Black Cod vs. Cod: The Main Differences And Flavor

Black Cod vs Cod

Black Cod vs. Cod: The Main Differences And Flavor

Fish is a popular meat that is consumed worldwide. It offers plenty of nutrients and even has a rich and unique flavor. However, have you ever wondered about the difference between certain types of fish? More specifically, what is the difference between black cod and cod? Although they have similar names, black cod isn't cod at all. Black cod is buttery and silky in texture. It is also popular for all the nutrients it carries!

Fish is a popular meat because it carries important health benefits and has a diverse flavor. There are many different types of fish to choose from as well! Whether you enjoy snacking on shrimp or sitting down to a delicious and healthy salmon dinner, there are many options to explore. Two of the most popular types of fish are cod and black cod. Let's take a look below at all the differences between them.

Black Cod vs. Cod: What are the Differences?

When it comes down to it, there are a handful of differences between black cod and cod. Black cod is specifically caught around Alaska. It is found in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Cod, on the other hand, is found in the Northwest Atlantic. 

Another difference between the two is their appearance. Cod is a large fish that is green or brown. It also has apparent molting. On the other hand, black cod is black or blue. 

Black cod is praised for the vast nutrients that it has. It is rich in omega-3, iron, zinc, and calcium. Do not discount cod, though! It also carries wonderful nutrients, even if it is not often thought of as healthy. It carries healthy protein, vitamin B, and plenty of minerals. The high nutrients are one reason many choose fish over chicken or red meat.

Cod tends to be a firmer and flakier catch of fish. At the same time, black cod is popular because it has a smooth and silky texture. The meat is soft and delicate, giving it a melt-in-your-mouth feel. 

The Flavor and Texture of Black Cod

The flavor and texture of black cod will vary from typical cod. It has a silky texture. The meat is also more delicate but still flaky. The flavor is buttery and rich. However, it does not have a strong fishy taste like some other catches. 

The Flavor and Texture of Cod

Cod meat is white flesh and can be sweet and moist. It is also delicate. However, it is flakier than black cod. It also does not have a super fishy flavor either. In comparison, the flavor of cod is milder than black cod.

Nutritional Profile

Black cod and cod both offer essential nutrients. Although black cod is often considered the healthier of the two, cod can have tremendous benefits!

When it comes to calories, black cod has more. This is true as well for protein, fats, and cholesterol.

Take a look at the nutritional profile of the two below. 

Black Cod vs Cod Nutritional Facts

What is Black Cod?

Black cod is not cod at all. Its official name is Sablefish. It is classified as anaplopoma and goes by several names. Some of these names include: 

  • Sable
  • Butterfish
  • Black cod
  • Blue cod
  • Coal cod
  • Snowfish
  • Coalfish
  • Bluefish

Black cod live in the mucky sea beds in the North Pacific Ocean. It is a popular fish to catch in Alaska. One of the reasons black cod is so popular is because it contains a high omega-3 content. Also, the population of black cod is immense; there's plenty to catch! 

A fun fact: did you know that black cod can live a long time? In fact, many sources have stated the longest recorded age of a black cod is 94 years old, Although I couldn't track down the official document for this record. 

Black cod is a considerable delicacy in many countries. This is because it has a light and flaky texture similar to butter. Of course, this is one reason it goes by the name butterfish. 

It is super healthy and high in protein. More nutrients that black cod contains are: 

  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • phosphorus
  • Calcium
  • Iodine

The high nutrients, silky texture, and rich flavor mean that black cod is a delicious seafood option. If you love seafood, your taste buds will thank you when you try this delectable fish! 

Fresh raw cod with herbs served on black stone on wooden table
Black cod is known for its high nutrients, silky texture, and buttery flavor. It is caught in the Alaskan Pacific, and the population of black cod is very abundant! Meaning it is a popular fish to catch.

©Jacek Chabraszewski/Shutterstock.com

What is Cod?

Even though they have the same name, cod differs from black cod. It is a fish that is caught in the northwest Atlantic. Cod has three round dorsal, two anal fins, and small pelvic fins.

Another characteristic of cod is the white lateral line that travels from the gill slit to the pectoral fin. The cod usually has a green or brown back with prevalent molting. The belly is lighter, sometimes even white in color. Cod is a large fish that has a telling small barbell on its chin.

Like black cod, this type of fish is also a delicacy. It can be sweet and moist. Yet, the white flesh is firmer than the black cod. One of the favorite characteristics of cod is that it doesn't have a super fishy flavor. In fact, the flavor is relatively mild. 

Although cod isn't advertised as a healthy fish like black cod, it does offer great nutrients. These nutrients include:

  • Protein
  • vitamin B
  • Minerals
  • Phosphorus 
  • Selenium

There are several species of cod. The scientific name is Genus Gadus. Cod may have the ability to lower your cholesterol and promote heart health. These health benefits coupled with the flavor of cod, makes it an excellent choice.

Fresh Raw cod loin fillet steaks on wooden board with butcher knife. wooden background. Top view
Cod also carries excellent nutrients. There are many different varieties of cod, adding to this catch's diverse texture and flavor.

©Mironov Vladimir/Shutterstock.com

Can You Substitute Black Cod for Cod?

It would not be easy to substitute black cod for cod. One of the reasons is that the two flavor profiles are different. If you appreciate fish, enjoying the different flavors and textures is a great option, even if you can't substitute one for the other in a recipe.  

Black cod is a yummy choice if you enjoy a buttery flavor and soft texture. However, cod also has a mild flavor that doesn't carry a strong fishy taste. Therefore, both types of fish will bring your next meal to life.

One Last Note

Although they have similar names, black cod and cod are quite different. First, they are caught in different habitats. Black cod is found specifically around Alaska in the Pacific. In contrast, cod is usually caught in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Another difference is in the flavor profile of both. Black cod is a delicacy in many countries. It has a buttery and smooth texture. The flavor is rich yet not very fishy. Conversely, cod has a firmer texture and is slightly flakier than black cod. 

Black cod is also not technically cod at all. Its actual name is sablefish. Black cod has a blue or black appearance, and cod is either green or brown. Lastly, the nutrients are higher in black cod and high in fat. Regardless of the differences, both catches are worth trying if you love to fish! 

There are so many different types of fish to choose from. And many have completely different characteristics from others. Black cod and cod are no exception. While they may seem very similar, they have quite a few differences. Here's a recap of how they differ:

  • The coloring of black cod is usually black or blue, whereas cod is brown or green.
  • While they are both very healthy types of fish, black cod is more caloric than cod.
  • Another interesting difference is that black cod is a type of sablefish, while cod is just cod.

Fish Posts & Recipes

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Lemon Pepper Cod

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)


  • Author: Moms Who Think



1 pound frozen cod, thawed
16 ounce package frozen stir-fry vegetables
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 cup tomato juice
2½ Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


1. Line a 13×9 baking dish with aluminum foil.

2. Place cod in dish and cover with vegetables. Season with salt, lemon-pepper and rosemary.

3. Pour tomato juice over everything, sprinkle With Parmesan cheese.

4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes and vegetables are tender.

5. Serve with steamed white rice. Makes 4 servings.

To top