The lingcod fishery in Puget Sound has been very productive, and chef Tom Douglas offers tips on how to make this delicious tasting white-fleshed fish a meal to remember.
Douglas will contribute some of his tasty recipes for the Reel Time Fishing NW blog in our Catch of the Week each Wednesday through October. Catch of the Day will also include recipes from other local chefs, tackle shop owners and fish-market owners.
Douglas is owner of Lola, Palace Kitchen, Dahlia Lounge, Dahlia Bakery, Etta’s, Serious Pie Downtown, Seatown, Brave Horse Tavern, Cuoco, Serious Biscuit and Serious Pie Westlake. Another new Douglas restaurant, Tanaka San will open in June at the Via6 Apartment Complex in downtown Seattle.
Here is some advice from Douglas on how to prepare lingcod:
Lingcod is a mild flavored and somewhat delicate fish that takes well to poaching, braising and pan-roasting. Another good way to cook ling cod is by steaming, though home cooks often forget about this easy and effective technique. Any steaming set up will do, but I like to place the fish fillets in a covered Chinese bamboo steamer (pick up an inexpensive one in the International District) over a partially filled pot of boiling water. If you’re in the mood, you can add aromatics to the water, like a few citrus peels or a split and bruised stalk of lemongrass, and you can replace some of the water with wine or sake. Keep in mind that steaming is fast- your fillets will cook in 5 minutes or less- so check your fish carefully and don’t let it overcook.
The steamed ling cod can be served very simply with a drizzle of good olive oil and a lemon wedge, but if you’re in the mood, this is the perfect opportunity to make a luxurious sauce. Dig out one of your favorite French cookbooks, like Julia Child or Jacques Pepin, and treat yourself and your guests to a classic beurre blanc (also known as butter sauce.)
Chef’s tip: After being cooked, ling cod tends to bleed out some moisture, so, before serving, let it rest a few moments on a plate. Once the moisture has been released, you can carefully pick up the fillet with a slotted spatula and transfer it to another plate for saucing. This way, you won’t sog out your beautiful sauce.
(Photo by Greg Gilbert, Seattle Times staff photographer)