French Fish Names

What’s that fish called in French?

Deciphering a French fish and seafood menu. Do you know your Églefin from your Espadon?

English to French fish names on Taste of Savoie
Wild Cod served with semoule (polenta) and vegetables in a foam emulsion
at Le Denti in Annecy

This is a question I have been asked many times when going through a french menu trying to identify the fish dish. So I thought I’d put together a glossary of some of the more popular french fish names and common vocabulary associated with fish and seafood with the translation into English. Scroll down to find the English fish name translated into French. Hope you find this useful next time you shop for fish or eat out in France.

Shellfish – Crustaces

English to French Shellfish Names

English NameFrench Name
Brown CrabTourteaux or Dormeur
ClamsPalourdes
CocklesCoques
Crayfishécrevisse
Dog Cockle (Clam)Amandes de Mer
King PrawnsGambas
LangoustineLangoustine
Prawns – largeCrevettes Royale
Prawns – largeGrosses Crevette
LimpetsPatelle
LobsterHomard
MusselsMoules
OysterHuître
Razor clamCouteau
ScallopsCoquilles St. Jacques
Shrimps/small prawnCrevettes (roses)
Shrimp – small brownCrevette grises
Spider crabAraignee de mer
WhelksBulots
WinklesBigorneaux

Fish – Poisson

English to French Fish Names

English NameFrench Name
AnchoviesAnchois
BarracudaBrochet de la Mer
Bass (Atlantic)Bar
Black BreamDaurade grise
BrillBarbue
Brown TroutTruite Fario ou Brune
CatfishSilure
CodCabillaud
Croaker, Meagre, Drum fish or Salmon BassMaigre
Dog FishRoussette
Dover SoleSole commune
FlounderLimande
Fresh water CharOmble Chevalier
Gilthead BreamDaurade Royale
GrouperMerou
GurnardGrondin
HaddockEglefin
HakeMerlu/Colin
HalibutFlétin
HerringHareng
John DorySaint-Pierre
Lake fish from Lac LemanFera du Leman
Lemon soleLimande sole
LingJulienne
Mackerelmaquereau
MonkfishLotte
PerchPerche
Nom du poisson en Anglais
Sea Bass Northern Indian style at Baaji, Les Gets
English NameFrench Name
PikeBrochet
PlaicePlie
PollackLieu Jaune
PollackLieu Noir
Rainbow TroutTruite Arc-en-Ciel
Red MulletRouget
Red BreamDaurade commune
SalmonSaumon
Salt CodMorue
SardineSardine
Scorpion FishRascasse
Sea Bass (Mediterranean)Loup de mer
Sea BreamDaurade
SharkRequin
SkateAigle de mer
Skate wingsAiles de Raie
perch fillets – small lake fishFilets de Perche
SturgeonEsturgeon
SwordfishEspadon
TroutTruite
TunaThon
TurbotTurbot
Sea bassAbadèche rouge
Sea smeltAbusseau
WhitebaitFriture
WhitingMerlan
Pike – youngBrocheton
ZanderSandre
English to French fish and seafood names on Taste of Savoie
Atlantic Sea Bream topped with tempura squid at Le Christiania in Les Gets

Molluscs – Mollusques and friends!

English to French Seafood names

English NamesFrench Names
Conger EelCongre
CuttlefishSeiche
EelAnguille
FishPoisson
OctopusPoulpe
seafoodfruits de mer
SeaweedAlgue de Mer
SquidCalamar, Chipirons
WhaleBaleine

General English to French vocabulary used may help when ordering, shopping for or cooking
fish and seafood in France

English WordFrench Word
bonel’arête
bonedsans arêtes
cleanedpréparé
cooked in paper in oven (steamed)en papillote
descaledécaillé
filletfilet
Fish steakDarnes de poisson
freshfrais
frozensurgelé
loinlonge
peeled or shelledDecortiqué
ShellfishCrustacés
skinnedSans peau
slicetranche
smokedfumé
tailqueue
to gutvider
bonedl’arête
English to French fish and shellfish names on Taste of Savoie
Fruits de Mer at Chez Pierre in Arcachon

There are many classic french fish and seafood dishes in France. I’ve picked out a few of the most popular that you will likely find on a French menu when touring around France.

French NameBritish Name
Nicoise Salada salad typically made with Tuna, egg and new potatoes that originates from Nice
BourrideFish stew from Languedoc-Roussillon made with fish, seafood, vegetables, aioli and olive oil
PôchouseFresh water fish stew from Burgundy using Eel, Pike and Bass poached in Aligoté with a cream sauce
Meunièremeans Millers Wife – fish is coated in flour and sautéed and the sauce is brown butter, parsley and lemon
BouillabaisseProvencal fish and seafood stew with tomatoes served with rouille* on croutons
Rouille*A mayonnaise type sauce typically served with fish soup and Bouillabaise – made with olive oil, garlic, saffron and cayenne pepper

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Why not pin this useful guide for later

English to French fish names translation
English to French fish names

photographs ©CaroBlackwell

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2 thoughts on “French Fish Names

  • July 5, 2020 at 12:37 pm
    Permalink

    Chipirons in the South West = squid, I think.

    Reply
    • July 6, 2020 at 2:40 pm
      Permalink

      ah yes good point this is in the Basque region they are known as chipirons

      Reply

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