Recipes for Lingcod

Ken Jones

Staff member
McClane’ s Fish Buyer’s Guide: Lingcod — (A) Flavor: mild (B) Texture: firm (C) Flake: large (D) Fat Content: moderate (E) Odor (Raw): moderate (F) Color after Cooking: off white (G) Cooking Methods: broil, bake, pan-saute or deep-fry

Lingcod are one of my favorite fish. They reach a good size, put up a good fight, and are somewhat gnarly looking with a mouth full of teeth. They are also great eating! However, the fillets will sometimes be bright blue which can be somewhat disconcerting for lingcod newbies (although the flesh turns white when cooked). When I used to live in Boonville (Mendocino County), I would catch them from the Point Arena Pier but they are caught from piers, rocky areas, and boats throughout much of central and northern California. They are less common in southern California unless you're fishing in deeper waters on a boat. They make a great fried fish dish but can also be prepared in many other ways.

From Pier Fishing In California, 2nd. Ed. — Although at first glance a person might think this is the name of an Italian recipe, it isn't. Instead, this is a sweet-and-sour Chinese dish which is delicious and very easy to make. The recipe comes from Pei Mei's Chinese Cook Book Volume 1, a book that I have had and used for 45 years. The recipe is a family favorite.

Fish (Lingcod) with Tomato Sauce


1 pound of any mild flavored fish (especially good with pieces of lingcod, rockfish, halibut, bass, etc.)
1/2 cup of diced onion
1/3 cup of diced black mushroom (or market mushrooms)
2 tablespoons. green peas
1 egg white (to marinate the fish)
1 tablespoon cornstarch.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cornstarch. (You can also use a commercial fish batter or even pancake mix, although you need to watch pancake mix when using it to deep-fry fish because it will sometimes darken before the fish is done. Here, with the thin sliced fish, pancake mix will work.)
4 cups oil, for deep frying
Seasoning Sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons vinegar
6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons tomato catsup
1 tablespoon white wine
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil


Remove all the bones from the fish and cut the flesh into pieces about 1 1/2 inches square by 1/4 inch thick. Marinate with the egg white, cornstarch, and salt for about 1/2 hour. Prepare the seasoning sauce in a bowl and set aside. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Coat each piece of sliced fish in cornstarch (1/2 cup) or commercial batter. Drop the fish into the heated oil and fry each piece for about 1/2 minute or until golden brown. Remove the fish and drain off the oil. (If someone in the family absolutely refuses to eat Chinese food give them a few pieces of this deep-fried fish). Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan or wok. Fry the onion, mushrooms and seasoning sauce. Stir briskly until thickened. Add the green peas and the fried fish, turn off the fire, and stir until blended. This dish is excellent when served with rice or noodles.

Posted by Ken Jones

From Pier Fishing In California, 2nd Ed. — The following recipe is from a little book called The Mendocino Peasant Cookbook, and can be used for any mild white-fleshed fish. Especially good are lingcod, rockfish, halibut, and bass.

Lingcod Chowder


3 Tbs. oil or butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped and seeded
3 cups cubed, cooked potatoes
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
A few drops of Tabasco
1 quart of milk
4 ounces cream cheese, whipped
3-4 medium lingcod fillets, cut in chunks
1-12 ounce can corn, with liquid
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Sauté the onion, green peppers, and garlic in butter or oil until tender. Add tomatoes, and spices. Blend cream cheese with one cup of the milk; add to chowder with the rest of the milk. Add potatoes. Simmer 10 minutes. Add cod and corn. Simmer 8-30 minutes more (do not boil) or until flavors are blended and the fish begins to flake. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately with crispy French bread and green salad.
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