Can You Eat Koi? – Facts & Cautions To Follow!

People are keeping koi fish as a symbol of good fortune for years. Koi fish are colored varieties of Amur Carp that are kept in a backyard pond or aquarium.

People from various regions eat koi fish and some deny it from eating. As koi fish are a type of carp, they are vastly available on the Asian food menu.

People get into a dilemma asking, “Can You Eat Koi?” So, let’s dig more into the subject and answer the question.

Can You Eat Koi Fish?

In short – yes you can eat koi fish, after all, they a type of carp. Before you start trying koi, you need to consider various factors.

In Japan and SE Asia, mostly in the temple area, koi fishes are counted as sacred. Now, if you are sensitive in this case, you might consider not eating something sacred to certain people.

Koi fish curry
Image: Thiébaud Faix/Unsplash

Koi meat isn’t like other carp as they are a bit tough. These fishes spend most of their time in stagnant and shallow water, so there is a chance you might get a bacterial infection from them if you want to eat them raw. In fact, you should never eat any fish uncooked.

So, if you want to eat koi fish, then you have to cook it properly with enough heat.

Koi fish are ornamental fish and people keep them as pets. For raising them as colorful and attractive, they sometimes may be fed with chemical ingredients that can harmful to the human body. So, you should be avoiding yourself from eating such koi fish, but if they are raised with natural feeds that are not harmful to the human body, then you might try.

Also koi fish got their heavy price tag because of their attractiveness and you have to spend hundreds of dollars to buy them from farms or stores.

Many restaurants serve koi fish regularly. You can find a huge number of koi fish that are raised as human food in Asian local markets and local restaurants.

Koi is a freshwater fish and almost all freshwater fish are edible. Many people can’t stand the smell they bear and the after taste is also a big factor for them not to eat. On the other hand, people from SE Asia tend to use lots of spices to prepare koi fish, which is sometimes very tasty and of course edible.

Now, if you ask, “Do people eat koi fish?” you got the answer. I would not suggest you eating koi fish because it can harm your body as there is a great chance that the koi fish that you tend to eat, maybe is fed with ingredients that aren’t suitable for the human body.

There are other kinds of carp available other than koi fish which is suitable for humans to eat, you can try them and they taste better than koi fish as well. Besides, you don’t want to spend all that money on koi fish with chances of danger from eating them.

Koi fish are very attractive. In Japan you’ll notice colorful koi fishes in many places, they enhance the beauty of the surroundings and they suit that position. Koi fish also got high economical values.

Facts You Should Know About Koi Fish

I’ll be explaining some facts about koi fish which will enlighten you with more koi fish knowledge and help you get answers to relevant questions.

  • Chinese farmers farmed carp in rice paddies in the 1600s and this practice was transferred to Japan. In Japan, they noticed odd color variations in some of the carp fish and bred them, which eventually created koi fish. Koi fishes are the ones gracing our outdoor pond and aquarium with their attractiveness and blessing the farmers with some extra cash.
  • Koi fish is very popular worldwide. You can find them no matter where you live. Most pet koi fish are typically from commercial farms in the US, Europe, and Asia. They are readily available in local pet stores and will be costing you 5 to 15 dollars per koi fish depending on which color variation you want.
  • Koi fish are quite a large type of fish and with proper care, they can grow two to three feet in length, some types of koi get even bigger. Koi fish bear an average weight of 35 pounds and they need to be farmed in a large pond as smaller ponds will minimize their lifespan. They need fresh and clean water to live properly and can live up to 20 years if taken care of to the fullest.
  • Koi fish are very social and easily can live in pairs or groups. Now, if you are considering adding other fish with koi in your pond, make sure both fish types match their environment and food habit, ensure a large pond so all the fish can move with freedom. Koi fish are very friendly and won’t eat other fish they living with.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Koi Fish Taste Good?

Koi meat is a bit tougher than other carp fish and they are freshwater fish. People often get skeptical about the taste of koi fish. Colorful koi or the wild grey type of koi fish, taste the same.

Koi that are bred for eating, sometimes smell strong mud and don’t seem edible. Although the taste depends hugely on how you cook it.

Koi fish needs to be cooked properly, using enough and proper spices might make them tasty for you.

Are Koi Fish Dangerous To Humans?

Koi fish are very friendly and won’t bite you when you try to pet them. But there might be a chance that koi meat could harm the human body.

Koi fish are very colorful and to raise them this colorful, they are fed with feeds that might cause harm to human health.

But people around the world, especially in SE Asia, people do eat koi fish daily. They are not poisonous and if you cook them properly they’ll become edible and tasty.

Do Koi Eat Other Fish?

Koi fish are generally very gentle and friendly fish. They enjoy living in pairs or groups with other types of fish. But some koi fish are opportunistic omnivores and will swallow smaller fish.

When the pond is overstocked with fish or there isn’t adequate food for the existing fishes, koi might eat other smaller fish or their siblings to live and to reduce the competition for food.

So, you need to provide enough care and food for your koi fish. There are many koi fish food available on the internet and in your local pet stores.

People around the world have been eating carp-type fish for years as well as koi fish. In conclusion, I’d say you can eat koi fish. Just make sure it is not fed ingredients that are harmful to humans and before eating, you cook it properly.

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