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Old 09-17-2018, 02:52 PM   #1
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Smelly Cod

hi everyone,

Im very new to cooking but really trying to throw myself into it. I recently bought some cod which I shallow fried in butter before baking it in the oven. It turned out pretty well but my whole apartment smelled really badly of fish.

I thought that cod was not supposed to be a smelly fish so i was surprised. I bought it pre-packed from the super market and not from a fish monger. Could this be the problem or does all cod smell like this?

any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 09-17-2018, 03:03 PM   #2
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A proper fish monger would have handled it correctly.

You must first cut off its nose...
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:33 PM   #3
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I haven't cooked cod often, but in general, when fish is overcooked, it smells very fishy. It doesn't take long at all to cook fish. How did you cook it and for how long?
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:38 PM   #4
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I haven't cooked cod often, but in general, when fish is overcooked, it smells very fishy. It doesn't take long at all to cook fish. How did you cook it and for how long?
not very long, maybe a couple minutes just to sear it.

To be honest, it smelled really strong as soon as i opened the packet
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:45 PM   #5
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To be honest, it smelled really strong as soon as i opened the packet

There you have it Scott. It was bad to start. Fresh fish should smell like the sea.
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:46 PM   #6
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There you have it Scott. It was bad to start. Fresh fish should smell like the sea.
Ditto what K said.

Having been married to a commercial fisherman, he often brought home fish from the last catch before tying up to unload in port. The fish, regardless of what type, cod, haddock, etc. always smelled of salt water. You should have brought it back with wrapper to the store.

BTW, don't shop there anymore. Evidently, they don't take pride in their products and are willing to compromise the health and well being.
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:53 AM   #7
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thanks Addie and K,

Looks like you both live near the cost so you obviously know what you are talking about! I won't shop there anymore. It's sometimes just too convenient to just grab something from a supermarket shelf.
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:55 AM   #8
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Fish should not smell "fishy." Where I live, "fresh" fish is not available, at least for a reasonable price. But, fish that is frozen immediately after it is caught is almost as good as fresh off the boat.

You are better off buying frozen cod than what most stores call fresh cod. Most stores just thaw frozen fish and call it fresh. You are better off buying frozen fish, and keeping it frozen until right before you cook it.

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Old 09-18-2018, 04:02 AM   #9
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Fish should not smell "fishy." Where I live, "fresh" fish is not available, at least for a reasonable price. But, fish that is frozen immediately after it is caught is almost as good as fresh off the boat.

You are better off buying frozen cod than what most stores call fresh cod. Most stores just thaw frozen fish and call it fresh. You are better off buying frozen fish, and keeping it frozen until right before you cook it.

CD
This is unfortunately true. After centuries of overfishing, it's hard to get really fresh fish here on the New England coast. Most of it is caught well off the coast (or half way around the world) and has to be frozen. I can get fresh fish from some seafood stores, but it's fairly pricey. The stuff in packages? Most likely it was thawed, and if it didn't sell yesterday, it's still on the shelf today (or worse).
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:17 AM   #10
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There you have it Scott. It was bad to start. Fresh fish should smell like the sea.
Except for freshwater fish. But still it shouldn't smell "fishy".
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:46 AM   #11
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Sounds like you got old fish if it smelled right out of the packaging.
I am also away from the coast so we buy frozen fish.

It also sounds like you over cooked it. I would pick one method. Pan fry or oven and leave it at that. Fish needs very little cooking.
Cod is a very mild tasting fish. I like it a lot.

Sometimes Costco has halibut fresh? Its in the cold section with the salmon, tilapia and shell fish. I will have to verify its fresh? I know it comes from the west coast so I guess I already know the answer?

Its VERY expensive. I love halibut the most and the last time I looked it was $29 a pound.
They have giant king crab legs for less. $20 a pound.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:49 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Scott-180 View Post
hi everyone,

Im very new to cooking but really trying to throw myself into it. I recently bought some cod which I shallow fried in butter before baking it in the oven. It turned out pretty well but my whole apartment smelled really badly of fish.

I thought that cod was not supposed to be a smelly fish so i was surprised. I bought it pre-packed from the super market and not from a fish monger. Could this be the problem or does all cod smell like this?

any help would be greatly appreciated!
I'm lucky in that I live only about 3/4s of an hour from the nearest fishing port (Fleetwood in Lancashire) so our local fishmonger buys his fish off the quay every morning. Nowhere in the British Isles is more than 75 miles from the sea but if I lived anywhere else I'd be inclined to buy frozen fish.

As everyone else says, fish should not smell "fishy". It should "smell of the sea" as an old fisherman, who lived near where we had a caravan in the 1950s, used to say. We used to buy mackerel from his boat and he had to whack it on the head because it was still alive! We took it straight back to the caravan and Mother cooked it immediately. Sadly those days are gone but frozen fish serves a similar purpose if you aren't close enough to get very fresh live fish. These days it's often frozen at sea when it's caught on the bigger boats which are out for weeks at a time.

If you see the fish whole its eyes should be bright and not sunken and the inner gills bright red. The skin, if still on the fish, should be shiny and the natural markings clearly showing. Ideally, fish on the bone should be firm and not flabby - flabbiness means it's been hanging around too long.If you are allowed to poke it with your finger there shouldn't be a mark left on the flesh.

How some of this helps.
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Old 09-18-2018, 01:23 PM   #13
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There you have it Scott. It was bad to start. Fresh fish should smell like the sea.
It should smell like the sea, not like a harbour bottom at low tide.
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Old 09-18-2018, 01:23 PM   #14
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Excellent tips MC.
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:47 PM   #15
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Or if it smells like ammonia. That means the seafood is in the decomposing stages.

I've had the worst luck with buying smelly cod. Maybe it's a fish that goes bad quickly, but I'm so paranoid now of purchasing cod from the seafood department at the grocery that I only buy it frozen.

I smell everything as soon as I open it, including chicken and other meats, and if any of it smells even slightly off, it goes into the trash.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:39 PM   #16
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Or if it smells like ammonia. That means the seafood is in the decomposing stages.

I've had the worst luck with buying smelly cod. Maybe it's a fish that goes bad quickly, but I'm so paranoid now of purchasing cod from the seafood department at the grocery that I only buy it frozen.

I smell everything as soon as I open it, including chicken and other meats, and if any of it smells even slightly off, it goes into the trash.
I would bring it back to the store. They need to know that it wasn't fresh. If they know, then they need to know that people won't put up with food that smells off.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:54 PM   #17
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I would bring it back to the store. They need to know that it wasn't fresh. If they know, then they need to know that people won't put up with food that smells off.

I didn't bother taking the food back to the store, but I did call and talk to a manager both times. After the 2nd time, I stopped buying it.
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Old 12-13-2018, 07:03 AM   #18
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I smell everything as soon as I open it, including chicken and other meats, and if any of it smells even slightly off, it goes into the trash.
I return stuff, throwing it in the trash is a waste of money. I got so fed up with getting bad chicken from Publix and having to return it, I started tearing open the plastic right at the case. I never buy chicken there any more.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:02 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Scott-180 View Post
hi everyone,

Im very new to cooking but really trying to throw myself into it. I recently bought some cod which I shallow fried in butter before baking it in the oven. It turned out pretty well but my whole apartment smelled really badly of fish.

I thought that cod was not supposed to be a smelly fish so i was surprised. I bought it pre-packed from the super market and not from a fish monger. Could this be the problem or does all cod smell like this?

any help would be greatly appreciated!
Someone let the air out.
Cod used to be the most plentiful fish in the sea. It's expensive now.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:19 AM   #20
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I return stuff, throwing it in the trash is a waste of money. I got so fed up with getting bad chicken from Publix and having to return it, I started tearing open the plastic right at the case. I never buy chicken there any more.
I wouldn't either.

My favorite place to buy seafood is Giant Eagle. It always tastes fresh. I also occasionally go to Giant Eagle Market District, where I find, on rare occasions, Monkfish. That's a very rare treat.
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