This smoked cod recipe is so unbelievably easy to make yet so good. The brine made with soy sauce, fresh ginger, lemon, and chili garlic sauce is what gives it tons of flavor. It turns the simple fish into a deliciously flavored moist smoked fish with savory and bright citrusy notes. It is also baked with potatoes to complete the meal. You can make it a part of your appetizer menu alongside deviled eggs, or use it for making fish tacos.
Tips on Making Smoked Cod
What makes cod fish great for smoking is, first, its firm meaty flesh that doesn’t easily dry out or break down despite the slow cooking. Secondly, its mild flavor makes it a great canvas for other flavors to be built on. With that, here are the best tips on making smoked cod:
- It’s better to slice the whole fillets into two to three-inch serving portions before cooking them. They’re easier to handle than big fillets. But if you plan to serve them on a platter and let your guests carve for themselves, you can do it.
- The cod needs to be smoked slowly at a low temperature. We found that 200 degrees F for about 45 minutes to an hour is the sweet spot so that it cooks and turns flaky while still retaining its moisture.
- A meat thermometer will come in handy to check the cod temperature. But if you don’t have it, you can test the doneness with a fork. Poke the fish in its thickest part. The fork should easily slide in and flake the fish.
- Add other delicious ingredients to the cod marinade or brine mixture. It’s already delicious on its own, but you can add fresh herbs like dill, cilantro, bay leaves, or parsley for a deeper flavor.
- Want to make it ahead? You can partially cook the fish for 30 minutes, cool it to room temperature, remove it from the foil, and refrigerate it for up to 5 days. When ready to serve, bake it again for 15 minutes or just until fully cooked through.
We actually have more easy cod recipes for you to try. This cod stew combines cod fish, peppers, onion, and herbs in a tomato-based sauce, best served with white rice. For a soup dish, here’s a creamy cod chowder loaded with corn, celery and potatoes.
How To Make Classic Smoked Cod
Skinless cod fillets are marinated in a robust brine made from soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, fresh ginger, and more, then grilled with quartered potatoes. Taste the most divine bold flavors of smoky, savory, and spicy, all blended together in perfect harmony.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 24 oz black cod fillets, skinless
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 lbs Idaho potatoes, quartered
- 2 cups warm water
- ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed from 2 medium lemons
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground pepper
Combine all ingredients for brine in a large bowl. Mix until sugar and salt are dissolved.
Meanwhile, rinse the fillets under cool running water.
Slice the fillets into 4 serving portions.
Place the fillets into the brine solution, making sure all the fillets are completely submerged. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 4 to 6 hours.
Drain the fillets and discard the brine. Let the fillets chill uncovered in the fridge for another 1 hour to dry.
Preheat the grill to 200 degrees F. Add a handful of applewood chips to the smoker box and place it in the grill as well.
Cut 4 medium size sheets of aluminum foil.
Take a piece of foil and place the fish in the middle. Wrap the fish loosely forming a packet. Do this with the other three fillets.
Cut a large sheet of aluminum foil and place an even amount of potatoes in the center.
Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle olive oil on top.
Form a packet with the foil around the potatoes.
Place potatoes and cod on the grill and let cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender and the internal temperature of the cod reaches 145 degrees F when a meat thermometer is inserted in the middle.
Serve warm and enjoy!
- Sugar: 9g
- Calcium: 71mg
- Calories: 399kcal
- Carbohydrates: 51g
- Cholesterol: 73mg
- Fat: 5g
- Fiber: 3g
- Iron: 3mg
- Monounsaturated Fat: 3g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
- Potassium: 1738mg
- Protein: 38g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Sodium: 3969mg
- Vitamin A: 72IU
- Vitamin C: 21mg
Frequently Asked Questions
Is cod a good fish to smoke?
Yes. It is a good alternative from the more popular and expensive smoked salmon and smoked trout. Because it is mild-tasting, it catches the flavors well. It is also quite lean and firm and so is able to withstand the low and slow cooking without turning mushy.
Is smoked cod healthy?
Yes! Aside from being incredibly easy to cook and build flavors on, cod fish actually also contains a good amount of protein, minerals, and vitamins. It is low in fat and calories, which makes it a good addition to any diet. Do note that smoked fish contains nitrates and nitrites from the smoking process. It is still best to consume them in moderation.
Does smoked cod need to be soaked?
Yes. Aside from giving the fish a chance to absorb more flavor, soaking cod in a brine solution helps draw out excess moisture and therefore results in a firmer flesh after smoking. Also, it is important that the soaking liquid contains salt because salt halts the growth of potentially harmful bacteria which would otherwise multiply if the fish was soaked in just water.
ConclusionThis luscious brine made of savory and spicy ingredients can help you serve your cod fish in a more flavorful way. Enjoy firm and flaky moist cod fish fillets infused with robust flavors and baked with potatoes in this classic smoked cod recipe.
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