Pollock, also referred to as coalfish, is a white, flaky fish caught in the wild and often used in processed fish products, such as frozen fish sticks or imitation crab. Pollock is a type of codfish found throughout the northern Atlantic Ocean. Filleted or whole, pollock works well in just about any recipe for haddock, codfish or tilapia. Because of its mild flavor, pollock works well with a variety of seasonings.
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Pollock is good with root vegetables and herbs serving as aromatics. For example, finely diced or pureed onions and garlic add potent flavors to the fish. You should use at least one or the other of these in just about any cooking method. Rub slices of raw garlic or onion on the fillet before battering and deep-frying. Freshly chopped aromatic herbs such as Italian flat-leaf parsley, basil, rosemary, sage or thyme work well added as garnishes.
Grilling and Baking Seasonings
For grilling and baking, mix any spices or aromatics that you plan to use with oil or grease and a bit of vinegar and soy sauce in a food processor. This creates a seasoning rub that yields delicious flavor. It is unnecessary to marinate for a long period of time, as the fish soaks in flavor quickly and cooks soft. Use any spice and aromatic combinations you enjoy. Peanut and olive oils help season the fish in their own right, and bacon grease is wonderful in spice rubs.
Seasonings for Spicy Sauces
Use any combination of spices, fats and aromatics you like for a sauce used to season your fish. Try different kinds of Indian and Thai curries that make use of cinnamon, cloves, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, dried chilies, serrano peppers, chili powder, cumin, saffron or turmeric. Use coconut milk in your sauce for a hint of sweetness in the seasoning sauce. If making a Thai-inspired dish, add a small amount of fish sauce.
Seasonings for Battering and Deep-Frying
If you plan to bread and deep-fry your pollock, your browned breading serves as the main seasoning. Use a combination of fresh breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, flour and cornmeal. Cooked in peanut oil, these seasonings combine to create a crisp, simply flavored fish. After cooking, drizzle with fresh-squeezed lime or lemon if you like.
Seasonings for Fresh Salsas
If you sauté or grill your pollock using simple aromatics, add more flavor by making a salsa from scratch. Chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro and chilies combined with a bit of fresh-squeezed lime juice -- called pico de gallo -- works well as a seasonings for fish cooked simply. Try different kinds of salsa as well; fresh mangoes work quite well as a base for salsa.
Add salt to the pollock to taste during the cooking process. Salt is essential because, without it, pollock is quite bland no matter which other seasonings you use. Taste the pollock at the end of cooking to make sure that you have enough salt, and add a bit more at the end until satisfied with the amount.
- The Cook's Thesaurus; Pollock; Lori Alden
- Captain Dave's Fishing and Boating Information: Pollock
- Encyclopaedia Britannica Online: Pollock
- Good Food Channel; Five Ways with Pollock; Jayne Cross
- Culinary.net: Everyone's Favorite Fish Revealed: Alaska Pollock
- Food University: Pollock
- BBC; Pan-Fried Pollock; Raymond Blanc
- The Food Lexicon: Pollock
- New England Aquarium: Alaska Pollock: Wild Caught
- "The Guardian"; School Dinners; Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalll; October 2006