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How to Cook Haddock (With Recipes)

Gordon has been sea fishing and cooking since childhood. He loves coming up with tasty ways of cooking his fresh catch when he gets home.

Breaded and pan fried haddock with roast potatoes and tartare sauce is one of the recipes found on this page

Breaded and pan fried haddock with roast potatoes and tartare sauce is one of the recipes found on this page

Haddock is a firm, white fleshed fish, closely related to the Atlantic cod. It is found in the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. Haddock is a very versatile fish and can be cooked in a great many different ways but it is usually cooked in filleted form rather than whole and on the bone. This is why it is almost always found pre-filleted and even skinned in supermarkets and fishmongers. There have for many years been concerns about the stock levels of haddock and the sustainability of the species. For this reason, while haddock can and should be enjoyed on occasion, it is important not to ignore sustainable alternatives such as coley, pollack or particularly the even more delicious whiting.

A whole, fresh haddock, a form in which the fish is rarely seen by consumers

A whole, fresh haddock, a form in which the fish is rarely seen by consumers

How to Fillet a Haddock

If you do happen to come by a whole haddock—perhaps caught by yourself—it is important to know how to fillet it properly. The short video below shows how to fillet and skin a haddock in a few short, easy steps. Do note only that it is imperative you do have a proper filleting knife to undertake this task.

If you do find yourself filleting a haddock, don't forget to use the head and bones to make fish stock. This can be frozen if you wish until required.

Haddock in a crispy beer batter with homemade chips and salsa

Haddock in a crispy beer batter with homemade chips and salsa

Beer Battered Haddock and Chips

Deep fried and served with chips is the way haddock will be most familiar to a majority of people in the UK at least. This is because it is a very popular choice in fish and chip shops, especially in Scotland, where an overwhelming majority of fish suppers will be prepared from haddock. The salsa is not a common accompaniment to fish and chips but it does add an extra little twist to a classic combination.

In this recipe, the chips have been prepared by the three stage method of being once boiled and twice fried. This definitely does give them an extra internal fluffiness and external crispiness but the one drawback is that it does significantly impact the cooking and preparation times stipulated in the recipe. If time is short, therefore, the chips can be prepared by your own established method of choice.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

10 min

20 min

One serving

Ingredients

  • 1 skinless haddock fillet
  • 1 large floury/starchy potato, to make the chips
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and diced
  • 2" piece of cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 or 4 basil leaves, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp plain/all purpose flour
  • Ice cold lager type beer as required
  • Lemon wedge to garnish

Instructions

  1. Begin by preparing the salsa. This is in order to give the flavours the maximum amount of time to infuse. If this can be done a couple of hours in advance, all the better. If using the three stage method of preparing the chips, the salsa can be made while the chips are parboiling.
  2. Put the tomato, cucumber, garlic and basil in to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Stir well, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.
  3. If you have a twin basket deep fryer, you can of course cook the haddock and give the chips their final fry simultaneously. If not, it is a good idea to cook the chips first, drain them on kitchen paper and keep them warm in an ovenproof dish in a low oven while you fry the haddock.
  4. Some batters require resting for 15 to 20 minutes before they are used. With beer batter like this it is important to prepare it and use it immediately as the bubbles in the beer contribute to the lightness and crispness of the batter.
  5. Spoon the flour in to a dish. In this instance, a plastic dish designed for storing bacon in the refrigerator is used as being the perfect shape and size. Slowly pour in the beer, a little at a time, whisking as you do so with a fork. The consistency you want is that of moderately thick cream. If you accidentally add too much beer, simply add a little more flour. Don't worry too much about the odd small lump or two in your batter - it doesn't matter.
  6. Dip the haddock in the batter to give it an even coating. Hold it up for a couple of seconds only over the dish to let any excess drip off before very carefully lowering it in to the hot oil to fry for four or five minutes until crisp and golden.
  7. Lift the fish to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain. Spoon the salsa in to a small ramekin and plate with the chips. Lay the haddock alongside, garnish with the lemon wedge and enjoy with the rest of the beer.
Quick and easy haddock fish pie is simply served with broccoli

Quick and easy haddock fish pie is simply served with broccoli

Haddock Fish Pie With Broccoli

Fish pies are usually made with two or even three different types of fish. The fish will also usually be cooked first by poaching and left to cool before being stirred in to the bechamel sauce. This recipe was designed for speed and simplicity and proved very tasty.

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 1 hour

Ready in: 1 hour 15 min

Yields: One serving

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (gross weight) potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 oz haddock fillet, cut in to bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 small carrot, cut in to discs
  • 1 tbsp frozen peas
  • 2 oz butter (1oz for sauce and 1oz for mashing potatoes)
  • 1 oz plain/all purpose flour
  • 6 fl oz milk
  • Tsp dried dill
  • Half head of broccoli, broken in to florets
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Put the chunks of potato in to a pot of cold, salted water. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for about twenty minutes until the potatoes are just soft.
  2. When the potatoes are on, put the carrot in to a separate pot of salted water and simmer for about 10 minutes before adding the frozen peas. Bring back to a simmer for three more minutes before draining through a colander.
  3. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Leave to steam for four or five minutes. This gets rid of the excess moisture and prevents soggy mash. Add one ounce of the butter as well as the dill and mash the potatoes.
  4. Put your oven on to preheat to 190C/375F.
  5. Warm the milk in a small saucepan and transfer to a heatproof jug.
  6. Put the remaining butter in to the saucepan and gently melt. Add the flour and stir to form a roux.
  7. Stir the milk in to the roux in stages to form a lush sauce. The haddock, carrot and peas should carefully be folded in to the sauce.
  8. Put the pie filling in to an appropriate, ovenproof dish and smooth out.
  9. Use a teaspoon to dot lumps of potato evenly over the haddock sauce mixture. This prevents the two being accidentally combined. Dip a knife in boiling water before using it to smooth out the mash.
  10. Put the pie in to the hot oven for thirty minutes.
  11. Ten minutes before the pie is ready, put the broccoli florets in to boiling, salted water. Simmer for ten minutes.
  12. Brown the pie topping under the grill/broiler and transfer to a serving plate. Drain the broccoli and lay alongside.
Simple and traditional cullen skink

Simple and traditional cullen skink

Cullen Skink (Smoked Haddock Chowder)

Cullen skink is a smoked haddock soup which originated in the fishing village of Cullen in the North of Scotland. It is delicious prepared with another great Scottish delicacy if you can get it, Finnan haddie, a cold smoked form of haddock from the village of Findon in Aberdeenshire. Cullen skink is one of those classic dishes which has undergone all sorts of modernisations and recipe twists. While many of those additions certainly make for a delicious eating experience, it has to be argued as to how much you can amend a classic recipe before it essentially loses its identity and becomes something else altogether. That is why the Cullen skink recipe below is very much in keeping with the traditional.

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 45 min

Ready in: 1 hour

Yields: Four servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (gross weight) starchy/floury potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3/4 lb cold smoked haddock fillet, skin on
  • 2 pints whole/full cream milk (not skimmed or even semi-skimmed)
  • Small bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 medium white onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 oz unsalted butter, 1oz for mash and 1oz for sauteeing onion
  • White pepper to season

Instructions

  1. Put the potatoes in to a pot with plenty of cold water but—very importantly—no salt. This soup recipe should obtain all the salt necessary from the smoked haddock. Bring the water to a simmer for about twenty minutes until the potatoes are softened.
  2. Strip the parsley leaves from the stalks and set the leaves to one side.
  3. Put the smoked haddock in to a large pot and pour in the milk. Add the parsley stalks and the bay leaf. Heat the milk gently until it only just reaches a simmer and no more. Do not allow it to boil. Turn off the heat and sit the pot on a cool part of your stove for five minutes only. Remove the haddock with a slotted spoon to a plate, cover and leave to cool for around fifteen minutes until it can be comfortably handled.
  4. Drain the potatoes, return them to the pot and allow to steam for a few minutes. Add one ounce of the butter and mash with a hand masher.
  5. Strain the milk to remove the bay leaf and parsley stalks. Melt the remaining ounce of butter in a large soup pot and gently sweat the onion for a few minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Pour in the strained milk, spoon in the mashed potato and heat over a medium setting until the liquid reaches a very gentle simmer.
  6. While the milk is heating, remove the skin from the smoked haddock. It should peel off easily. The haddock should then be very gently separated in to its large, natural flakes. Do use a light touch or you will damage the flakes. Also use the opportunity to feel for and remove any remaining bones.
  7. Roughly chop the parsley leaves.
  8. When the milk begins to simmer, begin stirring with a wooden spoon. As the potato begins to melt, it should thicken the liquid very slightly. (If you particularly want extra thick soup, simply up the quantity of potato in the recipe).
  9. After a few minutes and when the soup has begun to thicken, add the smoked haddock and parsley. Bring the soup back to a simmer for two minutes only. Be very careful stirring at this stage or you may damage the haddock flakes.
  10. Taste the soup and season with white pepper as required. It is very unlikely to be required but salt can also be added if necessary.
  11. Ladle the soup in to bowls and serve.
Haddock fillets are briefly marinated in turmeric, salt and lime juice before being pan fried and served with a simple salad

Haddock fillets are briefly marinated in turmeric, salt and lime juice before being pan fried and served with a simple salad

Turmeric and Lime Pan Fried Haddock

This haddock recipe came from watching on TV the simple fish cooking techniques of the people of Goa, India. It is vital to point out that the fish really should be marinated for no more than two minutes or the acidity in the lime juice will have significantly started the cooking process and the fish will be served slightly on the tough side. This fact also means, however, that this dish is perfect for a night where you have had a hard day and are looking to eat quickly but well.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 2 to 3 min

Ready in: 12 min

Yields: One serving

Ingredients

  • 2 small skinless haddock fillets
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt plus extra for salad
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 handfuls mixed salad leaves
  • 1 small to medium tomato, cut in to six segments
  • 5 or 6 slices of cucumber
  • Black pepper
  • Coriander leaf/cilantro to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Lay the haddock fillets in a suitable deep dish and pour over the marinade. Lift and turn the fillets a couple of times with your hand to ensure even coating. Leave for two minutes.
  2. Lift the haddock fillets from the marinade, gently shake and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the fillets for a minute to a minute and a half (depending on thickness) only on each side.
  4. Bagged salad leaves bought from supermarkets will often be sold as washed and ready to eat. Never take this at face value and always wash them in a colander under running cold water.
  5. Plate the salad leaves, tomato and cucumber and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Lift the haddock fillets carefully on to the plate and garnish with the chopped herb if required.
Breaded haddock fillet is shallow fried before being served with roast potatoes, peas and tartare sauce

Breaded haddock fillet is shallow fried before being served with roast potatoes, peas and tartare sauce

Breaded Haddock With Roast Potatoes and Tartare Sauce

While this simple yet delicious dish could be prepared with homemade bread crumbs, it has to be reluctantly acknowledged and conceded that the supermarket bought, rusk based bread crumbs do make for considerably better presentation.

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 15 min

Cook time: 45 min

Ready in: 2 hours

Yields: One serving

Ingredients

  • 5 baby new potatoes (or as required), skin on
  • 1 skinless haddock fillet
  • 1 egg, beaten in a deep plate
  • 2 tbsp golden breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 tbsp frozen peas
  • Salt, pepper and malt vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tartare sauce (or as required)
  • Lemon wedge to garnish

Instructions

  1. Put the potatoes in to cold salted water and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for half an hour. Drain, return to the pot, cover and leave for an hour to cool completely.
  2. Peel/rub the skins from the cooled potatoes and put your deep frier on to reach a medium to high heat.
  3. Scatter the bread crumbs on a dinner plate. Put the vegetable oil in to a frying pan and bring up to a medium heat.
  4. Put the potatoes in to the deep fryer. They will take about five minutes to become crisp and golden.
  5. Dip the haddock in the egg then pat on both sides in the bread crumbs. Fry for two minutes each side on a medium heat.
  6. The peas should be added to boiling water for three minutes.
  7. Drain the potatoes on kitchen paper on a plate.
  8. Lay the haddock on a serving plate. Drain the peas through a colander and plate with the potatoes. Season the potatoes and peas with salt, pepper and malt vinegar.
  9. Spoon on the tartare sauce at one end of the haddock and garnish with the lemon wedge.

Please Give your Rating of these Dishes

Comments

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on February 18, 2013:

Hi, John. Haddock is definitely an incredibly tasty fish and I was glad to read recently that the stocks are improving again in the oceans. I've never tasted a haddock from the Pacific or a King fish but would love to do so. Thanks for reading and leaving your comment.

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on February 18, 2013:

Hi Wesman and thanks for stopping by. Cheers!

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on February 18, 2013:

Hi, Nell and thank you. Nothing wrong with fish and chips at 2 in the morning - hope you enjoyed it! :)

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on February 15, 2013:

Love this hub! For years I'd always go to the Harrah's Buffet in Lake Tahoe just for the Haddock; it's a great tasting fish - one of my favorites. Atlantic fish taste better than Pacific ones. The King Fish is another of my all time favs!

Voted up and away

John

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on February 15, 2013:

What an extremely well done article! Cheers!

Nell Rose from England on February 15, 2013:

This just my type of food! you must be a great cook, I am on my way! lol! now I want fish and chips at 2 in the morning! wonderful! lol! voted and shared, nell

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on February 14, 2013:

Hi, randomcreative.The chowder/cullen skink is an old childhood association of mine and means a lot to me. I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try. Thanks as always for visiting and commenting.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 13, 2013:

I always enjoy the mix of recipes that you include in these types of articles! The chowder looks especially delicious. Thanks for the great resource. I'm excited to make haddock sometime.