Cod: Varieties, Taste, and Recipes

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  May 30, 2022

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Cod is a member of the fish family Gadidae and is a type of saltwater fish found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It can grow to be quite large and is a popular food.

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about cod as food.

What is cod

In this post we'll cover:

Getting to Know Cod: The White Fish of the Atlantic and Pacific

Cod is a type of fish that belongs to the genus Gadus, which is a part of the family Gadidae. It is a prevalent food fish that has been harvested for centuries in the cold waters of the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Cod is commonly found in the coastal waters of Europe, South Asia, and North America.

Types and Varieties of Cod

There are different types of cod, but the most commonly eaten species are Atlantic cod and Pacific cod. Atlantic cod is the main type of cod found in stores, and it is labeled as such. Pacific cod is also prevalent, but it is often labeled as Alaskan cod. Other cod-like fish that come from the same family as cod include haddock, pollock, and whiting.

What Does Cod Taste Like?

Cod has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a firm, flaky texture. The flesh of the fish is white and can be prepared in many different ways, making it a popular seafood in cuisines around the world.

Preparing and Cooking Cod

Cod can be prepared in many different ways, including baking, frying, grilling, and poaching. It is a versatile fish that can be used in a variety of dishes, from fish and chips to fish tacos. When purchasing cod, it is important to look for clear labeling to ensure that you are getting the exact type of fish you want.

Storing and Preserving Cod

Fresh cod should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator and used within a few days of purchase. Salt cod, which is cod that has been preserved through salting, can be stored for much longer and is commonly used in dishes in coastal regions of Europe and South America.

Is Cod Healthy?

Cod is considered a healthy food, as it is low in calories and high in protein. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Cod in Different Cuisines

Cod is a popular ingredient in many different cuisines around the world. In addition to being a staple in traditional dishes in Europe and South America, it is also commonly used in Asian cuisine, particularly in Japan and Korea.

The Many Varieties of Cod: From Pacific to Atlantic and Beyond

Cod is a popular fish that can be found in many parts of the world. The fish is typically white and mild in flavor, making it a versatile ingredient in many dishes. Here are some of the different types of cod:

  • Atlantic Cod: This is the most widespread type of cod and is found in the Atlantic Ocean. It is typically sold fresh or frozen and can be prepared in many ways, including baked, boiled, fried, and smoked.
  • Pacific Cod: This type of cod is found in the Pacific Ocean and is typically sold fresh or frozen. Pacific cod from Russia and Japan are overfished, but Pacific cod from Alaska is a better choice. It is similar in taste and texture to Atlantic cod.
  • Haddock: Haddock is a fish that is similar in taste and texture to cod. It is typically sold fresh or frozen and can be prepared in many ways, including baked, boiled, fried, and smoked.

How Cod is Prepared and Eaten in Different Countries

Cod is a popular ingredient in many countries around the world. Here are some of the ways cod is prepared and eaten in different countries:

  • Japan: In Japan, cod is typically thinly sliced and served raw as sashimi or sushi.
  • France: In France, cod is often prepared in a dish called “brandade de morue,” which consists of salt cod that has been soaked and boiled, mashed with garlic, olive oil, and cream, and served with bread.
  • Scotland: In Scotland, cod is often used in a traditional soup called “Cullen skink,” which consists of smoked haddock, onions, and potatoes.
  • Jamaica: In Jamaica, cod is often served with ackee in a dish called “ackee and saltfish.” The cod is typically sautéed with onions and peppers, including the spicy scotch bonnet pepper.

Cod Recipes from Around the World

Cod is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different recipes. Here are some popular cod recipes from around the world:

  • Fish Tacos: Cod can be cut into small pieces and fried to make delicious fish tacos. The fish is typically garnished with chopped onions and peppers.
  • Cod Pie: Cod can be used in a savory pie, such as the French dish “tourte de morue,” which consists of cod, potatoes, and onions baked in a dough crust.
  • Bacalaíto: This is a national dish of Puerto Rico that consists of salt cod that has been minced and mixed with flour, baking powder, and water to make a dough. The dough is then fried until crisp and served as a snack or breakfast food.
  • Stews and Curries: Cod can be used in many different stews and curries, such as the Portuguese dish “bacalhau à bras,” which consists of shredded cod sautéed with onions and potatoes.

The Difference Between Fresh and Salted Cod

There are two main types of cod: fresh and salted. Here are some of the differences between the two:

  • Fresh Cod: Fresh cod is typically sold in the market as fillets or whole fish. It is mild in flavor and can be prepared in many different ways.
  • Salted Cod: Salted cod is typically sold in small pieces that have been soaked in water to remove the excess salt. It is often used in dishes like fishcakes and stews and has a mild, slightly salty flavor.

Overall, cod is a versatile and delicious fish that can be prepared in many different ways. Whether you prefer it fresh or salted, there are plenty of recipes and dishes to try with this abundance of fish.

Unlocking the Flavor of Cod: A Comprehensive Guide

Cod is a type of fish that offers a mild and delicate flavor profile. Its taste is not too fishy, making it a popular choice among people who are not keen on the strong taste of seafood. The flavor of cod is often described as sweet and somewhat savory, with a milky and lean flesh that is incredibly firm and flaky.

Comparing Cod to Other Fish

Compared to other types of fish, cod is a great substitute for those who are not fond of the strong taste of seafood. Here are some of the closest fish to cod in terms of taste and flavor:

  • Tilapia: Tilapia is a type of fish that is often considered a staple in many households. It has a mild and slightly sweet taste that is comparable to cod.
  • Haddock: Haddock is another type of fish that is similar to cod in terms of taste and texture. It has a slightly stronger flavor compared to cod, but it is still considered mild and delicate.
  • Pacific Cod vs Atlantic Cod: While both types of cod offer a mild and delicate flavor, they differ slightly in taste. Pacific cod is often claimed to be sweeter compared to Atlantic cod.

The Nutritional Value of Cod

Cod is a great source of protein, with a 100-gram serving of cooked cod containing around 20 grams of protein. It also offers a wide range of nutritional benefits, including:

  • Vitamin B12: Cod is a great source of vitamin B12, with a 100-gram serving containing around 1.5 micrograms of the vitamin.
  • Ash, Water, and Energy Content: According to data from the USDA, a 100-gram serving of cooked cod contains around 105 mg of ash, 69.5 g of water, and 82 kcal of energy.
  • Fat Content: Cod is a relatively low-fat fish, with a 100-gram serving of cooked cod containing around 0.9 grams of fat.

The Best Cooking Methods for Cod

Cod is a versatile fish that can be incorporated into a wide range of dishes. Here are some of the best cooking methods for cod:

  • Baking: Baking cod is a great way to prepare it, as it allows the fish to retain its moisture and flavor.
  • Frying: Frying cod is a popular method of cooking, as it offers a crispy and delicious finish.
  • Grilling: Grilling cod is a great way to add a smoky flavor to the fish, making it perfect for summer barbecues.

Storing Cod

To ensure that your cod stays fresh and flavorful, it is important to store it properly. Here are some tips for storing cod:

  • Keep it refrigerated: Cod should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature of 32-38°F.
  • Use it within 2-3 days: Cod should be consumed within 2-3 days of purchase to ensure its freshness.
  • Freeze it: If you are not planning to use your cod within 2-3 days, you can freeze it for later use. Make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer.

Mastering the Art of Cooking Cod: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to cooking cod, there are a variety of methods to choose from. The method you choose depends on your personal preference, the size and thickness of your cod, and the time you have available. Here are some popular methods to consider:

  • Baking: This is a simple and easy way to cook cod. Preheat your oven to 400°F, season your cod fillets with salt and pepper, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  • Pan-frying: This method requires a little more attention, but it’s a great way to get a nice crispy crust on your cod. Heat some butter or oil in a pan over medium-high heat, season your cod fillets with salt and pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until the fish is cooked through.
  • Grilling: If you love a nice char on your fish, grilling is the way to go. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, season your cod fillets with salt and pepper, and grill for 3-4 minutes per side or until the fish is cooked through.

Preparing Your Cod for Cooking

Before you start cooking your cod, there are a few things you need to do to ensure it turns out perfectly:

  • Thaw your cod if it’s frozen: If you’re using frozen cod, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.
  • Pat your cod dry: Use a paper towel to pat your cod fillets dry before seasoning and cooking. This will help ensure a nice crispy crust.
  • Cut your cod into even pieces: If you’re cooking a large piece of cod, cut it into even pieces to ensure even cooking.

Tips for Cooking Perfect Cod Every Time

  • Don’t overcook your cod: Cod is a firm, white fish that cooks quickly. Be sure to check it frequently while cooking to avoid overcooking.
  • Use a meat thermometer: If you’re unsure if your cod is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should reach 145°F.
  • Choose high-quality cod: The quality of your cod will greatly affect the taste and texture. Look for fresh, firm fillets with a nice smell.
  • Control the heat: Cooking cod on low heat will enable you to have more control over the cooking process.
  • Double-check the thickness: The thickness of your cod fillets will determine how long they take to cook. Thicker pieces will require a longer cooking time.
  • Experiment with new ingredients: Cod is a neutral fish that pairs well with a variety of flavors. Don’t be afraid to try new ingredients and spices to find your perfect recipe.
  • Learn from your mistakes: Cooking cod takes a lot of practice. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempt doesn’t turn out perfectly. Keep trying and you’ll soon become a pro!

Cod Recipes: Delicious and Delicate Dishes for the Best Quality Fish

  • Before cooking, make sure your cod fillets are safe to eat by checking their quality.
  • If you’re using frozen fillets, transfer them from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before to thaw them safely.
  • Pat the fillets dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture that could prevent them from browning properly.
  • If your fillets are too large, cut them into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Cod Recipes for the Microwave

  • If you’re short on time, you can also cook cod in the microwave.
  • Place your fillets in a microwave-safe dish and add a tablespoon of butter.
  • Cover the dish with a lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap and cook on high for 2-3 minutes.
  • Check the internal temperature with a thermometer to make sure it’s safe to eat.

Leftover Cod Recipes

  • If you have leftover cod, don’t let it go to waste!
  • Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To reheat, place the fillets in a pan with a little bit of butter over medium heat until they’re warmed through.
  • Alternatively, you can also reheat them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds.

Where to Get Your Hands on the Freshest and Most Delicious Cod?

If you’re lucky enough to live near the coast, you can head to your local seafood market to buy fresh cod. These markets usually have a great selection of seafood products, including cod, and you can be sure that the fish you’re buying is fresh and of high quality. Plus, you can ask the fishmonger for advice on how to cook the cod and what other seafood products would pair well with it.

Grocery Stores

Most grocery stores carry frozen cod fillets, which are a great option if you don’t have access to fresh cod. However, not all grocery stores carry fresh cod, so make sure to call ahead and ask. If you do find fresh cod at your local grocery store, make sure to check the label to ensure that it’s sustainably sourced.

Online Seafood Retailers

If you don’t have access to a local seafood market or grocery store that carries fresh cod, you can always buy it online. There are many online seafood retailers that offer a great selection of fresh and frozen cod fillets. Some of the benefits of buying cod online include:

  • Convenience: You can order cod from the comfort of your own home and have it delivered right to your doorstep.
  • Selection: Online retailers often have a wider selection of seafood products, including different varieties of cod.
  • Quality: Many online retailers source their seafood from sustainable fisheries, so you can be sure that you’re getting high-quality fish.

Farmer’s Markets

If you’re looking for fresh, locally sourced cod, you might be able to find it at your local farmer’s market. While not all farmer’s markets carry seafood products, some do, and you can be sure that the fish you’re buying is fresh and sustainably sourced.

Community Supported Fisheries

Community supported fisheries (CSFs) are similar to community supported agriculture (CSAs), but instead of receiving a box of fresh produce each week, you receive a box of fresh seafood. CSFs work directly with local fishermen to provide members with fresh, sustainably sourced seafood products, including cod. If you’re looking for a way to support local fishermen and get your hands on some delicious cod, a CSF might be the way to go.

Keeping Your Cod Fresh: Tips for Storing Cod

Cod is a low-fat fish with a high protein content, making it an excellent choice for a healthy diet. A 3-ounce serving of cod contains around 15 grams of protein and only 70 calories. Cod is also a good source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Atlantic Cod vs. Pacific Cod vs. Alaskan Cod

There are several different types of cod, including Atlantic cod, Pacific cod, and Alaskan cod. Here are some differences between these types of cod:

  • Atlantic cod is a mild-tasting fish with a firm, white flesh. It’s commonly found in the North Atlantic Ocean and is a popular choice for fish and chips.
  • Pacific cod is a milder-tasting fish with a softer, flakier flesh. It’s commonly found in the North Pacific Ocean and is often used in Asian cuisine.
  • Alaskan cod is a firmer, meatier fish with a mild flavor. It’s commonly found in the Bering Sea and is a popular choice for fish tacos.

Why Cod is a Wonder Food: Nutrition, Calories, Benefits, and More

Cod is a highly nutritious seafood that is low in calories and contains very little fat. In fact, the fat content of cod is lower than that of red meat. A 3-ounce serving of cod contains approximately 90 calories, making it an excellent choice for those who are watching their calorie intake.

Rich in Protein and Essential Nutrients

Cod is an excellent source of protein, which is essential for the proper function of the body. It also contains a variety of essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium. These nutrients play an important role in maintaining good health and preventing damage to the body.

Heart-Healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Cod is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for the normal function of the body. These fatty acids help protect the heart and are associated with a lower risk of heart attack and other heart-related problems. Research has also linked the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids to a lower risk of certain types of cancer and an improvement in brain function.

Multiple Potential Benefits

Adding cod to your diet can have multiple potential benefits, including:

  • Supporting the electrical function of the heart
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Improving brain function
  • Contributing to the improvement of carbohydrate metabolism
  • Preventing damage to the body caused by free radicals
  • Serving as a natural anti-inflammatory capsule

Excellent Alternative to Red Meat

Cod is a great alternative to red meat, which is widely consumed in Western diets. Unlike red meat, cod is low in fat and calories, making it a healthier option. Cod also includes a variety of types and varieties, making it easy to find a type that suits your taste and size preference.

Proper Consumption is Crucial

While cod is a highly nutritious food, it is important to consume it in moderation. Consuming too much cod can lead to an increase in mercury levels in the body, which can have negative effects on health. It is recommended to consume cod no more than once or twice a week, depending on your current mercury levels and stage of life.

Cod, Salmon, Haddock, and Tilapia: Which One is the Best?

When it comes to body and fatty content, salmon is the winner. It has a higher fat content than cod, haddock, or tilapia, making it a great choice for people who want to increase their omega-3 intake. Cod and haddock are white fish, which means they have a lower fat content than salmon and tilapia. Tilapia is a lean fish, but it has a higher fat content than cod and haddock.

Taste and Texture

The taste and texture of these four types of fish differ significantly. Cod has a mild, sweet flavor, while salmon has a rich, buttery taste. Haddock has a slightly sweet taste, and tilapia has a mild, sweet flavor. The texture of cod and haddock is flaky and firm, while salmon and tilapia are flatter and softer.

Seafood Safety

When it comes to seafood safety, it’s important to check the source of your fish. Cod, haddock, and tilapia are generally considered safe to eat, but salmon can contain mercury, which can be harmful in excess. It’s important to check the mercury levels of the salmon you’re eating, especially if you’re pregnant or nursing.

Nutritional Benefits

All four types of fish are great sources of protein and essential nutrients like potassium, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon has the highest omega-3 content, which supports heart health and helps maintain blood pressure. Cod and haddock are also good sources of omega-3s, while tilapia is a good source of protein.

Cooking Techniques

The best way to cook these fish varies depending on the type of fish you have. Cod and haddock are ideal for baking, frying, and grilling, while salmon is great for roasting and broiling. Tilapia is easy to overcook, so it’s best to use gentle cooking techniques like poaching or steaming.

Catch and Cost

Cod and haddock are commonly caught in the Atlantic Ocean, while salmon is usually caught in the Pacific Ocean. Tilapia is a freshwater fish that is commonly farmed. The cost of these fish varies depending on the season and location. Local and fresh fish are generally more expensive than frozen or processed fish.


So there you have it- everything you need to know about cod as food. Cod is a great source of protein and vitamins, and it’s delicious when prepared the right way. I hope you’ve learned something new today.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.