On Saturday night we got an invite to go fishing with friends the next morning...6:00 am morning. The invite was also extended to my 16 month old son...hmmm. The idea of a six hour boat trip with a busy, curious, very mobile boy, sounded a little like crazy. On the other hand we might be crazy to turn down an opportunity to head out with a knowledgeable guide, his fabulous wife and their super smiley little boy on a very sunny day. Before we knew it we were buying fishing licenses online, confirming life jacket weight limits and throwing food, drink and sunscreen into a bag.
Did we make the right decision? 100% yes. Our little boy was mesmerized by the boat, water, motor and birds (not to mention our friend's dog) and we caught a ling cod to take home. Hudson even got a lesson in fish bonking, he has been bonking everything since.
So what to do with fresh ling cod? Since I have some herbs in my garden they were going in, plus I bought some Panko crumbs a while ago that I have been wanting to use. Panko bread crumbs are Japanese and are more crisp and light than regular bread crumbs.
Preheat the oven to 400° F
6 pieces of ling cod around 4 oz (or other white fish)
1 cup Panko crumbs
2 tbsp each fresh chopped thyme, parsley and basil
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 cup 5% sour cream
1/2 cup light mayo
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Mix sour cream and mayo together. Stir together dry ingredients. Coat each piece of fish with mayo mixture. Dredge in bread crumbs. Bake for 15 min or until fish flakes.
This ling cod was sumptuous, no tears here for not catching a salmon. It was very moist and light. The Panko added a satisfying crunch. Ling cod may not look pretty (at all, scary teeth as an added bonus) but they have a place on my plate any day.
Ling cod is on the list of fish that can be higher in mercury, risk is minimized by keeping smaller fish. Mercury builds up over time in a fish's body, so the younger and smaller the fish the lower the mercury. As our guide Curt tells me: it also makes sense from a conservation point of view as the spawning female ling cod are the larger ones.
Baking fish on parchment paper does not require any added fat for cooking. Mixing the light mayo with light sour cream helps to cut down the saturated fat without losing any flavor. Fresh herbs increase flavour without adding salt.
What's better than a morning spent fishing the beautiful waters off of Campbell River? Maybe eating mouth watering fish on my sun soaked deck with my family. Thank you Coastal Wilderness Adventures!
Tiffany McFadden, RD