Cod is so versatile, healthy, and tasty that it’s an ideal ingredient to keep in your freezer. And ever since we learned that you can cook fish directly from frozen, weeknight meals have become quicker and more delicious, even on days when there hasn’t been time to think ahead.
Pan-seared cod is always a crowd-pleaser and that holds true even when you take it straight from freezer to pan. A few extra minutes of cooking time and a lid partway through ensure the cod is cooked and perfectly flaky without getting dried out. And it maintains all its excellent nutrients—this low-fat, low-calorie fish is high in protein, B vitamins, and various minerals like phosphorus and selenium.
Of course, we always turn to frozen wild Alaska cod, which is flash-frozen just after being caught so we know it’s as fresh as can be. And all their fish is sustainably sourced, so we can feel good about eating it.
So for those nights when you haven’t had time to think ahead, reach for some frozen wild Alaska cod and sear it in a hot pan. Once it’s cooked, throw some cherry tomatoes into the pan until they are starting to pop and blister. Serve it all with a side of bright lemon-parsley orzo. It’s a company-worthy meal that you can make any night of the week with many ingredients you might already have on hand.
Pan-Seared Alaska Cod With Blistered Cherry Tomatoes and Lemon-Parsley Orzo
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
1 1/3 cups orzo
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
4 (4-6 ounce) frozen Alaska cod fillets
Sliced lemons, for squeezing over fish and serving
1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 10 ounces)
1. Cook the orzo according to the package directions. When it’s done, drain and put in a large bowl. Mix in the parsley, lemon juice and zest, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or more to taste). Set aside.
2. Run the frozen Alaska cod fillets under cold water to remove any ice glaze and pat dry with a paper towel. Brush both sides with oil and heat a large heavy-bottomed/nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add frozen cod and cook, uncovered, about 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom. Flip the cod, sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt, then cover pan and reduce heat to medium. Cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, depending on thickness and doneness. Cod should be opaque and flake easily with a fork. Remove from the heat, drizzle with a teaspoon or so of olive oil and a squirt of lemon and set aside.
3. Carefully wipe out the skillet. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over high heat until quite hot. Add the tomatoes and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until blistered, about 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Serve the cod with the lemon-parsley orzo, blistered tomatoes, and lemon wedges and garnish with parsley.
Looking for more ways to cook your Alaska seafood from frozen? Try our air-frying, poaching, and roasting methods.