Preparing Pan-Fried Cod

cod loin on white background
Image by BlackRiv from Pixabay

Pan-frying any fish is a fine alternative to roasting and baking fish because it produces great crispy skin and a flesh which is rarely overcooked. It’s also easier to manage because you can tell when the flesh becomes delicate and flaky. It is the ideal method for cooking a cod fillet.

A pan-fried cod deserves a garnish and works well with strongly-flavoured sauces. Why not try a couple of crispy smoked bacon rashers to add a slightly different texture and flavour because it does really work well (see below).

You can also given it a strong West Indian flavour by serving it on sauteed peppers with lots of Scotch Bonnet chili peppers or even with jollof rice because it wont really overpower the fish and certainly brings out the taste of the Caribbean.

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  • 300g cod fillet or loin, skin on or off
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 knob of butter
  • salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 rashers of smoked bacon (garnish – optional)


  1. Splash a cold frying pan or skillet with some olive oil. Start heating on a medium level.
  2. Once the pan is hot, season the cod with salt and place it in the pan skin-side down, if the skin has been left on the fish.
  3. Cook for 2 to3 minutes until the skin is starting to brown and turn golden and crisp. If you are cooking skinless cod, cook until the fish has turned a nice golden colour.
  4. Carefully turn the cod over and cook for a further 2 or 3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet or loin. The fish is cooked when the flesh becomes opaque. It should also flake well when plated up.

Smoked Bacon Rasher Garnish


  1. As you fry the cod, heat up a frying pan or skillet with a tablespoon of sunflower or maize oil to a high level.
  2. Add the two rashers of bacon and fry for 5 minutes or at least until they are well-browned on both sides
  3. Place on top of the pan-fried cod once it has been served on the plate.
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