Home » Food Information » What Does Cod Taste Like?

What Does Cod Taste Like?

Cod is a popular fish choice for seafood lovers around the world. Known for its mild flavor and flaky texture, cod has been a staple in kitchens since ancient times. But what does cod taste like?

Many people say that flavor depends on the type of cod. Others claim that cod tastes like tilapia. In today’s article, we’ll settle the score once and for all. In this article, we will explore the unique flavors of cod and discuss why it’s such a beloved ingredient in cuisines worldwide.

serving plate with cooked cod with potatoes and olives

What Is Cod?

Cod is a type of white fish that lives in cold or salt waters. Cod is a mild-flavored white fish with a delicate, slightly sweet taste. It has a light and flaky texture that absorbs the flavors of whatever it is cooked with.

The sweet taste of cod pairs well with ingredients like butter, lemon, garlic, herbs, capers, tomatoes, onions and peppers.

Cod can be baked, grilled, poached, steamed or sautéed. It is also a popular fish for fish and chips or served in chowders. When cooked correctly, cod has a mild flavor that makes it easy to pair with many different flavors for an array of delicious dishes.

Before the fish reaches the kitchen, the meat is stripped, cleaned, and sold as fillet cuts. With little preparation needed, you can go straight to pan-frying, baking, or grilling.

Aside from the cod’s meat, its liver is also essential in making cod liver oil. A great source of vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids, cod liver oil is extremely popular.

Cod is widely available in grocery stores and sold as frozen cuts. Although fresh is still best, flash-frozen cod has excellent quality too. In fact, flash freezing is so effective you can have it delivered to your doorstep.

What Does Cod Taste Like?

Cooked cod fish has a mild flavor consisting of a milky taste and a slight sweetness.

When it comes to the two cod varieties, there’s little to no difference in taste. Although some insist that the Atlantic cod is sweeter, while Pacific cod is more savory.

Despite the debate, most people will agree that cod doesn’t have a fishy taste.

The fishy taste is usually present in fatty fish like salmon. But cod is a lean fish, which is great because it means you can focus on the flavor.

Cod Taste VS Tilapia Taste

Another claim up for debate says that cod tastes just like tilapia. In this case, we’ll have to agree.

Even though tilapia is a freshwater fish, it’s a common substitute for cod in recipes. A big part of this reason is thanks to their similar flavors. Just like cod, tilapia offers the same mild taste with a slightly sweet and milky flavor.

Whether you use cod or tilapia in dishes, it’s hard to tell the difference!

What Is The Texture Of Cod?

Cooked cod, especially when fried, has dry and flaky textures. The meat is tough enough to hold its shape during cooking but easily breaks apart when cut. People liken cod’s texture to cooked chicken breast.

How To Make Cod Taste Good?

Cod’s mild flavor makes room for experimentation. In the kitchen, you won’t run out of herbs or spices to pair with this fish. Plus, the cod’s firm texture means it can handle any cooking.

Here are just a few of the nifty tips to make the cod taste even better:

Deep-fry in batter

A simple yet delicious solution for cod fish is dipping it in batter and deep-frying. Take inspiration from the British and coat cod strips in a batter of flour, beer, and spices. For a quick fix, dredge fish in seasoned flour and fry in melted butter. Either way, you should have a crispy golden brown crust and flaky yet tasty fish.

Add a squeeze of lemon

What if salt and pepper aren’t enough, but you don’t want to complicate a dish? Adding a squeeze of lemon juice will do the trick! Lemon tastes best when pan-frying cod with butter and garlic. People often underestimate a lemon’s culinary power. But you’ll be surprised how much its sharp zesty taste elevates the savory flavor.

Make an herb crust

Another way to make cod delectable is to add an herb crust. The crust sandwiches the cod meat together with its skin. The herbs used are totally up to you, but cilantro, chives, and parsley are among the favorites. As the cod bakes, the meat absorbs the herbs’ aroma and flavors. Plus, having the crust means trapping the moisture, resulting in a soft and juicy fish.

Add some heat

Lastly, any dish can use a dash of spiciness, including cod fish! This tip comes from an original Korean recipe called “Daegusal-jorim.” The recipe uses a mixture of Korean chili pepper flakes and green chili peppers. You’ll also need soy sauce to contrast the heat. After minutes of braising, say hello to spicy cod bursting with umami flavor.

Due to cod’s versatility, it’s a common ingredient in many cuisines. From drying methods to simple dinners, let’s take a look at the most popular cod recipes:

Fish And Chips

Great Britain almost exclusively uses cod in fish and chips. The traditional recipe coats cod fish in a wet batter of flour and vinegar. Sometimes, local chip shops use beer or lager instead. Fried cod tastes best paired with thick fries, tartar sauce, and a lemon wedge.

Salted Cod

Salted cod or “klippfisk” is a tradition in Norway dating back hundreds of years. The practice evolved from the need to preserve food during the winter. After fishing, locals debone the cods and lay them out to dry under the sun. Adding salt sped up the process and made the fish more flavorful. Today, salted cod is still a culinary staple paired with croquettes.

Fish Tacos

Originating from Mexico, fish tacos have become one of L.A.’s most popular dishes. For this recipe, cod takes the centerpiece as it’s seasoned and broiled. The fish flakes are then stuffed into a soft taco shell and topped with shredded cabbage or Greek yogurt. You can go wild with toppings or stick to tested favorites like cheese and jalapenos.

Baked Cod

Baked cod’s origin is unclear, but it’s great for dinners no matter where you are in the world. Once you defrost the fish, coat it in olive oil and paprika, and add a dash of salt and pepper. Pop into the oven and bake until lightly browned. If you want to save extra time, add some baby potatoes or asparagus as the fish bakes. And the best part? You finish this recipe in under 15 minutes!

How Long Does Cod Last?

The answer depends on the cod’s freshness upon purchase. Like with most seafood, fresh cod should only last up to two days. Even when kept in the fridge, it’s wiser to eat it straight away to enjoy its fresh quality.

On the other hand, frozen cod can last up to six months in the freezer. You’ll only need to defrost it at least 24 hours before use. And lastly, canned cod can last for years – five at most!

How To Store Cod

When buying fresh cod, you can cook it immediately or store it in the fridge. If you choose the latter, make sure that you’ll eat the fish within 48 hours. Fresh cod is usually unprocessed and will only last for a while.

But if you’re talking cooked cod, it can last up to four days. Place in an airtight container and away from raw cod. Storing cod and cooked seafood together is a contamination risk.

Is Cod Fish Good To Eat?

Yes, cod fish is excellent because its flavor allows versatility. There are many ways to cook cod, including frying, baking, or grilling.

Is Cod Fishy Tasting?

No, cod doesn’t taste fishy. Any fish tastes fishy if it’s fatty or oily.

Is Cod Just As Good As Salmon?

Yes, cod is just as good as salmon, or dare we say, even better? Cod is just as flexible when it comes to cooking. It’s also not fishy, which is good news for those who aren’t fans of the salmon’s fishy smell.

Does Cod Liver Oil Taste Fishy?

No, cod liver tastes pleasant and mild. Any fishy smell or taste is a sign of spoilage.


Cod fish’s flavor hops from one cuisine to the next. From the Atlantic to the Pacific, it’s no question that this fish is a culinary staple. But what does cod taste like? And does it taste the same as tilapia?

Cod meat has a mild, sweet, and milky flavor with none of the fishy taste! The meat flakes easily when cooked, which makes it great for frying, baking, or broiling. If you don’t have cod, tilapia is a perfect substitute. With the same sweet and mellow tastes, tilapia hits all the right spots.

More Articles

Filed under
Food Information
Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
pinterest instagram instagram

Get new recipes and tips via email
when you subscribe!

Have a comment? I love hearing from you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.

As seen in:

Eating WellmashededibleWomans WorldTasting TableHomes and Gardens
Back to the Top