By Alyssa Morlacci
Updated on 27. Jul. 2020

This freshwater fish is light, delicious and brimming with health benefits.

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  • brain food.
    The polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids in carp have been shown to help improve concentration and memory.
  • great for skin.
    Carp is a rich source of vitamin A, which helps support healthy, smooth skin, as well as healthy vision.
  • rich in protein.
    A 100 g serving of carp contains 21% protein, which boosts energy and helps the body build muscle.
  • great for dieters.
    Carp is low in calories and fat, making it an excellent ingredient if you're trying to lose weight.
  • ...helps strengthen bones and teeth.
    Carp is one of the most calcium-rich freshwater fish, and also contains considerable amounts of phosphorus. Combined, these minerals help to keep bones and teeth strong and healthy.
  • heart-healthy.
    While carp doesn’t contain as many omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as many other kinds of fish, it’s still a good source of these heart-healthy fats, which protect against vasoconstriction and high cholesterol levels in the body.
  • ...can be eaten with a clear conscience.
    Carp is one of the few fish that isn’t at risk of overfishing.
  • ... taboo for gout:
    Carp is rich in uric acid, which can exacerbate gout. If you take off the skin, you’ll reduce the amount of purines substantially. However it’s always best to consult your doctor before eating carp if you suffer from gout.

What You Should Know About Carp

Carp are freshwater fish known for their oily flesh, which yields a flaky, moist and delicate flavor if prepared correctly. Catfish, bass and cod have similar flavor and texture profiles to carp.


Carp are originally from Asia, although they have been cultivated around the world for thousands of years. Even the ancient Romans bred carp in artificial ponds for consumption.


Although you can get fresh carp all year round, it generally tastes best in autumn, after the ponds have been fished out.


Mirror carps have only have three rows of scales, while the leather carp - also known as night carp - stands out because of its almost scaleless skin. Both are the most common in factory farms. Wild carp, on the other hand, are covered in shimmering scales.  

The Chinese marble carp is the most rare, and considered the most delicious, or all carp types. It's currently bred in Europe and the U.S., in addition to Asia, although is is much more expensive and hard-to-find than other types of carp.  

Find all our carp recipes here.

How Healthy is Carp?

Carp has long been considered particularly fatty, but this is in no way true. While it does contain a tiny more fat than other types of freshwater fish, it still contains only about 5 g of fat per 100 g serving, making it more than figure-friendly. In addition, carp contains considerable amounts of minerals such as phosphorus and iron, B vitamins and vitamin A.

Calories 115
Protein 18 g
Fat 4.8 g
Carbohydrates 0 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips


Carps is available whole or filleted at the fish counter. Like all fish, carp is easily perishable, so make sure you're getting the freshest cut possible at the store. Look out for a natural shimmer on the skin without discolouration, clear and bright eyes, and bright red gills, all signs of a fresh catch.


Prepare fresh carp as soon as possible after purchasing. If necessary, you can wrap it in foil or paper, place it in a glass or porcelain bowl and store it in the coldest part of the fridge for up to 1 day.


For quicker prep, buy your carp from the supermarket or fishmonger already gutted and scaled. Then all you'll have to do is clean the carp, by simply rinsin the inside and outside under running water and dabbing it dry with a paper towel.

What to Make With Carp

Carp is an incredibely versatile fish. It can be cured like salmon, is hearty enough as a base for a fish stew, or tastes delicious sauteed, grilled or baked on its own, paired with some grilled vegetables or a simple salad.

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