How to Cook Frozen Cod in the Oven

It's possible to cook frozen cod if you don't have enough time to defrost it. However, frozen fish recipes can be much more limiting compared to defrosted or fresh fish recipes. The best way to cook cod that's frozen is through oven poaching or cooking it in a marinade.

The best way to cook cod that’s frozen is through oven poaching or cooking it in a marinade.
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Read more: The 9 Safest Seafood Options

Frozen Fish and Food Safety

Many people enjoy eating fresh fish. However, freezing your fish can be beneficial for food safety reasons. The process of freezing can help kill pathogens, like parasites, that may be in the fish.

If you're trying to cook frozen cod, you have the option to cook the fish from frozen or to thaw your fish first. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends thawing your fish slowly by placing it in your refrigerator the night before you cook it.

Alternatively, you can thaw your fish faster by placing it in a sealed bag and immersing it in ice water or cold water. It's also possible to defrost your fish in the microwave ⁠— just be careful the fish doesn't start to cook while you're defrosting it.

If you've decided to defrost your frozen fish, the FDA says that it's important to cook it as soon as possible. You should not leave cod or any other seafood at room temperature for more than two hours (or even as little as an hour if room temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) or higher.

Read more: 9 Excuses to Eat More Seafood (Hint: It Can Make You Happy!)

How to Cook Frozen Cod

Cod is one of the healthiest fish you can choose to eat. According to the FDA, cod is low in mercury and rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recommends consuming 12 ounces of low-mercury seafood like cod each week. A serving is usually between 3 and 4 ounces.

Although it's faster to cook defrosted cod, it's perfectly fine to cook frozen cod too. To cook frozen cod, you'll need:

  • A 3- to 4-ounce portion of frozen cod
  • 1/2 tablespoon of capers
  • 1/2 tablespoon of kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of roughly chopped parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Half a lemon, squeezed

Step 1: Preheat Your Oven

Preheat your oven to 400 F (204.5 C).

Step 2: Prepare Your Marinade

Mix the capers, olives, chopped garlic, parsley, spices, vinegar and olive oil together.

Step 3: Create Your Baking Tray

Place your cod on aluminum foil. Make sure there's extra aluminum foil around the sides so you can lift it around the fish, essentially creating an aluminum foil boat around it.

Step 4: Coat Your Fish With Marinade

Coat your frozen cod with the mixture of capers, olives, herbs, spices, vinegar and oil. Pour this mixture into the aluminum foil "boat" so that it covers your fish. Make sure your fish has been completely covered.

Step 5: Bake Your Cod

Cook the fish at 400 F (204.5 C) for 15 to 20 minutes. The FDA says that fish is completely cooked once it's reached an internal temperature of 145 F (63 C).

If you don't have a thermometer, check that your cod appears white and flakes apart easily. The top should be slightly golden brown.

Step 6: Add a Sauce

While your fish is cooking, melt your 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. When the butter has fully melted, slowly add in the lemon juice and mix the two together. This will help you create a lemon-butter emulsion that you can use as a sauce.

Place your cooked fish on your plate and add the lemon-butter sauce to the top of it. This savory lemon-butter cod is best served alongside a citrusy bulgur salad or mixed greens.

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