Perfectly pan-fried Pacific cod is a versatile, lean protein to integrate into fast, tasty meals. Mild in flavor and relatively firm in texture, it’s a variety of wild-caught fish that is wonderful for soaking up the accompanying flavors of a dish. When you know how to pan-fry cod, you can acheive a delicious golden crust on the fillet that instantly enhances the complexity of the meal.
Simple Tips for Perfectly Pan-Fried Cod
Pat the fillet dry to remove excess moisture.
Sufficiently heat your pan and oil (sizzling hot!) before adding the fillet.
An instant-read thermometer ensures perfect doneness.
How to Pan-Fry Cod
Gather your materials and ingredients: Your fillet(s), tea towel or paper towels, fish spatula, high-heat cooking oil, salt and pepper, skillet
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, pat cod dry with a tea towel or paper towel, then season with salt and pepper.
Add just enough oil to cover bottom of skillet, then allow to heat up. Once oil begins to shimmer (hot enough to sizzle) carefully place fillet onto skillet.
Sear undisturbed until fish releases easily with the help of the fish spatula, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip carefully, then allow to cook until internal temperature of fish reaches 130F at its thickest part for medium-rare doneness, about 3 or 4 minutes depending on thickness of fillet.
Once you've mastered the basic technique for pan-frying Pacific cod, add a few more ingredients to the mix with our recipe for an easy Mediterranean Fish Stew (just sub in cod!), or amp up the flavors with Vietnamese-style Marinated Pacific Cod with Dill and Turmeric. For extra crispy fish, you can pan-fry the cod separately, then serve it atop something stewy — like this recipe for Pan-Fried Cod on Beans and Greens.
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*Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of food-borne illness, especially if you have a certain medical condition. The FDA recommends an internal temperature of 145°F for cooked fish.