and mirror carp.


Waters: Native to Asia but now harvested in freshwaters and fish farms worldwide.

Most weigh under 10 lbs. but can range from 3 to 50 lbs. Carp has large scales their dark gray backs fade into paler sides and pearly bellies.

Carp meat is off-white in color, with a dark midlateral strip that's often removed before cooking. It is low in fat, firm in texture, and mild-though it can be muddy, especially the farm-raised variety - in flavor. The skin is edible but not particularly tasty.

Best Cooking:

It's a good idea to remove the midlateral strip of darker flesh before cooking - it can infuse the meat with a strong, musky flavor. Carp bakes, fries, and poaches nicely. It is also the main ingredient in the Jewish dish "gefilte fish," and is popular in Chinese cuisine.

Buying Tips:

You may choose from live carp in tanks at the fish market choose out of tanks that are not overcrowded-the fish should have room to keep active and healthy. It is not always easy to scale this fish, so ask the fishmonger to do it for you.

Nutrition Value:

Carp, 1 fillet (6 oz.) (169.8g) (cooked, dry heat)
Calories: 275
Protein: 38.9g
Carbohydrate: 0.0g
Total Fat: 12.2g
Fiber: 0.0g
Excellent source* of: Potassium (726mg), Selenium (27.5mcg), Vitamin B12 (2.5mcg), and Vitamin E (15.3 IU)
Good source* of: Magnesium (64.6mg)

When cooked (dry heat), carp provides 0.797 grams of omega-3 fatty acids derived from EPA** (0.305g), DHA*** (0.146g), and ALA**** (0.346g), per 100 grams of carp.

*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.
**EPA - Eicosapentaenoic Acid
***DHA - Docosahexaenoic Acid
****ALA - Alpha Lipoic Acid

Substitutes for Carp:

Striped bass, blackfish, catfish, cod, grouper, monkfish.


The mossy, earthy flavor sometimes evident in carp tends to be stronger in the warmer months carp harvested from November to April will have less of a river-bottom taste.

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