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Our favorite lingcod recipe proves how flavorful simple can be. Lightly seasoned filets are pan-seared to flaky perfection and then drizzled in a rich, brown butter garlic sauce. It makes a quick and easy dinner for weeknights and it's ready in just 20 minutes!
This versatile fish recipe is a weeknight winner. We use lingcod because we love the mild taste and firm texture but you can use any firmer white fish that's available to you.
We keep things simple by lightly seasoning the filets and pan-searing them for a crispy exterior. The rich brown butter sauce brings out the natural flavors in the fish and helps the filets retain their moisture. Lemon juice and a few herbs add freshness and chili flakes give everything a subtle kick.
Serve this seared lingcod recipe with your favorite vegetable or rice for a delicious complete meal that everyone will enjoy.
All about lingcod
Lingcod is a type of lean saltwater fish native to the North American west coast. When cooked, it's a dense, mild-tasting fish that works great for pan-searing, grilling, or deep frying. While it's not always easy to find, it makes a great substitute in recipes that call for halibut or any white fish.
It might be confusing but lingcod is not closely related to cod. Lingcod is the largest of the greenling family of bottom-feeding fish. In cooking, however, they can be used in place of each other because they both have a mild, slightly buttery flavor.
If you can't find any for this lingcod recipe, you can use any other type of white fish like halibut, cod, rockfish, or haddock.
What you'll need to make this lingcod recipe
This seared lingcod recipe doesn't require a lot of ingredients but it delivers big taste. You're likely to have most of the ingredients for the butter sauce on hand. Here's what you'll need:
- Butter – the base of the rich flavorful sauce; we use salted butter but if you only have unsalted, add a pinch of salt.
- Garlic – for its distinctive pungent taste.
- Lemon juice – gives the fish a bright citrus flavor.
- Parsley – brightens flavors and adds a fresh pop of green color.
- Chili flakes – add a little heat.
- Lingcod – fresh lingcod filets have a firm texture and mild taste.
- Salt + pepper – for seasoning, and to enhance the other flavors.
- Olive oil – for pan-searing the lingcod.
How to make pan-seared lingcod
This quick and delicious pan-seared lingcod recipe is easy to make in a few simple steps:
- Start by making the sauce. In a large frying pan, melt the butter until it's golden brown, then add the garlic, and remove the pan from the heat.
- Pour the butter into a small bowl and add the lemon juice, parsley, and chili flakes.
- Prepare your fish by patting the filets dry with a paper towel. Cover each filet in cornstarch, then season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Grab your frying pan again, add the olive oil, and heat it to cook the fish. The filets cook quickly, just 2-3 minutes on each side. When they're cooked, turn off the heat and pour the butter lemon sauce over top. Serve hot, and enjoy!
I can't find lingcod. What other types of fish can I use?
Any type of firm white fish can be used in place of lingcod. Some of our favorites include rockfish, haddock, cod, tilapia, and halibut.
How long does cooked fish last in the fridge?
When stored in an air-tight container, cooked fish will stay fresh in the fridge for 3 days.
How should I reheat the leftovers?
You need to be careful when you reheat fish as it can overcook and become tough quickly. The best way to reheat fish is to warm it gently over low heat in a pan. If you're taking leftovers for lunch on the go, you can either eat it cold over a salad (it's delicious this way!) or heat it briefly in a microwave.
How to serve our favorite lingcod recipe
- 4 tablespoons salted butter (see notes)
- 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- 4 filets lingcod
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon EACH: salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Continue to cook the butter, stirring frequently, until it is golden brown and nutty smelling. Stir the garlic into the butter then remove the pan from the heat.4 tablespoons salted butter, 1 clove garlic
- Pour the butter into a heat-proof bowl and stir in the lemon juice, parsley, and chili flakes.2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon minced parsley, 1 pinch chili flakes
- Dry the lingcod well with paper towels then sprinkle the cornstarch over both sides. Use your hands to rub the cornstarch all over the fish. Season both sides with salt and pepper.4 filets lingcod, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, ¼ teaspoon EACH: salt and pepper
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in the same pan you used for the butter. Add the lingcod and cook for 4 minutes. Shake the pan to release the fish (if they are sticking) then carefully flip the fish over using a spatula. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the lingcod is flaky.2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pour the brown butter lemon sauce into the pan so that the lingcod is coated in the sauce.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.