This common saltwater fish comes from the Pacific and North Atlantic
oceans. White and flaky firm, it's categorized as lean, meaning it has
content less than 2½% (the fat is concentrated in the liver).
A mild flavor makes cod a popular and versatile choice, as it offers
delicious results whether baked, broiled
, poached, braised
Manufacturers often use it to make processed products like fish sticks and fish cakes.
Varieties and Buying Tips
Cod can range in size from 1½ to 100 pounds. The fish is available
year-round and comes whole (excellent for stuffing and baking), and in
large pieces or fillets (fresh or frozen). Cod cheeks and tongues are considered a delicacy, as are
, young cod weighing less than 2½ pounds.
Cod can also be preserved by smoking, salting or drying. Salt cod
is an important staple in many tropical and European countries such as
Italy (baccalà) and France, where it's used in a popular dish called
Codfish is a favorite and typical dish in many parts of Portugal. There
is a very well-known street near Lisbon called Rua do Arsenal, but it's
often referred to as "Rua dos Bacalhaus" (Codfish Street) for its
numerous fish stores (as well as the distinct smell in the
air). It's said that the Portuguese have 365 ways of preparing
dried salt cod, one for each day of the year.
The moist, white meat of cod is quite easy to prepare and the mild
flavor lends itself to a wide variety of recipes. It can be simply
boiled and served with melted butter, simmered in chowders or stews, or
even used as a filling for cannelloni, pot pies and tacos. It also
tastes great with just about any sauce imaginable, from tartar and
tomato to miso and curry.
Note: Salt cod must be soaked in water to remove the salt
before cooking. To do this, fill a large container with cold water and
soak the fish for two to three days, changing the water several times
each day. Some salt cod products are pre-soaked and will be labeled as
Haddock, pollock and hake, all close relatives of cod, make good substitutes.
Try one of our favorite cod recipes:
Parmesan Baked Cod
Italian Corn Crusted Baked Fish
Rubios Fish Tacos