A meaty white fish with succulent flesh, that is both mild and slightly sweet in flavour making it a popular choice. Over fishing has caused the price to soar, as stocks are depleted. Sustainable sources are the ones to look out for.
How to cook
Cod can be fried, poached, baked, roasted and braised. Once the fish is cooked, it will look opaque, the flesh will break into large flakes and the skin will pull away more easily too.
During spawning season from February to May, it is worth looking for other alternatives, such as pollack and whiting. However, there is also organically farmed ‘no catch' cod available throughout the year. Line-caught Pacific cod from sustainable sources is available between June and February.
Look for firm, white translucent fillets with tight flakes and avoid any that look dry and limp with areas of discolouration. Thin tail-end fillets are good for pan-frying, thicker pieces like cod loins are good for deep-frying or roasting.
If you are frying cod, keep the skin on to help prevent the fish falling apart. Even products that are labelled boneless may still contain one or two bones, so run your fingers over the flesh and remove any you find with tweezers.
Best eaten as fresh as possible so use within 24 hours of purchase and store in the fridge. Use vacuum-packed fish within its use-by date.
Spread a cod fillet with a thin layer of sun-dried tomato paste, top with a mixture of breadcrumbs, lemon zest and Parmesan and roast in the oven.