Cod: what kind of fish is it? And how do you cook it?

From frying, grilling, cooking to stewing it

Cod is a delicious white fish with a delicate taste. Many love it and even children would like a piece of this fish. Below you can read more about the versatility of cod.

Gepekelde kabeljauw met miso
Brined cod with miso

Chapter 1

What kind of fish is cod?

Cod is a popular fish that you can buy in any supermarket or fishmonger. It’s a round fish that can grow up to 1.5 meters in length. The average length is usually 80 to 90 cm.

Cod can be found close to the seabed at depths of 20 to 600 meters. The fish has a single whisker-like projection on its chin to help them feel for their food. This is called a barbel. For this reason, cod are also referred to as the “vacuum cleaners” of the seabed.

Cod meat is bright white and contains few bones. The structure is firm and slightly softer towards the tail. This versatile fish is mainly available in the form of fish fillets or fish steaks. Small cod is also sold as whole fish.

Kabeljauwfilet zonder vel
Cod fillet

Chapter 2

Where does cod come from?

Cod is found in the Arctic Ocean, the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. The fish is caught all year round.

The color of the fish depends on the color of the seabed. In the Norwegian fjords the fish is reddish brown, off the Danish coast it is grass green and cod from the Baltic Sea is almost black. So they have a real protective color.

Cod caught at the different locations differ from each other. For example, cod caught in the waters of Iceland and Norway are not only larger than those from the North Sea, but the meat is also whiter in color. The Icelandic cod is also firmer in structure.

Kabeljauwfilet zonder vel

Chapter 3

How does cod taste?

It’s a fish with white meat and a mild flavor. Not only is the taste neutral and pleasant, it’s also more intense than that of other white fish.

Thanks to the shrimps, mussels, crabs and other types of fish that the cod eats, this fish has a delicate aroma. Even children love this fish.

This fish already has so much flavor and character, you don’t really have to do much to enjoy it. You only have to cook it for an optimal taste.

Kibbeling and fried cod are the most popular ways to eat this fish in the Netherlands. Other ways to cook this fish are in the oven, on the barbecue, frying it, poaching and stewing it.

Cod contains less omega-3 fatty acids than, for example, salmon. These are the unsaturated fatty acids that protect against cardiovascular disease. Although it’s a lean fish, cod is packed with high-quality protein that is important for building muscle.

The fish also contains important nutrients including vitamins A, B2, B12 and D and minerals such as phosphorus and selenium that ensure healthy skin and bones.

Fresh cod is easily digestible and ideal for people who want a tasty, light and healthy meal. Just make sure you don’t eat excessive amounts of cod. Like other fish, cod contains methylmercury, which you would rather not get too much of. With frequent and long-term consumption, this can have negative effects on health.

Chapter 4

Which wine goes with cod?

A tasty fish dish needs a delicious wine. Cod is a lean fish and a light white wine with fresh acids fits best. The Pinot Grigio is a mild, gentle wine with a citrus aroma and goes very well with cod. You can also opt for a Gavi. A fruity and spicy wine, with the recognizable taste of almonds.

In addition to white wine, a dry rosé or a smooth, fruit-rich red wine often goes well with cod.

Chapter 5

How to cook cod?

If you’re going to cook cod, you ultimately want a piece of fish with a nice soft structure, which is tender and perfectly cooked. The fish is perfectly cooked when it reaches a core temperature of 60°C.

Before cooking cod, pat it dry with kitchen paper. If the fish is dry during cooking, it will be crispier and tastier.

Filleted cod is usually available without skin. If you cook cod with skin, always place the fish on the skin so that it’s protected during cooking. The cooking time depends on the thickness of the fish and the recipe.

Seasoning cod

You can use different spices to cook a tasty piece of cod. Green herbs such as mint, parsley, coriander or dill, as well as onion, garlic, pepper or oregano are a good combination. You can also season the fish with lemon.

Frying it in a pan

If you want to fry cod, you do this at a medium temperature.

  1. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  2. Put some oil or butter in the pan.
  3. Fry the cod in the pan for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Carefully flip the fish with a spatula and cook the other side for the same amount of time.
  5. Let the cod fry until it turns a light brown color.
  6. The fish is ready when it falls apart easily and is nice and white inside.
  7. You can let the cod continue to cook for a while by putting a piece of aluminum foil over the pan.

In the oven

If you want to cook the cod slowly in the oven, do this at a medium temperature.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Place the cod on greased baking paper on the baking tray.
  3. Season the fish with some salt and pepper.
  4. Place the baking tray in the center of the oven.
  5. Cook the cod for 15 to 20 minutes and let it brown under the grill if necessary.

Grilling on the barbecue

The easiest way to cook fish on the barbecue is to wrap it in aluminum foil. The fish does not fall apart in the package.

  1. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil.
  2. Place the cod in the center of the foil and season with herbs or salt and pepper.
  3. Fold the foil tightly around the fish.
  4. Place the package on the barbecue with the closure upwards. This way you can check from time to time whether the fish is already cooked.
  5. Grill the packet for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. You can also add a splash of wine. The heat evaporates the wine and steams the fish. This gives a delicious flavor to the fish.


  1. Season the cod with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat margarine or oil in the pan and lightly fry the fish.
  3. Place lemon slices and vegetables between the fish and fry gently for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Pour in a fish stock and/or dry white wine until the fish is half covered.
  5. Cover the pan and stew the fish for 8 to 10 minutes (with a whole fish 15 to 20 minutes).
  6. You can use the liquid as a base for a sauce.

Chapter 6

Recipe: Brined cod in miso from the oven

Geen beoordelingen

Brined cod with miso from the oven

Cod brined overnight in miso and cooked in the oven. Served with spinach and podded peas.
Prep time1 day
Cooking time10 minutes
Servings: 4 persons
Author: Cultiviz


  • 600 gr cod fresh fillet
  • 60 ml Chinese rice wine or sherry
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 8 tbsp white miso
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • sesame seeds

For the vegetable

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 400 gr spinach
  • 250 gr podded peas
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce


  • Depending on the size of the cod, divide it into pieces of about 150 grams.
  • Pat the cod dry with kitchen paper. Then season both sides with salt and let it rest for an hour.
  • Heat the rice wine in a saucepan over medium heat so the alcohol can evaporate. Then add the sugar and miso. Stir everything well and let it cool down.
  • Coat the fish with the mixture. Place in a sealed container and let it brine overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
  • Remove the fish from the refrigerator, wash your hands and remove the excess mixture with your hands.
  • Put sunflower oil in a frying pan. Place baking paper on top of it (this prevents the fish from sticking) and then place the fish. Fry for 2 minutes on both sides until nicely browned and caramelised.
  • Turn off the oven and leave the dish to cook it for another 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a wok over high heat. Add the spinach and podded peas and stir-fry them for a few minutes. Deglaze with soy sauce.
  • Roast the sesame seeds until they turn golden brown.
  • Put the vegetables on the plate first, then add the cod and then sprinkle the sesame seeds on top of it. Serve with rice if desired. Enjoy your meal!

Chapter 7

All recipes

Looking for more inspiration? Then see below more recipes with halibut. Or check our fish recipes for even more inspiration.

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