Cusk, often thought of as a good replacement for cod, really should be more popular in its
own right. It resides in the same family as the most popular white fish; haddock, pollock, and
cod. Cusk also resembles its relatives through its head, but the rest of its body is more eel-like.
Cusk are a bottom-feeding fish, found as deep as 500 fathoms below the surface. Market size
cusk are typically 2 to 3 pounds.
Cusk has a firmer texture than cod, with a mild, sweet flavor. In its raw form, cusk flesh
is pure translucent white, becoming opaque once cooked. We believe one of the biggest reasons
cusk should be more popular is its oil content. It’s an oilier whitefish, making it the perfect
candidate for grilling! Its dense flesh takes longer to cook in comparison to its other white fish
cousins, but because cusk meat holds together better, it’s also good in soups and chowders, and
it’s the perfect fish for kabobs.
Other cooking methods for cusk include baking, broiling, frying, poaching, sautéing, and
steaming (try crusting it with breading and then baking it; delicious!). Although cusk differs
slightly from cod, haddock and pollock in terms of texture and preparation, the flavors that pair
well are the same. You can pair cusk with a squeeze of lemon, a dry rub, a fruit salsa, etc. The
beauty of cusk is that it’s mild and sweet, but it still has the added density and oil content to
make it more versatile.
Stay tuned for our cusk recipe coming tomorrow! It’s another grilled fish week here at Harbor