What is cod?

A popular mild-flavoured saltwater fish mainly found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Cod's white flesh is succulent, flaky, firm and lean but it has commonly been considered inferior to other types of fish most probably because it was overcooked and, for many years, plentiful and cheap. Overfishing has since depleted stocks – to the point of disappearance in some areas.

When is cod in season?

Spawning season, when cod is at its best, takes place from January to April.

Choose the best cod

Cod is often trawled or netted which can ruin its flesh and cause damage to sea beds. Choose farmed fish or line-caught Pacific cod that's been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. If buying whole, choose a fish with shiny clear skin and clear eyes. Shoulder steaks have the finest flavour. Look for white flesh.

How to store cod

For cod to be at its best it must be fresh so buy fish the day it is to be cooked, or the day before and keep in the fridge.

How to cook cod

Cod is good baked, fried and poached and is served traditionally with parsley sauce and lemon wedges. It is also excellent added to risottos, stews and soups.

See our cod recipes.

Alternatives to cod

Try haddock, whiting or tilapia fillet.