Crispy Almond Crusted Baked Ling Cod
Happy 2021! I SO wish I could say the world is back to “normal“, but sadly we’re not there just yet. But I’m hopeful. I strongly believe if we all do our part (and get vaccinated), we will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is a marathon, not a sprint, and we all need to remember that. With COVID cases surging in Nor Cal, I’m back in lockdown and once again cooking up a storm just to stay sane.
This is one of the easiest dinners I make. If you’re a fish lover, crispy almond-crusted baked Ling cod should be in your arsenal of quick meals. Crispy panko bread crumbs mixed with chopped almonds, lemon zest, and scallions make for a flavorful, and headful, fish dish you can whip up in no time any day of the week. In this recipe, I use a special fish called Ling cod, and while it does not have to be made with Ling cod (any flaky white fish will work just fine) it is fantastic if you can find it.
Ling cod, also known as “Lingcod” has often been referred to as a fish an identity crisis. Despite its name, this species is neither a cod nor a Ling. Rather, it’s a Pacific greenling, from the family Hexagrammidae. It is believed Ling cod likely got the name “Ling” from early settlers who related it to European Lings but acknowledged its white flaky flesh by adding “cod“.
Ling cod ranges from Baja California to Kodiak Island, all the way to the Aleutian Peninsula. It is a bycatch of trawl and longline fisheries, though there is a targeted fishery in Southeast Alaska. A trip to Alaska a few years back is where I was reintroduced to Ling Cod and the rest they say, is history.
At times the flesh of Ling cod will have a blue-green tint when raw. But don’t be alarmed, the color is not harmful and cooks out completely, leaving a beautiful snow-white piece of fish. The mild-tasting meat is tender, yet firm, with large, soft, moist flakes that are truly divine. The nutty breadcrumb flavor makes this dish both elegant and rustic all at once. For people who say they are not fish fans, I encourage you to reconsider, this crispy baked Ling cod may just surprise you.