Essential Fish & Seafood French Vocabulary: An A-Z List


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Essential Fish & Seafood French Vocabulary: An A-Z List

Seafood is extremely popular in French cuisine and whether you are shopping at the supermarket, browsing a local market or fishmonger, or trying to navigate your way around a restaurant menu, you may sometimes struggle to identify your favourite seafood dishes by name. We’ve assembled a list of the most popular fish, with their names in French and English. You’ll be confident picking out your poisson préféré in no time!

A-Z Dictionary of French Fish and Seafood: Essential Vocabulary

Abadèche rouge – type of sea bass
Abusseau – type of sea smelt
Aigle de mer – skate
Aiglefin/ Lieu – Haddock (if smoked) – Haddock
Ailes de Raie – Skate wings
Amandes de Mer – Dog Cockle (type of Clam)
Anchois – Anchovies
Anguille – Eel
Araignee de mer – Spider crab
Baleine – Whale
Bar or Loup de mer – Bass / Sea Bass
Barbue – Brill
Brochet – Pike
Brochet de la Mer – Barracuda
Brocheton – Young Pike
Bulots – Whelks
Cabillaud – Cod
Calamars – Squid
Carrelet or Plie – Plaice
Couteaux – Razor fish
Coquilles St. Jacques – Scallops
Congre – Conger
Crevette grises – small Shrimp (brown)
Grosses Crevette / Crevettes Royale – large Prawns
Crevettes (roses) – Shrimps – common prawn
Crustacés – Shellfish
Darnes de poisson- Fish steak
Daurade – Sea Bream
Dorade commune – Red Bream
Dorade grise – Black Bream
écrevisse – crayfish
Espadon – Sword Fish
Esturgeon – Sturgeon
Etrilles (small crabs with flat legs) – Velvet swimming crab
Friture – Whitebait
Gambas – King Prawn
Homard – Lobster
Huître – Oyster
Julienne – Ling (type of Cod)
Langoustine – Langoustine (Dublin’s Bay Prawns)
Lieu Jaune – Pollack
Lieu Noir – Pollock
Limande – Dab – member of the plaice family
Limande sole – Lemon sole
Lotte – Monkfish
Merlan – Whiting
Merlu/Colin (various names used for the same fish) – Hake
Morue – Salted Cod (fish when fresh is Cabillaud )
Palourdes – Clams
Perche – Perch
Requin – Shark
Roussette – Dog Fish
Sandre – Zander
Saumon – Salmon
Seiche – Cuttlefish
Thon – Tuna
Tombe – Gunarde (fish)
Tourteaux or Dormeur – Brown Crab
Truite – Trout (as a general term)
Truite Arc-en-Ciel – Rainbow trout
Truite Fario – Brown trout

We hope this comprehensive A-Z Guide to French fish names will help you next time you visit a French restaurant. Next, find out how to order a steak in France and how to order a coffee in France! To get confident speaking French, you might also want to check out our pick of French learning apps and YouTube channels.

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Charlotte is a freelance writer and photographer, who has been living in France with her family for nearly 15 years. Charlotte has been working with France Media since 2009, firstly as a Moderator on the popular FrenchEntré, of which she now manages the social and technical side, and more recently as the Editor of the French Property and Living Channels of the FrenchEntré website.