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Old 04-10-2009, 10:39 AM   #1
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Getting Cod Fish to Not Taste so Fishy

Most times when I cook fish I use very little seasoning, however most of the time I am cooking either Tilapia, Salmon, Tuna, Swordfish, or breaded Flounder.

The most recent times I tried to cook Cod Fish I used Olive oil, salt, pepper and basil and baked in a baking pan. The fish has always come out tasting very fishy. The only time I successfully cooked cod fish was in Jamaican Stew Fish recipe.

Should the Cod Fish normally taste fishy or am I doing something wrong in cooking it? Any suggestions how to get the fishy taste out?

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Old 04-10-2009, 10:54 AM   #2
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I always squeeze lemon (or lime) juice over my fish before I cook it...it does away with the fishy taste. I use it on shrimp or other shellfish, also. It makes a big difference in the taste.
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:55 AM   #3
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Like other fish, if cod tastes fishy, it isn't fresh. Cod is a white, very lean fish. Those fish generally described as having a "fishy" flavor are oily fish such as salmon or mackerel.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:46 AM   #4
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ChefJune - the normal parameters for fish-scent freshness definitely do not pertain to Cod. Cod happens to be one of the few - if not the only - white-fleshed fish that DOES have more of a "fishy" scent & flavor, even when straight-out-of-the-boat fresh. The further fact that, unless you live right on the coast, all of the Cod the rest of us enjoy normally has been flash-frozen at sea while still on the boat & thus thawed when it's presented to us at the market, just enhances the "fishiness" more than we're used to with truly fresh white fish. If you plan on turning down any & all Cod that has a fishy scent, plan on not enjoying it much anymore.

As far as OP's original question, soaking the Cod in milk for a bit (20-30 minutes at most) can help reduce it's "fishiness". If not using a dairy-based recipe, just rinse the milk off & pat dry before proceeding.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:05 PM   #5
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I agree with ChefJune -- in my experience, cod is one of the least "fishy" of the fishes. If it does smell really fishy before you cook it, it's not fresh; if it's fresh but smells and tastes fishy after you've cooked it, it's probably overdone.

Most fish should be cooked just until it's opaque in the center of the thickest part; some fish, such as salmon, is best when it's still translucent and in the center; and some, such as good tuna steaks (ahi), are best rare.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:05 PM   #6
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yup, if fish smells or tastes fishy, toss it to the wind.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
ChefJune - the normal parameters for fish-scent freshness definitely do not pertain to Cod. Cod happens to be one of the few - if not the only - white-fleshed fish that DOES have more of a "fishy" scent & flavor, even when straight-out-of-the-boat fresh. The further fact that, unless you live right on the coast, all of the Cod the rest of us enjoy normally has been flash-frozen at sea while still on the boat & thus thawed when it's presented to us at the market, just enhances the "fishiness" more than we're used to with truly fresh white fish. If you plan on turning down any & all Cod that has a fishy scent, plan on not enjoying it much anymore.
Breezy, that has not been my experience with cod. But I do live on the coast. For 15 years in New York, and 11 before that in Boston. However, I have been teaching fish cookery for more than 25 years.

It is against the law to freeze fish and thaw to present as fresh without noting that on the tag in the fish market/section.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefJune View Post
Like other fish, if cod tastes fishy, it isn't fresh. Cod is a white, very lean fish. Those fish generally described as having a "fishy" flavor are oily fish such as salmon or mackerel.
Agreed. Cod is a pretty neutral fish when fresh. To me, its best deep fat fried though not as healthy. That should do away with the not so fresh factor.
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:46 PM   #9
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Whether or not the cod smells fishy when there is no reason for it to be spoiled, depends on your senses of smell and taste. I repeat what I said about the lemon juice...it makes all fish and shellfish taste better.
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gus030 View Post
Most times when I cook fish I use very little seasoning, however most of the time I am cooking either Tilapia, Salmon, Tuna, Swordfish, or breaded Flounder.

The most recent times I tried to cook Cod Fish I used Olive oil, salt, pepper and basil and baked in a baking pan. The fish has always come out tasting very fishy. The only time I successfully cooked cod fish was in Jamaican Stew Fish recipe.

Should the Cod Fish normally taste fishy or am I doing something wrong in cooking it? Any suggestions how to get the fishy taste out?
I never found Cod to be fishy - the opposite - very mild almost bland flavor. I usually bake it almost exactly as you do - add some soy sauce.
I would agree with others - your fish may be off.
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