When compared to other fish, cod has a mild flavor. It’s the perfect choice when looking for a quick, healthy meal for the family. While the best-known cod recipe might be fish and chips, you don’t have to deep fry cod to enjoy it–although it does taste delicious deep-fried as well. If you’re trying to figure out how to make cod at home, we’re going to look at four different methods for how to cook cod perfectly.
Compared to other fish like salmon, cod has a much firmer texture and milder taste. Although it seems like a strange way to describe seafood, cod isn’t very “fishy,” which makes it great for even picky eaters who aren’t fond of most fish. Before we dive into how to cook cod, let’s first look at what ingredients you need to have on hand.
What You Need to Cook Cod
While fish is a great way to add some additional omega-3s and other nutrients to your diet, cooking fish at home might seem intimidating if you’re not used to preparing seafood. There are some elaborate ways to prepare fish, but your meal doesn’t have to be over-the-top for your family to enjoy the benefits of eating cod. There are many simple ways to cook cod that anyone can accomplish.
Generally, you’ll want to have the following ingredients on hand when you prepare cod:
- Oil such as vegetable oil or canola oil
- Lemon slices or lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Any other desired seasonings
It’s no secret that one of the simplest ways to elevate the flavor of any fish is to use fresh lemon slices or squeeze lemon juice on it. Cod pairs well with a number of flavors and even with just salt, pepper, and lemon juice, you’ll have a delicious, healthy meal.
How to Sear Cod on the Stove
One of the best ways to cook cod is to sear it on the stove. All you need is the ingredients and a skillet to cook it in. You can use a cast iron skillet, a non-stick skillet, or something similar. Before you get started, keep in mind what temperature you’ll be cooking the fish at since the coating on non-stick pans can’t handle extremely high temperatures. Most new Teflon pans can handle heat up to 500 degrees F.
Here’s how to sear cod on the stove:
- Preheat the skillet or pan to medium-high
- Add about a tablespoon of oil to the skillet
- Once hot, add the cod filets
- Cook them for four minutes on each side
Once the cod is finished, you can squeeze lemon juice on top, cover it in melted butter, or both. Since you’re trying to pan-sear the cod, you don’t need to coat it in flour although some choose to do so before adding the fish to the skillet.
How to Pan-Fry Cod on the Stove
One of the most delicious ways to cook is in the form of fish and chips. While you might enjoy this meal at your favorite pub or restaurant, it’s not that difficult to make at home if you have the tools to do it.
Here’s how to pan-fry cod on the stove:
- Prepare two bowls–one with two beaten eggs and the other with flour
- Add about ¾ cup of oil to a frying pan
- Set the pan to medium-high heat
- Dip your cod filets in the eggs, then in the flour
- Once the oil is at least 350 degrees F, add each flour-coated filet to the pan
- Cook on one side for about 4 minutes before flipping over
- Fry the other side for about 4 minutes
- Once the fish is flaky, remove from the pan
Pan-fried cod is a good alternative if you’re looking for the flavor of fish and chips without having to deep fry it. It’s a simpler and healthier alternative to deep-fried cod. It also isn’t as messy to clean up since deep-frying can lead to splattered grease all over the kitchen.
How to Bake Cod in the Oven
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to cook cod without much hassle or clean-up, try baking it in the oven. This option is healthier than frying it but still gives you a crispy and delicious filet.
Here’s how to bake cod in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
- Line a baking sheet or baking pan with aluminum foil
- Drizzle the filets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
- Bake for 10-12 minutes
- Remove the cod once the filets are flaky and the temperature is at least 145 degrees
After your cod is finished baking, you can serve it with a side of vegetables, on a bed of mashed potatoes, or even use it for protein on top of a salad. The choice is up to you, but no matter how you serve it, top it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
How to Cook Cod in an Air Fryer
If you’re looking for a way to enjoy a similar taste to fish and chips without deep frying or pan-frying your fish, try cooking cod in the air fryer. While it’s not going to have the exact same texture or level of crispness that you can achieve by frying, this provides a similar, but healthier, alternative.
Here’s how to cook cod in the air fryer:
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F
- Spray the bottom of the air fryer basket with cooking spray
- Prepare three bowls–one with two beaten eggs, one with flour, and one with breadcrumbs
- Season your cod filets
- Dip each filet in the flour, then in the eggs, then in the breadcrumbs
- Arrange the filets in the air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes
- Flip the cod over and cook for an additional 5 minutes
Air frying your cod is a good way to experience the delicious, crispy exterior without frying or deep frying the fish. While it is a healthier alternative, it’s just as tasty.
Ways to Serve Cod
Whether you’re cooking up some fish and chips or you’re searing cod for a quick and healthy meal, you need to find the perfect side dish as well. Like most fish filets, there are numerous ways to enjoy cod, including serving it with:
There are no limits to the ways you can serve cod for your family or for a gathering of people if you’re entertaining guests. Keep these methods of cooking cod in mind next time you choose cod as your lunch or dinner meal.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Jacek Chabraszewski/Shutterstock.com.