Ask Roni: Cod Help!


Roni, I bought some frozen cod and attempted to bake it, put Mrs Dash on it..oh my it was horrible…texture was awful and it tasted well tasteless. What can I do with this fish to make it edible? I have another whole bag of it…

Hi Debbie!

A lot of people have trouble cooking fish. It took me awhile to figure out my problem was almost always overcooking. Cod is actually a very light fish with a nice texture, but you’re right it can get soggy, gross, even rubbery. You have to cook it correctly.

Traditionally most Fish & Chip dishes are cod. So we know it’s good deep fried! Of course that sucks as I try to stay away from deep frying anything at home (although I do enjoy it out now and then) and no one but Emeril and Paula have deep fryers built into their kitchens. ;~P

I do like like mine breaded so I just bake it. Cod would work well as a replacement for the tilapia or Mahi Mahi in these recipes.

Really you can replace any mild white fish in a recipe that sounds good, with cod. So look for tilapia, halibut, orange roughy, or a sole recipe and just use cod instead.

Here are a few that caught my eye throughout the blogosphere that would work with cod (be warned some may not be “GreenLiteBites”. :)

Just remember cooking fish takes almost no time at all. Especially if it’s going to be close to the heat source, like pan frying or broiling. There is no shame in poking at it. As soon as the edge flakes off you are good to go!

OH! and since yours is frozen. Defrost it! Fish will always cook better defrosted.

I hope that helps a little! Since you have the bag try again and let me know how it comes out.

Does anyone else have any tips for Debbie? Or funny failed fish stories? :)

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11 Comments and 0 Replies

  1. Dee

    I always find with fish that defrosting and them patting dry as thoroughly I can before adding breading/seasoning seems to work the best!

  2. Sarah

    Since my BF is an avid fisherman we eat a lot of fresh fish (which needs almost NO help to taste fantastic) however, sometimes he catches too much, and we need to freeze it.

    My thawing tip: thaw it by immersing it completely in milk with a DASH of cinnamon. The milk draws out all the fishy taste and the cinnamon helps the milk.
    When it’s thawed, rinse in water really really well.

    You will swear you are eating fresh caught fish!!

  3. Amy Haines

    My husband goes fishing for cod once or twice a year and we have pounds and pounds of it in our freezer at any given time. I have a few great ways to prepare cod. Roni is correct, cod can easily be overcooked. You only need 20 minutes at 325F for the first inch or so of thickness, and about 2 minutes per inch after that. Most cod filets are not thicker than 2 inches, so 25 minutes is a good amount of time to cook a generously sized filet.

    Some of my favorite ways to cook it follow:

    One: leave filets whole, or cut into 4″ individual filets. Season lightly with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish. Preheat oven to 325F. Mix together a can of chopped tomatoes seasoned with basil and garlic (del MOnte makes a good canned product for this purpose) with 2T balsamic vinegar. Pour over the fish and place in oven for 20-25 minutes until fish is just cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.

    I also make cod cakes often. The recipe variations are endless, but I start by poaching the cod filets (about 2 lbs) in water with 2 bay leaves, a few whole peppercorns, and if you have them, 2 or 3 juniper berries. Let cod cool, then flake with your hands. Mix with one egg, one cooked and mashed potato, chopped onion, celery, and red bell pepper, a T or so of prepared dijon mustard, and any other seasonings you desire. Form 1/4 to 1/3 cup quantities into patties and bake on an oven stone for 15 minutes, turning once in the middle of cooking. Serve with steamed green beans and a sauce made with low-fat mayo combined with sweet pickle relish and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Delicious!

  4. Kathy

    Hungry Girl had a great recipe on her site this morning for baking it with a coating of crushed Fiber One and panko seasoned with garlic powder and onion powder. She dipped the cod in eggbeaters, then the crumbs and baked it at 450 degrees.

  5. Debbie

    Thank you for all your suggestions….Im afraid it will be awhile before I try it again…bag full in the freezer or not!!! Yeah that bad… we like Tilapia alot and Salmon, so I will stick to those… thanks again

  6. Michelle

    I just made a cod dinner and it was so disgusting. There was milky white slime all over it and underneath. Even after I blotted it with paper towel as soon as I put the cod in my mouth it dissolved. Do you think I overcooked it? It was a frozen bag of cod, and it told me to broil for 5 mins on each side which is exactly what I did :(

  7. roni

    Seems like too much moister to me. Did you broil it on a surface where the water would drip away? Like a broil pan or even just a rack on top of a cookie sheet??

  8. Michelle

    No roni, I didn’t broil it where water can drip away. I used one of those heavy casserole dishes. I never broiled anytihing before and guess I didn’t realize I need to use a special surface. Thanks for responding!

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