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My first adventure with Pacific cod

I have been on a fish kick for the last few months and have been making salmon, tuna and swordfish pretty regularly. however, today I ventured into the cod arena, but I've never actually cooked cod or had it other than beer-battered and fried. I read a few of the old threads but still feel lost in the world of white fish. I usually do very simple dishes for my other favorite fish as they tend to have a lot of natural flavor, but I just worried that the cod might have less flavor on it's own but I again I haven't had much experience. I'd love a simple, yet tasty delicious recipes for cod. Any favorite?

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  1. Oops, I forgot to include my original idea which to me sounds delicious. I haven't had pesto in a while so I thought perhaps that pair well but again would love your input.

    1. First off - Cod is a clean slate. It can take pretty much any sauce or preparation out there. Delicate sauces, strong sauces, broiling, baking, frying, fish cakes, chowders - you name it, Cod can do it. It'd definitely one of our "go to" fish selections, & I prepare it often.

      Topping it with Pesto (freshly-made - not jarred) would work just fine. And here's another simple prep I make quite a bit:

      Bacardi1 Lemon Baked Cod
      Serves 2

      1 lb. cod fish filet
      1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
      Juice from one lemon
      Approx. 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
      Lemon Pepper seasoning
      Approx. ¼ cup of chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut cod filet into 4 pieces, lengthwise & crosswise, so that each diner gets a thick & a thin piece.

      Mix the butter and lemon juice together in a bowl large enough to dip fish into. Dip the fish into the butter mixture and place fish in an ungreased baking dish.

      Sprinkle the panko crumbs on the fish. Drizzle any remaining butter mixture over the fish and sprinkle with the Lemon Pepper seasoning & the paprika. Bake uncovered until fish flakes easily with fork, about 25-30 minutes depending on thickness of the fish (start checking after 20 minutes). Garnish with chopped parsley.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bacardi1

        This sounds like exactly what I'm looking for. SO was pondering a spinach salad topped with cod. Do you think this would be nice as a salad topping?

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          I don't see why not, although I've never tried it.

          I have used leftovers to make a fish salad on its own. (Same as making a tuna salad - just using leftover cod instead.)

      2. I have never had pacific cod. Is like what I find here in New England? The local cod I can get here is very mild and I prefer the the thicker cut loin as opposed to fillets.

        For an every day type dinner I just dip in a little egg and roll with bread crumbs for crispy oven fried cod. Or I might rub with little oil, top with sliced almonds and broil.

        However when having company (or at least when I have more time) I love potato crusted cod. This recipe uses potato flakes and is surprisingly good, I especially like the vinaigrette. I was glad the link still worked! I booked marked this some time ago and make often,

        I have also made it with "real" potatoes from the Ultimate Potato cookbook.

        I recently saw Anne Burrell make a potato encrusted halibut that I thought would be great with cod too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: foodieX2

          As I'm from the East Coast I assume most of the cod I have had has been Atlantic but have no idea. I guess I didn't even occur to me that this was Pacific and perhaps maybe different than the texture and flavor I am used to.

          Perhaps someone can chime in on any difference.

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            It's the same genus:


            assuming that your fish is accurately identified.

        2. With your current love affair with fish, you may want to check out Rick Moonen's excellent book Fish Without a Doubt. It was COTM in 2009 and again in 2012 and was much beloved by all both times. Everything I've made from it has been absolutely delicious. In addition to recipes, it also has lots of great tips for working with seafood of all kinds. Here's the link to the original COTM thread if you're interested...

          1 Reply
          1. re: mebby

            Thank you so much. I have literally been eating fish everyday often multiple times a day. I now kind of just stand in front of the fish counter pondering...

          2. I often use cod in fish tacos. This is the recipe that I generally use, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo..., although I vary the garnishes, typically also including homemade guacamole and sometimes shredded cabbage, along with the marinated onions, salsa, lime wedges, and chopped cilantro. Also, I do not follow the instructions to heat the tortillas in the microwave; the one time that I did, it did not work. I warm them on a hot griddle instead.

            2 Replies
            1. re: masha

              I was also going to suggest fish tacos.

              1. re: masha

                So many good ideas. Tacos were also on the menu for tomorrow with turkey so perhaps we can sub in cod.

              2. The most delicious way it was served to me was labeled greek style. It was oven roasted with seasonings like salt pepper oregano and topped with some sort of extremely luxurious sun dried tomatoes in olive oil...whole pitted greek olives and cubes of feta cheese with fresh lemon on the side.It was perfection.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lillipop

                  This sounds great. Were the tomatoes and feta added after?

                2. Cod is a fish that would fit well with a salsa Veracruzana. It's tomato based with onions, capers, green olives, herbs, spices and white wine. There are many versions that vary only slightly. Just google it.

                  1. Seeing that you enjoy kimchi also, cod goes very well with a low slow braise on a bed of kimchi and Korean radish.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: hannaone

                      Great hannaone I have some kimchi and so I think i will give this a try with hake. Woudl that work as well? How do you season the fish? Any more specifics on the braise? Would it be OK to just bake and top with kimchi?

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        This recipe is for belt fish, but works with nearly any fish.

                        Braised Beltfish.
                        Galchi Jorim is a popular braised dish in many Korean homes and restaurants.
                        This recipe can be used with just about any fish, or other seafood like large prawns, lobster, or crab.


                        Main Ingredients

                        10 oz galchi (belt fish or substitute)
                        1/2 small Mu (Korean or Daikon Radish) about 8 ounces
                        1 teaspoon salt

                        Optional Main Ingredient
                        1 small potato
                        1/2 cup kimchi

                        1/2 oz dried anchovies
                        1/2 oz Kombu (dried kelp)
                        1 1/2 cup water

                        1/4 cup soy sauce
                        2 tablespoons Soju or Rice wine
                        1 tablespoon honey
                        2 tablespoons fine ground chili pepper powder
                        1 tablespoon sugar
                        2 teaspoons sesame oil
                        1/2 teaspoon kaesoogeum (sesame salt)
                        1/2 teaspoon black pepper
                        3 cloves garlic
                        1/2 oz peeled ginger

                        1 medium green onion
                        1 red chili pepper
                        1 green chili pepper


                        If the galchi is whole - clean and scale the fish, then cut into pieces about 1 1/2 inches long.
                        Pre-cleaned and cut galchi - simply rinse in cold water.
                        Very lightly salt the galchi and let stand 5 minutes.
                        Cut the radish (and optional potato) into thick rectangular pieces.
                        Slice the chili peppers and green onion diagonally (on a bias).
                        Fine chop (mince) the garlic and ginger.
                        Mix all sauce ingredients together and let stand.


                        Place the radish pieces (and potato/kimchi) in a pot with 1 1/2 cups water.
                        Bring to a boil over high high heat.
                        Add the anchovies and kombu.
                        Reduce heat to medium and cook for five minutes.
                        Remove and discard the anchovies and kombu.

                        Place the galchi pieces in a layer on top of the radish pieces.
                        Pour the sauce over the top of the galchi.
                        Bring the mixture back to a slow boil, cover (leaving a small amount of space for steam to escape) and cook until the liquid is reduced by about half (about twenty minutes).
                        Occasionally ladle the broth over the galchi, but do not stir.
                        Place the green onion and chili slices on top of the galchi, cover tightly, and cook for two to three more minutes.
                        Serve hot with steamed rice and banchan.
                        If you bake the cod, I would squeeze most of the juice out of the kimchi (keep the juice!!!) and give it a light fry in some sesame oil. Add the juice back into the kimchi then top the baked cod.

                    2. Poach it.

                      Because it's such a lean fish, It's too easy to overcook and dry out using dry, direct heat methods.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Not sure I've ever poached anything other than chicken breasts. Any suggestions?

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          What do mean?

                          Suggestions for what?

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            How would I go about poaching cod?

                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                              Bring some water to a boil in a saucepan. Lower the cod in the water and simmer for about 3-4 minutes until the fish is just barely cooked and opaque. Remove from water and pat dry.

                              Good poaching liquid additions can be just about anything but I Iike lemon ginger, apple ginger, or star anise and white wine.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Thanks. btw your username image always brings a smile to my face it's just so happy.

                      2. In Newfoundland Cod au Gratin is almost a National dish using Atlantic cod.

                        1. My two favourite ways with cod are seared in a pan and finished in
                          the oven, served with salsa verde or cooked in Belgian beer.

                          1. It turned out great! I decided to go simple and use up ingredients in the house. Roasted garlic paste, Greek seasoning, pepper, lemon over spinach tossed with Balsamic vinaigrette with tomatoes and blue cheese. It's delicious! I love cod perhaps even more than the usual fish and chips. I think I have a new fish to add to my usual cast of characters. Thanks for the tips. I will be sure to try out a few of these recipes soon.

                            1 Reply
                            1. The first adventure went well and now I am excited to dive in again. My usual Friday night dinner is either tuna or swordfish marinated in sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce, garlic, onion. I thought perhaps I could add another species to the rotation. Would cod work in this preparation?

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                You can marinate Cod (& other thick pieces of fish), but unlike Swordfish & Tuna, which can take up to an hour in a non-acid marinade, fish like Cod shouldn't be marinated for more than 20-30 minutes tops or the texture will suffer severely, becoming soft/mushy.

                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                  Thanks, it's either this marinade with cod or I have been planning to try out your 1-2-3-4 marinade with swordfish or tuna. It sounds great and we have the Asian style every week so it might be nice for some variety.

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    I don't think my "1-2-3-4" marinade would work very well with the Cod - it would probably be too overpowering, especially with Cod's softer texture.

                                    1. re: Bacardi1

                                      Oh no sorry if I was unclear I was going to try it with tuna or swordfish.

                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                        No apology needed - I knew what you meant. Just figured I'd head you off at the pass re: that marinade + Cod - lol!!

                                        1. re: Bacardi1

                                          Thanks :) I'm sure you prevented a follow-up post of "why was my cod mushy?"

                                      2. re: Bacardi1

                                        Hey Bacardia, not to hijack my own thread but I think I'm going to try your marinade tonight with swordfish. How long do you usually marinate? Is it sherry wine or sherry wine vinegar and I assume that they are different. Do you usually use olive oil? Thanks I can't wait to try it. I don't have much experience with sherry wine vs sherry wine vinegar, but assume that this marinade imparts some flavor but not too much as I quite enjoy a flavorful marinade that also lets the flavor of fish shine. Is it subtle?

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          "Dry Sherry", as in the wine, NOT Sherry Wine Vinegar. Really inexpensive (I usually buy the "Taylor" brand - around $5-$7 bottle), lasts FOREVER in your pantry, & - in my opinion - indispensable for cooking. It's extremely close to authentic Asian wines used in cooking, so I use it frequently. And yes, it's subtle when used in directed amounts. Adds a very nice flavor to dishes & is definitely worth keeping on hand. I'm never without it in my pantry.

                                          Any oil that floats your boat works fine. I've used olive oil, canola, vegetable oil, etc., etc.

                                          For Swordfish & Tuna, I marinate them for about 30 minutes - definitely no longer than 45 - otherwise the texture suffers.

                                2. I love to bake cod with a seasoned crumb topping. I spread the fillet with a thin coating of Dijon mustard and then pat on herbed panko crumbs. The mustard helps the crumbs adhere to the fish without adding any fat. Put the fish into a foil broiler pan (the ridges keep the liquid the fish throws off from the fillet) and bake in a 375 degree F oven for 10 minutes for every inch of thickness of the fish.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                    Does cod have to be baked all the way through? I am used to tuna and salmon which don't necessarily and so this weekend I was unsure when the fish was done. It seemed to flake but not "easily" at 10 minutes so I kept it in. I guess I just don't know how much pressure is needed to induce the flake such that you know it's done. If you can separate the fibers at all, is that OK? I assumed 10 minutes at 375 would be perfect but I think I went for 18 or so in fear of not cooking it properly

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      The rule of thumb is "ten minutes per inch" measured at the thickest place, so 18 minutes seems a little long for a typical fillet.

                                      1. re: GH1618

                                        Yea, that was my thought as well and I don't usually cook other fish that long though I have noticed recently that my salmon at 1 inch has been taking longer, perhaps it's my oven though the oven thermometer says it's accurate although maybe thats inaccurate.

                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                        If y our fish "flakes," it's usually overcooked. However, you want cod cooked all the way through. If you take it out after 10 minutes, and let it sit quietly for about 5, it will finish cooking from the residual heat.

                                        Separate what "fibers?"

                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                          The muscle fibers which I thought were the flakes. OK, thanks. I have been having a hard time with salmon so I think I need to get a feel for it. It seems my salmon takes forever and even after 18 minutes or so it's just barely medium rare which is fine with me but not sure why it's not at the point of overdone in 10 minutes. Also, I've noticed the bottom of the filet is always much more done than the top. In the case of salmon, when the bottom has extruded its albumin from being overcooked the top will still be moist and completely translucent.

                                    2. Put you cod in a baking dish and pour a can or two of crushed tomatoes over the top. Bake in the oven at 400 until cooked through.

                                      1. My favorite white fish preparation is from this recipe: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-baked...

                                        I've done it a few times with different ingredients inside (including various mixtures of kale, lemon, onion, shallot, garlic, white wine, zucchini slices, and so on), and each time it has been incredible. I use parchment paper instead of foil to make sure that a metallic taste doesn't impart onto the fish.

                                        Also, as a bonus, the liquid that's left in the parchment tent can be put in a pan and a delicious sauce can be made to dip baguette into. I usually add butter, chives and capers to the liquid and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

                                        I'm so hungry right now.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: DGinDC

                                          This looks quite similar to my off the cuff preparation this past weekend described above (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8935...). Indeed it was quite delicious and the additions from your recipe I'm sure would only make it better including the idea for the sauce. Right now? I'm hungry all the time :)

                                        2. Being from Boston, we know alot about cod! I take cod filets (size and thickness is up to you) and cut them into serving size. I line a baking dish (like a jelly roll pan so it isn't too deep and the fish cooks bettter) with foil and spray it with one of those non-stick sprays (or you can use butter so it doesn't stick but we prefer the spray).

                                          Take a tube of Ritz crackers and crush them finely. Melt 4 Tablespoons of butter in a pan and add the Ritz cracker crumbs. Mix it so it is a loose mixture, not all stuck together.
                                          Place a small piece of butter on each filet and top with the cracker mixture. Use as much topping as you want. You can just sprinkle a little to give the fish a bit of flavor, or you can put quite a bit on top--depends how much you like the topping or not.

                                          Bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven.

                                          This works for haddock also. Let me know how you like it, if you try it.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: marciacheryl

                                            It's between cod and swordfish tonight. This sounds quite easy and delicious so perhaps it'll push cod ahead in the race. It seems like even though it's a milder fish that simpler preparations are usually the best.

                                            1. re: marciacheryl

                                              I am pondering this recipe for this weekend, however since you're quite familiar with cod I thought I'd ask a quick question. SO is strongly resisting the choice of cod as he insists that it really has no flavor. Has that been your experience as you seem to doctor it up with Ritz and butter which I imagine would cover up any of it's natural flavor. I do like mild fish - red snapper I think is mild but has a lovely sweet natural flavor as well as things like shrimp and lobster which are also usually described as mild but have a wonderful natural flavor, but with cod it doesn't seem to be there. I usually buy pretty fresh fish so I'm not sure if freshness is an issue or this is just the nature of my friend Mr. Cod.

                                            2. Any thoughts on how cod would far in a cedar plank style preparation? It seems like it might be a good idea, but again I'm pretty unfamiliar with cod so thought I'd ask before venturing ahead.

                                              1. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                                                I made this cod recipe a while back and it was quite tasty. Your thread reminds me to make it again.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  I know I'm reviving an old thread, but I might try this recipe tonight. My cod is "loin" though, not fillet. Do you think it would work on these thicker cuts? I'm afraid by the time the top is finished the bottom might have gone too far. They are between .75-1 inch thick.

                                                  1. re: harrism

                                                    I'm not the right person to ask as my fish cooking isn't what it should be but hopefully someone else will answer.

                                                    1. re: harrism

                                                      You might need to finish in the oven but if you lower the heat a smidge after the sear it might be OK in the pan.

                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                        Thanks for the advice. This is kinda what I'm thinking.
                                                        I think I'm also going to go with a shallot wine sauce instead of the cream/leek sauce. I don't have leeks at the moment, and creamed leeks don't sound quite as good to me anyway.

                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                          Turning the heat down and letting it finish low worked just about perfectly. I don't think it would have gone any slower in the oven, but I may try that next time instead. Very nice, even the kids ate it just fine.

                                                    2. The most delicious fish dish I ever had was in Rockport, Massachusetts in about 1962, a baked casserole. On the bottom was a thick layer of cod. Over that was a thick layer of mashed potatoes. On top was a cheesy sauce that had shrimp in it. The day was cold and rainy and we were right on the shore so that a hot-hot casserole was so good. If I made it I would put sherry in the sauce to pick up the flavor since cod is a bland fish. And buttery breadcrumbs on top to protect the sauce in the oven.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Querencia

                                                        Sounds yummy, and yes I agree cod is one of the fish I actually might describe as bland.

                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                          Or mild tasting. I'd say chicken is also. Doesn't made it less than delicious, does it?

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            I find chicken to have more flavor than cod, but that's just my opinion :) I still eat cod just not something I need to have. I like to use it as a background for other flavors and enjoyed a lovely filet a few days ago with black bean sauce.

                                                      2. I eat (Pacific) cod and snapper all the time. I just cut filets into serving sie and keep in freezer. I thaw overnight in the fridge and then spray the filet w/butter spray and season w/salt/pepper/granulated garlic.

                                                        I bake it (covered) in my toaster oven and it is moist and delicious every time.

                                                        I serve it over a bed of cooked chopped spinach dressed w/a touch of olive oil and sauteed w/chopped garlic.

                                                        I have this at least once a week, I'm having it tonight. If I have a fresh lemon to squeeze over, I do that too.