These crispy pan fried Cod Tongues are a traditional Newfoundland recipe that can be enjoyed as an appetizer or as a main dish with a side. They’re seasoned, lightly dredged in flour and fried until golden brown. Easy and delicious!
You read the recipe title correctly.
This is a recipe for cod tongues.
If you’re from Newfoundland, this is more than likely not odd for you.
If you’re not from Newfoundland, you may be a little perplexed. But, please stay with me here. They’re really yummy! Think of them as little cod nuggets; essentially, nuggets seasoned well, dredged in flour and fried in olive oil until crispy, golden brown and scrumptious.
You see, this is a traditional Newfoundland recipe. As you may have heard me say before, Newfoundland has a deep rooted history in the cod fishery. We have all sorts of recipes for cod in these parts, all unique and delicious.
What I particularly love about the concept of this recipe is that it uses a part of the fish that may often get overlooked. It’s using something aside from the ‘pretty’ parts, like the fillets.
One random Saturday, hubby and I went to see my parents. It turned out to be an impromptu visit on a lovely sunny day and we ended up staying and enjoying a casual dinner of steamed mussels and, you guessed it, crispy fried cod tongues.
As dad was cooking, I watched closely, carefully taking note of everything he was doing and asking questions. I thought, it would be a great idea to share another popular recipe from where I’m from. So, suffice to say, I’m excited to be sharing this recipe with you guys today!
Fan of traditional Newfoundland recipes? Try this cod au gratin recipe!
What are Cod Tongues?
The cod ‘tongue’ is actually a muscle in the cod fish neck, but they’re commonly referred to as the former.
What Do Cod Tongues Taste Like?
If you put it out of your head that it’s a ‘tongue’ or neck muscle, it’s actually quite delicious. They’re meatier and denser than, say, the flesh or the type of meat you would get from a fillet.
What Size Should I Look For?
I prefer smaller cod tongues. I tend to find the larger ones more fatty and have somewhat of a jelly consistency in areas. Some people go for that, though.
How Many Do I Need?
I used about 1 pound here. The actual quantity that makes up that pound can vary, depending on their size.
Since I opted for those on the smaller size, my pound comprised about 35 to 40 pieces. However, on average, there would be roughly 30 tongues in a pound.
Bottom line: Allow for 6 to 8 cod tongues per person for an appetizer. If enjoying as a main, you may want a couple more, plus a side dish.
What Ingredients Do I Need?
- Cod tongues (of course)
- All-purpose flour
- Salt and any seasoning you like (I used a ‘lemon pepper’ seasoning blend. If you aren’t using that, add some black pepper)
Traditionally, people often fry cod tongues in rendered pork fat. I prefer to use oil. Use what you enjoy best!
How to Make this Cod Tongue Recipe
Full details are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
- Give the tongues a little wash under fresh, cold water. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place them in a bowl and add salt, paprika, cayenne pepper powder, and lemon pepper seasoning. Coat cod tongues well. Note: Most times, you’ll find cod tongues seasoned with just salt and pepper. The extra seasoning adds something special.
- Place some flour in a bowl and dredge each cod tongue in the flour, shaking off excess. Dad’s tip is to dredge one a time. However, in a pinch (or if you’re making a big batch), you could place half of the cod tongues in a food-safe plastic bag, add flour, and shake to coat. Repeat with other half.
- Place the flour-dredged cod tongues on a plate as you are coating them.
- Heat some oil in a skillet.
- Add cod tongues and cook about 5 minutes.
- Carefully flip each one and fry on other side for about 5 minutes or until cooked through.
- Remove from pan and enjoy with a squeeze of lemon and tartar sauce. If you like, you can give the tongues another sprinkling of salt while they’re hot.
Hungry for more? Subscribe to the Girl Heart Food Newsletter!
Can I Make These Ahead of Time?
This recipe comes together super quickly and are best enjoyed as soon as they are made while they are fresh and crispy.
What to Serve with Cod Tongues?
As mentioned above, I love to serve cod tongues with some fresh lemon and tartar sauce for dipping (I have a recipe for tartar sauce here). Some hot sauce would be lovely too.
You can certainly enjoy as they are, but if making things more of a meal enjoy with:
- Green salad
- Mashed potatoes or oven roasted potatoes
- French fries
More Tips for Making this Traditional Newfoundland Recipe
This recipe calls for one pound of cod tongues. You could easily double, if you like.
As mentioned above, I used cod tongues that were on the smaller side and used about 35 to 40 tongues. If your cod tongues are larger, then there will be less tongues in a pound.
I used a lemon pepper seasoning blend, along with paprika and just a touch of cayenne. If you want to keep things more simple, just salt and pepper would be okay.
Like this Traditional Newfoundland Recipe? You May Enjoy These Too
Feeling adventurous? Guess what? Cod cheeks are also a thing around here too! If you want to branch out to other varieties of fish, Diversivore has a lovely recipe for halibut cheeks if you’d like to check that one out!
Hope you love this easy cod tongue recipe as much as we do!
If you make this traditional Newfoundland cod recipe, be sure to leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed!
Cod Tongues (a traditional Newfoundland recipe)
- 1 pound cod tongues (about 35 to 40 'small' cod tongues. See 'Notes' below).
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning blend
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder (or to taste, optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil (approximately, to fry cod tongues)
- Wash cod tongues with some cold water and pat dry with paper towel.
- Place cod tongues in a bowl (or food-safe plastic bag) and sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning blend, paprika, cayenne pepper powder and salt over top. Seal bag and gently shake to coat the cod tongues in the seasoning.
- Dredge cod tongues in flour (can do one at a time or place flour in a bowl or food-safe plastic bag and do multiple at a time).
- To cook cod tongues, heat some oil (about 2 teaspoons or so) in a skillet over medium heat. Note: Cook the cod tongues in batches (you'll have about 2 to 3 batches) and don't overcrowd the pan. Add more oil between batches.
- When oil is hot, add cod tongues, about 12 cod tongues or so per batch. Cook 5 minutes on one side.
- Flip cod tongues to the other side and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until cod tongues are cooked through.
- Transfer cooked cod tongues to a plate (you can then sprinkle with a little more salt, if you like).
- Repeat process to cook remaining cod tongues.
- After they've all cooked, transfer the cod tongues to a serving platter.
- Serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce. Makes 4 appetizer servings or can be enjoyed as a main with a side.
Nutrition estimate (if provided) is based on 1 Serving.
Nutrition information (if provided) is provided as a courtesy and should be considered an estimate only. Ingredients can vary and Girl Heart Food makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are guidelines only.