Skip to main content

How to Cook Pouting and Pouting 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.

Battered pouting goujons served with hot and sweet chilli dip is one of the recipes featured on this page.

Battered pouting goujons served with hot and sweet chilli dip is one of the recipes featured on this page.

What Is Pouting?

Pouting is a member of the cod family. Rarely is it targeted by fishermen, and if caught by accident, it is most often cut up and used as bait for more desirable species. It is not widely regarded as a good fish to eat, but if cooked in the correct fashion and served with the right accompaniments, it can be truly delicious.

This article will look at a few suggestions for how to cook pouting and hopefully go some small way to widening its popularity in these horrendous times where the stocks of more popular eating fish species are all but decimated.

Note: You should always eat pouting as fresh as possible. It does not store well.

Pouting fillet shallow fried in fresh breadcrumbs

Pouting fillet shallow fried in fresh breadcrumbs

Pouting Fillet Shallow Fried in Fresh Breadcrumbs

Ingredients (Per Person)

  • 1 fresh pouting fillet
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A little olive or sunflower oil for frying


Break the egg in to a reasonably wide bottomed bowl, season with salt and pepper and beat it fairly well. The slices of bread (slightly stale bread works better than fresh bread) should be made in to breadcrumbs and scattered evenly over a dinner plate.

Add a little oil to a non-stick frying pan and slowly bring it up to a medium heat. When frying pouting or any fish in this fashion, it is important to remember to put the fish through the egg and breadcrumbs twice. This will ensure an even, crisp coating of the cooked fish and is why you may appear to have more breadcrumbs than you believe you will need.

Draw the pouting fillet carefully through the beaten egg and then pat it on both sides in the breadcrumbs. Repeat this process before laying it gently in the hot frying pan. Fry over a medium heat for two to three minutes on each side until the breadcrumbs are beautifully golden.

Transfer the cooked pouting to a plate and garnish with a slice of fresh lemon and a sprig of fresh dill. Serve with some freshly made chips and a little salad.

Battered pouting goujons served with hot and sweet chilli dip

Battered pouting goujons served with hot and sweet chilli dip

Battered Pouting Goujons Served With Hot and Sweet Chilli Dip

The first step in this recipe is to prepare the incredibly simple sauce. It is imperative that the sauce be refrigerated for at least an hour prior to serving the dish, in order that the various flavours be given a chance to infuse.

Ingredients for the Sauce (One Portion)

  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled and grated)
  • 1 finely chopped spring onion (scallion in the USA)
  • Pinch of dried chilli flakes (or chilli powder)


Please note that the quantity of the chilli can and should be varied according to taste. Do not, however, make the mistake of tasting the sauce prior to refrigeration and thinking that it requires more chilli. Remember that the flavours will infuse! The ingredients should simply be mixed thoroughly together in a glass bowl, covered with clingfilm and refrigerated until required.

The pouting goujons are served on a bed of shredded lettuce and finely sliced white onion. It is optional to add a little freshly ground black pepper and/or a splash of white wine vinegar to this combination.

The batter for the pouting goujons is simply plain (all purpose) white flour, water and a little salt, mixed to the consistency of emulsion paint. If time permits, the batter should be refrigerated prior to use for best effect.

When frying small portions of fish like this, I prefer to use a deep frying pan or wok, as opposed to a deep fat fryer. This is for the simple reason that I can watch the small pieces of fish as they colour and better judge when they are ready. These pouting goujons are fried in sunflower oil.

The pieces of pouting should be added to the batter mix, fully coated and then suspended above the bowl for a few seconds to allow the excess batter to drip off. They should then be carefully placed in the hot oil for around three minutes each side.

The cooked pouting goujons should be drained and dried on kitchen paper before being arranged on top of the lettuce and onion. The sauce should ideally be served in a small ramekin as shown below and a wedge of lemon added to the plate.