What kind of fish can you eat during Lent: fish days, what to replace it with

As we wrote earlier here , Lent 2021 runs from March 15 to May 1. On the Annunciation, which is celebrated on April 7, and on Palm Sunday, which falls on April 25 , Orthodox Christians who observe fasting can eat fish. It is on the first list of concessions and even seminarians are allowed to eat fish during Lent.

On Lazarus Saturday, April 24, you cannot eat fish, but you can eat fish eggs. At the end of the material - as a bonus - a wonderful recipe with three fish caviar. It is unexpected, but very successful and suitable for the post.

We would also like to note that sometimes the term “oil” is used to describe Lenten food or the rules of Lent, for example, “boiled food with oil.” In this case, oil is lean, that is, vegetable oil. All fish during Lent are allowed to be cooked with it.

Is it possible to eat fish during Lent?

Many rules and conditions for observing fasting may be incomprehensible to modern generations of believers who, nevertheless, try to endure this period. It is noteworthy that people sometimes set conflicting goals for fasting. Some do this to lose weight, others to cleanse the body, and others even test their willpower. However, the main purpose of fasting is to cleanse yourself from the burden of sins physically, morally and spiritually.

Therefore, you should study the conditions and rules of the event, when to take this or that food, whether you can drink drinks, and also pay attention to the days of fasting when you can eat fish. Thus, such dishes are allowed on the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Palm Sunday. The day before it, that is, on Saturday, believers are allowed to eat fish caviar.

Recommended types

It is advisable to use low-fat varieties of aquatic inhabitants. Pike perch, pollock, hake, flounder, capelin, and crucian carp are perfect for these purposes. Undoubtedly, red fish is also very useful for the body and brain activity, but not everyone can afford to buy salmon or trout. This is not a reason to refuse a tasty dish. Natural canned fish - pink salmon, sockeye salmon, salmon - are quite suitable. This delicacy makes amazing soups and salads. If your mouth is already watering, then we suggest moving on to interesting cooking options.

Fish days in Lent 2021

Strict fasting has a calendar indicating fish days. They are easy to remember because they occur on certain holidays before Easter. Thus, fish products can be eaten only three times during strict fasting in 2021:

  1. The Feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary is always celebrated on April 7th.
  2. Palm Sunday – April 25.
  3. On the eve of Palm Sunday, on Saturday April 24, you can taste fish caviar.

What kind of fish can you use for fasting?

It is not enough to know that you can eat it; you need to clarify what kind of fish you can eat during Lent. The most recommended options are white pollock and hake fillets. Pink salmon, carp, and herring are noted. All of them are united by such qualities as low fat content of the product, with a high amount of nutrients that contribute to the proper functioning of the body.

Selection rules

It is recommended to buy raw seafood only chilled and in packaging. It is also recommended to take into account a few simple features:

  1. Fishy smell. It should be fresh, not give off sourness or ammonia.
  2. Eyes. Normally, they are shiny and clean, protruding slightly above the surface of the body.
  3. Type of fillet. Fish meat should not have any signs of drying or discoloration; leakage of blood and other juices is unacceptable.

Purchasing frozen fish involves taking into account the following characteristics:

  1. Packaging integrity . It must be sealed.
  2. Appearance of ice. Frozen water should be clear. A matte structure or the presence of crystals indicates repeated defrosting and freezing.

After purchasing, you should store the fish in the refrigerator (chilled fish) or in the freezer (frozen product).

The maximum shelf life of chilled fish is up to 2-3 days.

Safe consumption of fresh fish begins with careful examination of its appearance, as well as packaging.

Strict fasting: when fish is prohibited

Fish, like meat and plant products, is on the list of not recommended foods. The Church insists that believers, if possible, completely exclude it from their diet during the period of fasting. However, it is fish that is rich in a large number of nutrients needed by the body, so concessions are provided for it.

Attention! For clergy, fish is prohibited throughout Lent, regardless of the relaxations and permitted days.

Fish dishes are necessary for everyone, so on some days of fasting they are allowed

How to replace fish during Lent

There are certain fasting days when you can eat fish. But not everyone can consume even approved products due to allergies or other reasons. In addition, fish products contain a huge amount of vitamins and minerals, which other products cannot compare with. It is known that fish oil contains vitamin D, which helps in the absorption of calcium. The same vitamin can be obtained by standing in the open sun, absorbing it into the skin. Other “synthetic” vitamins do not have the desired effect on the body.

One way or another, meat products, including fish, can be replaced with cereals, legumes and mushrooms. For example, soybeans, beans, lentils, etc.

Quick Meatballs

Don't have too much time, but want to cook something original, savory and light for dinner? Use the following recipe. The whole process will not take you more than half an hour. You will need:

- canned fish (saury or tuna) - arbitrary quantity;

- a piece of rye flour bun;

- garlic, onion and dill;

- semolina.

Mash the canned fish thoroughly with a fork and mix with the indicated ingredients. Season with salt and semolina. You can use grated potatoes (raw). Using a tablespoon, strain out the minced meat, place all the meatballs in the pan, and bake for 10 minutes. For juiciness, add tomato sauce to the finished dish.

We hope that you will be pleasantly surprised by the hearty and tasty Lenten menu. The recipes are accessible to everyone and do not require any special culinary talents. Finally, we will describe a no less original option for cooking in the oven.


There are so-called indulgences that are permissible for persons for whom fasting is a great test. Therefore, light limited food options are provided. By the way, there are certain people who can use the relaxation without first talking with a clergyman:

  1. Pregnant women, breastfeeding.
  2. Children under 16 years old, elderly people.
  3. Persons with poor health, chronic diseases, ailments.

Obviously, these are the people who need the vitamins and minerals contained in fish products. An example is the daily consumption of fish oil for the proper functioning of the entire body.

Other cases involve contacting the clergyman of the church the believer attends. He is free to confess to a priest, ask for his opinion and permission to observe indulgences.

First symptoms

The first signs of bacterial poisoning or helminth infection can appear at any time: from 30 minutes to 1.5 months.

If the following symptoms develop, it is recommended to immediately consult a doctor:

  • changes in bowel habits (persistent constipation or diarrhea);
  • abdominal pain of any nature;
  • dyspeptic disorders (nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, heartburn);
  • temperature increase;
  • general weakness and malaise;
  • signs of acute respiratory diseases.

If any symptoms of poisoning develop, you should seek help from your doctor as soon as possible to avoid dangerous complications.

How to cook fish during Lent

There are many fish dishes during Lent. It is important to observe the special conditions for their preparation. The method of frying fish, familiar to many cooks, is excluded - vegetable oil is unacceptable. Therefore, it can be boiled or steamed.

Baked fish for Lent

Baked fish is allowed during Lent. A recipe that includes pink salmon, as well as vegetables - onions, carrots, bell peppers - is suitable for this.

Pre-gutted and washed fish is cut into large pieces, portioned. Rub it on all sides with salt and place it in a pan with a non-stick coating. You can sprinkle with Provençal herbs. Place vegetables on top - onions, carrots and peppers cut into half rings, be sure to add salt. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven for 40 minutes (at 180°C). Before serving, sprinkle finely chopped green onions on top.

Baked lean pink salmon is even tastier than fried

First fish dishes for Lent

Fish recipes for Lent may contain different dishes, including soups. To prepare a delicious rich dish, you will need:

  • white fish fillet (pollock, hake) – 600 g;
  • 2 tomatoes, onion, herbs, garlic;
  • lemon juice.

The fish is cut into large cubes. The tomatoes are scalded to remove the skin and cut into small cubes.

Pour a little oil into the pan (you can do without it) to fry the finely chopped onion until transparent, add crushed garlic and, if desired, spices - turmeric, cumin (more for flavor). Then add the fish, fry a little, stir in the tomatoes, salt and pour in about 1.2 liters of water. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 10 minutes until the fish is cooked. Afterwards, add lemon juice and chopped herbs, mix and turn off the heat. Leave everything for 5 minutes.

Attention! Boil potatoes or rice separately; without them the soup will be clearer. Pour in broth and serve.

Healthy fish soup, which will become a tradition on ordinary days, can be used during Lent.

Fish in batter during Lent

You can cook and eat fish in batter during fasting. Of course, “batter” is associated with eggs, milk and lots of butter. However, modern kitchens allow you to eliminate oil.

For the batter you only need flour, about 100 g, and water - 100 ml. You can add salt to the cook's taste. You can diversify the batter by mixing in pre-cooked grains, such as rice. You can finely chop the vegetables. Everything is at the discretion of the household.

To make the battered fish “lush,” add a pinch of soda to the sifted flour. This must also be done through a sieve so that grains of soda do not suddenly get caught on the tooth. However, you can do without soda altogether.

Dissolve salt in water, then gradually add flour and mix until smooth.

Thoroughly washed fish, such as pollock fillets, are dipped in batter, coated and placed in a hot frying pan. Fry over medium heat until desired degree. To prevent anything from burning, carefully turn it over.

Even dishes in batter without oil can be delicious during Lent.

Fish salad for Lent

For the fish salad you need to boil the rice, about 1 tbsp. Then steam or boil fillets of lean fish, such as herring, and cut into small pieces. Cut fresh cucumbers and Chinese cabbage into strips. The ingredients are mixed in a salad bowl, seasoned with soy sauce and lean mayonnaise.

A full-fledged fish salad will decorate the Lenten table, and subsequently the festive one.

Attention! Believers often prepare Lenten mayonnaise themselves.

Ingredients for lean mayonnaise:

  • flour – 0.5 tbsp;
  • water – 0.5 tbsp.;
  • vegetable oil – 3 tbsp. l.;
  • lemon juice or vinegar - 1 tbsp. l.;
  • sugar – 1 tsp;
  • salt – 1 tsp.

Pour water into a double bottom pan and add flour. Mix thoroughly and cook over low heat until the consistency becomes thick. Then cool everything, then add the other ingredients, mix, beat until smooth. This lean mayonnaise can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Fish caviar in fasting

As already noted, the church charter does not provide for eating fish products. But, given its beneficial properties, sometimes fish dishes, which are indispensable for human health, are allowed three times per fast.

It is fish caviar that has a separate day for consumption. This is the Saturday before Palm Sunday, which falls on April 24 in 2021. It is worth understanding that you do not need to consume caviar throughout the day; this will not improve your health, but at the same time it will show how difficult it is for a believer to overcome his habits and addictions. However, a small amount during the day, for example at dinner, is acceptable.

Fish caviar is allowed during fasting, the main thing is not to overuse it

How to cook fish cutlets during Lent

During fasting, you can eat different fish, for example, make cutlets out of them. Naturally, the cooking will be steamed, but the result of the following recipe looks as if these are full-fledged fried cutlets.

They will require white fish fillet (pollock, hake, etc.) in the amount of 750 g. You will also need: 100 g carrots, 150 g potatoes, salt and herbs.

Remove the bones from the fish and mince the mince. Pass potatoes and carrots through a blender or fine grater. Mix with minced fish. Add salt and herbs.

Attention! To obtain a golden crust, fry the formed cutlets in a frying pan without oil for 15-30 seconds.

And only after that they are placed in a double boiler for 20 minutes. If this device is not available, it will be replaced by a mantyshnitsa. Or you will have to select a pan and a sieve of a similar size in order to place the latter in the pan without fear that it will fall in there along with the cutlets.

Steamed cutlets with a golden crust will surprise guests

Pollock fillet with tomato sauce

A light, low-calorie and, most importantly, lean dish, which can be quickly prepared from inexpensive ingredients, which is also important. During fasting, fish is allowed without the use of dairy products such as cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise. Set of components:

- kilogram of pollock (frozen);

- 20 g flour;

— spices: black pepper, garlic salt, dry dill.

Ingredients for tomato sauce: ½ cup tomato paste (choose one without preservatives), two onions, a clove of garlic, 200 ml filtered water, flour (15 g), pepper, salt.

First, let's make a homemade marinade: finely chop the onion, throw it into hot oil, and sauté until golden brown. Then add tomato paste, chopped garlic, specified seasonings and flour. Pour water into the mixture and stir until thickened, about 10 minutes. Let the sauce cool.

For now, let's take care of the pollock. Cut into small pieces, sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper, roll in flour or semolina. It needs to be fried or baked. Pour tomato sauce over the finished fillet and refrigerate for about three hours. Sprinkle with dill.

What prayer to read on the Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem

The holiday of Palm Resurrection contains enormous power and the prayer words spoken on it can even defeat death. When reading a prayer, it is important to pass the text through your soul and heart, and sincerely turn to the Saints with strong faith within. Without faith and sincerity, there is no guarantee that prayers will be heard in heaven.

Prayer for the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem

Today the grace of the Lord, his strength and firmness have gathered us together. I, servant of God (name), will repeat your path, as you said: “I will celebrate Easter with my disciples.” Six days before that day, you visited Bethany. Give, Jesus Christ, peace and happiness to believers on this holiday, with the firmness of spirit with which you commanded: “Lazarus, come out” six days before Easter and Lazarus rose again. You rode into the city on a young donkey and with your appearance turned non-believers into believers, sinners into benefactors. The pagans instantly became obedient Christians as soon as you appeared before their eyes. We, believing Christians, will follow you into the new Jerusalem, and from the tongue of the Church with the prophet Zechariah we say that salvation has come to this city in your face. Christ, I offer my prayers to you. See the love for yourself coming from human hearts, but do not leave us, your children and followers, in earthly sorrow, the trap of the Devil. Give us the power of forgiveness and mercy, let us achieve the joy of the holy holiday of Easter and meet this bright day, singing and glorifying you, your Father and your Holy Spirit. From now on, may our souls be cleansed from sin. We glorify your heavenly kingdom and your father, the Lord God, may it last forever. Amen.

Troparion for the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem

  • Troparion, tone 1

Assuring the general resurrection before Your passion, You raised Lazarus from the dead, O Christ our God. In the same way, we, like youths, bearing signs of victory, cry out to you, the conqueror of death: Hosanna in the highest, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

  • Kontakion, tone 1

On the throne in heaven, carried on the earth by lots, O Christ God, Thou didst receive the praise of angels and the singing of children, calling to Thee: blessed art thou, who art come to call Adam.


We magnify You, Life-Giving Christ, Hosanna in the highest, and we cry out to You, Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.


Tips for preparing for your appointment

When purchasing frozen fish, you should defrost it properly. The first stage is placing it in the refrigerator from the freezer for 6-8 hours, the second stage is further defrosting in cold water at room temperature (the product is pre-packaged in a bag).

Longer defrosting will lead to the penetration and rapid development of bacteria in the fish meat.

Before starting cooking, you should thoroughly wash your hands and utensils. Any foci of pollution contain microorganisms that easily penetrate the fish and begin to divide.

A fish carcass is an ideal environment for the proliferation of a large number of bacteria and some viruses.

Thaw fresh seafood slowly. All utensils and hands should be thoroughly washed to prevent pathogenic microorganisms from entering the fish meat.

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