How to Cook Pouting and Pouting Recipes

Pan fried pouting in breadcrumbs is one of the recipes featured on this page
Pan fried pouting in breadcrumbs 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 site will look at a few suggestions (over a short period of time) 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.

Check out also the, "useful links," section further down this page for more ideas on how to cook pouting and pouting recipes. Hopefully you will find one either on this page or among the links which you will enjoy.

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

Fresh Pouting Fillets
Fresh Pouting Fillets
Beaten, Seasoned Egg and Fresh Breadcrumbs
Beaten, Seasoned Egg and Fresh Breadcrumbs
Pouting Fillet in Breadcrumbs in Frying Pan
Pouting Fillet in Breadcrumbs in Frying Pan

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.

Pouting Fillets Cut in to Goujons
Pouting Fillets Cut in to Goujons
Preparing the Plate for the Pouting Goujons
Preparing the Plate for the Pouting Goujons
Deep Frying the Pouting Goujons
Deep Frying the Pouting Goujons

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.

The sauce ingredients for one portion are as follows:

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.

21 Bespoke Scottish Fish and Seafood Recipes (21 Bespoke Recipes Series)
21 Bespoke Scottish Fish and Seafood Recipes (21 Bespoke Recipes Series)

Pouting is but one of the fish species featured in this new e-book which looks at some super tasty recipes for cooking and serving fish and seafood of all types found in Scottish salt and fresh waters. Pouting and Pollack Pakora is detailed along with other gems such as Quick and Easy Rollmops, Salmon and Haddock Mini Puff Pastry Pies and Smoked Salmon and Raspberry Salad.


More by this Author

  • How to Cook Pollack (With Recipes)

    Pollack is a delicious, sustainable fish, and an alternative to Atlantic cod. This page shows how to fillet and skin pollack. It also provides a wide range of tasty recipes.

  • How to Cook Whiting and Whiting Recipes

    Whiting is one of the tastiest types of white fish. It's a shame that it's so underrated and discarded by fishermen. Read about whiting recipes and cooking options to help you enjoy whiting.

  • How to Cook Duck Eggs 10 Different Ways

    Duck eggs make a wonderfully tasty and refreshing change from chicken eggs and can largely be cooked almost exactly the same way. This page features ten different ways in which you can cook duck eggs (or chicken eggs)...

How do you prefer pouting or similar white fish to be cooked? 16 comments

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

You're welcome, eivers. Good luck to him from me and I look forward to hearing how he gets on. (Other great cheap and sustainable fish to use in a fish pie instead of pouting are coley and pollack, though you still need the stronger flavoured fish as well. If you're in the UK, coley in particular is very commonly available from supermarkets.)

eivers 4 years ago

thanks for fast reply. Husband on cookery course and has to make said pie. Haddock was suggested but as recipe called for 1lb salmon tried to find cheaper alternative without spoiling dish. Will let you know results.

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, eivers

Yes, you certainly can use pouting in a fish pie but be sure to include another stronger flavoured fish, like salmon or (undyed) smoked haddock.

Yes, you should remove the skin. Lay the fillet flat on a chopping board, skin side down, with the tail (narrow) end towards your weaker side. (If you're right handed, tail to the left.) You will need a filleting knife. Make an incision as close as you can to the point of the tail - through the flesh but not the skin - and grab the little bit of tail end in your weaker hand. Turn the knife that it is flush against the skin, pointing away from the tail. Move the knife in a backwards and forwards motion and gently pull the fillet away from the knife. It takes a bit of practise but you will soon be easily able to skin fillets. Alternatively, ask your fishmonger to do it for you.

Enjoy your pie and I hope you'll let me know how it worked out!

eivers 4 years ago

can i use it in fish pie do i need to remove skin...if so

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, Marcos. Yes, you could certainly cook pouting in a moderately hot oven. Be sure, however, to wrap it firstly in foil and not to overcook it. Season it with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil before you wrap it. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Marcos 4 years ago


Thanks for this posting.

Can I roast it instead of frying?

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hello, purgatory pugh. Thank you very much for visiting and taking the time to leave such an informative comment.

I am delighted that you have discovered pouting. The eating experience you had sounds delicious. I know Berkshire fairly well from when I lived in Middlesex but I unfortunately don't think I ever had the pleasure of visiting this particular restaurant.

I wrote this page as part of my humble attempts around the Web to support The Big Fish Fight and both make people aware of the plight of such as haddock and cod as well as help introduce them to more sustainable species of fish. A very interesting point about the price but the good news is that this is unlikely (and unfortunately from a conservation point of view!) to be an issue for some time at least.

I hope you continue to enjoy your pouting! :)

purgatory pugh 4 years ago


I had never heard of the fish but today it was on the Specials Board of the "Red House" in Marsh Benham, Berkshire (just out side Newbury) it was served with King Scallops and was absolutly fantastic. The flesh was firm but flaked nicely and the flavour was gentle and enhanced by a very light butter sauce. Lauren the Chef (French) came to ask our opinion and my friend and I had nothing but praise for the fish and its presentation which had been recommended by the lovely head waitress, also very, very French. I will most certainly eat this fish again. Keep it secret as once discovered it will double in price.

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, amazonia. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

amazonia 5 years ago

thankyou for posting the recipe....

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hello, rosita. Thanks for your comment.

I have eaten many different types of fish in the way you describe but never pouting. Essentially, what is happening in these cases, is that the acid in the vinegar or in citrus fruits such as lemon or lime is actually cooking the fish. The fish is therefore not as raw as some people think.

To be honest, I'm not sure but I don't think that pouting would be a type of fish ideally suited to this preparation method. Interesting thought, though! :)

rosita_yam 5 years ago

can pouting be taken as raw? As we did here in the PHIL.Actually raw fish here ,we used to mix with vinegar,few salt.few sugar unions,hot pepper, it turns out to be delicious. Have you tried it ?

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, Dave

Yes, it is. I don't personally like freezing any type of fish, however, as I think it can be mushy after it is defrosted. Just my preference, though.

dave the slave 5 years ago

is it ok to put pouting in the freezer?

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, mquee

Pouting for some reason is considered among the lowest of the low, in culinary terms. It is caught in the colder, inshore waters of the North Atlantic and is rarely caught more than about 12" in length (though there are of course exceptions.) Like so many other fish species, it is often assigned local names. I have also heard it called simply pout, or bib. I am sure there are many other local labels for it.

Thanks for your comment and you are right: this recipe is good for many other types of fish, including most of the cod family.

mquee profile image

mquee 6 years ago from Columbia, SC

The fish does look good, but this is the first time I have ever heard of pouting. What part of the country is it caught in? The ecipe should be good for other fish as well. Thanks for sharing.

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