Pollock and pollack fish are not the same thing! They’re both quite similar to cod, and can be used as a replacement for cod in most recipes. Read on to find out more about the difference, plus where to source sustainable pollock (or pollack) from…
Have you ever tried pollock? Chances are that you have… this smaller relative of the cod family has a soft, white flesh that takes on breadcrumb coatings very well. Think of the last fish fingers, fish cakes or goujons you ate; they were quite possibly pollock. And if you’ve ever eaten a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish you’ve definitely tried it.
There is some confusion around the name ‘pollock‘, especially if you plumb the depths of Google where lots of information is American. Alaska or walleye pollock is the species most easily available in the UK, and it can be bought from sustainable fisheries; look out for the blue Marine Stewardship Council tick mark on fish packaging. You can find a list of the fisheries here.
Just to confuse you further there is also a fish called ‘pollack‘, known as ‘lythe’ in Scotland, which is sometimes called pollock as well. This is also very like cod and haddock when cooked and is available line-caught off the Cornish coast. Look out for tagged fish and find out more about line caught fish here.
Use pollock as you would cod or haddock: in fish pies, fish cakes and Asian dishes, or try it tonight with sweet parsnips in our version of a warming chowder below…
SMOKED POLLOCK AND PARSNIP CHOWDER
30 minutes, serves 4, easy
pollock fillet 300g
undyed smoked haddock fillet 300g
semi-skimmed milk 500ml
olive oil 1 tbsp
smoked bacon lardons 150g
onion 1, diced
celery 1 stick, diced
fennel bulb 1 small, diced
bay leaves 3
parsnips 500g, peeled and cut into chunks
vegetable stock 500ml
single cream 150ml
parsley chopped, to make 1 tbsp
dill chopped, to make 1 tbsp
Put the fish and milk in a frying pan. Cover, bring to the boil, take off the heat and leave for 5 minutes until the fish is just cooked. Reserve the milk and flake the fish into big chunks, discarding the skin.
In a large saucepan, fry the lardons in oil until they start to turn golden. Add the onion, celery, fennel, bay and parsnips, and cook until the onion is soft. Pour in the stock and milk, bring to a simmer and cook until the parsnip is tender (about 10 minutes).
Take out and blend a ladleful of the chowder, then stir back in. Stir in the flaked fish and cream, warm through, add most of the parsley and dill and season with black pepper. Serve, sprinkled with the remaining herbs.
More pollock recipes to try
This recipe for spicy fish burgers with chilli mayo is a great recipe to have on-hand midweek. It’s super-quick (ready in under 30 minutes) and easy, but is packed full of flavour and a chilli hit.
This Thai pollock curry is a full of fantastic Asian flavours but is ready in under an hour, very easy to make and also comes in at under 500 calories – perfect for a midweek meal.
Pollock makes a great more sustainable alternative to cod and it really works in this easy Southern Indian style coconut curry. The dahl can also be eaten on its own for a spicy vegetarian main.