Cod is a great fish to smoke as it has a meaty and yet light taste and is not as oily as other fish. It works well with different marinades and is a fish that is delicious when baked, grilled, fried, or smoked.
Read on to find out how to make smoked cod and prepare the best fish tacos.
A step-by-step guide for making smoked cod tacos
- Cod fillets
- Brine or marinade (see ingredients below)
- Corn tortillas
- Cabbage, broccoli, or coleslaw mix
- Rice vinegar
- Sour cream
- Sriracha Chili Garlic Sauce
Prepare the cod
You can use who fish or cod filets from the store. For the best results, it is recommended to cut the filets into 3-inch steaks.
Proceed to marinate or brine the cod to help add flavor to it and to ensure that it remains moist after smoking.
If you are brining it, make sure that you let it soak in a light brine for 3 to 4 hours.
A suitable recipe for making smoked fish brine includes:
- Soy sauce – 1 cup
- Warm water – 4 cups
- Brown sugar – ¾ cup
- Sea salt – ¼ cup granulated garlic ¾ cup
You can marinade it instead of brining it by making the following easy fish marinade using:
- Diet 7 Up or another citrus cola – 2 cups
- Light soy sauce – ½ cup
- Honey – 2 tablespoons
- Fresh ginger paste – 1 tablespoon
- Sriracha Chili Garlic Sauce – 1 tablespoon
Mix the ingredients and coat or dip the fish into the marinade. Let the fish sit in a refrigerator for 1 hour.
Take the fish out and pat it dry with paper towels.
Place the cod on a wire rack and put it back in the refrigerator, where a pellicle layer will form.
The pellicle is a thin protein layer that helps coat the surface of the fish, allowing it to absorb more of the smoke during the smoking process.
Smoke the cod
There are different methodologies used for smoking fish, some are simpler, and others can be quite complicated.
For the sakes of this delicious smoked cod recipe, the simplest possible smoking method is used. This means that you won’t need to cold smoke the cod first or raise and adjust the temperature of the smoker during the cooking.
Instead, set your smoker to a temperature of 200 to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
Choose a wood that goes well with fish for the smoker. Some of the popular options include apple, cherry, maple, cedar, and hickory.
Once the desired temperature is reached and remains constant, you can place the fish steaks on the cooking rack of your smoker.
Let the cod smoke for 45-60 minutes or until its internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check each steak for doneness with a suitable meat thermometer, as the pieces will most likely differ in size and thickness. Smaller steaks should be ready in about 45 minutes, while thicker and larger pieces can take about 60 minutes to cook.
If you are smoking the cod at a gentler temperature of 200 degrees F, then it may need more time for cooking.
Serve the smoked cod
You can serve the fish as you prefer, but here is one top-rated fish taco recipe which is perfect for smoked cod.
To make these delicious fish tacos, follow these steps:
- Soak some shredded cabbage or a coleslaw mix or broccoli mix in rice vinegar for 15 minutes. After pouring the vinegar off, dry the veggies using a paper towel.
- On a corn tortilla, place a layer of the soaked slaw and add sour cream on top of it.
- Then add the smoked cod, and drizzle it with lime and Sriracha sauce.
- Enjoy a delicious fish taco with your homemade smoked cod!