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With tender, flaky Alaska Pollock fish pan-fried in a spicy, mango-infused marinade and piled atop pillowy soft naan breads, Alaska Seafood’s Indian-spiced Alaska Pollock and charred onion flatbreads make for a healthy and tasty alternative to the likes of chicken tikka masala or lamb rogan josh.
Up until around 10 years ago, most of us would never have been caught with pollock on our plates. Once seen as a somewhat bland and boring fish – the poor man’s cod or haddock, even – pollock is now more popular than ever, found in everything from fish fingers to fish and chip shops. This change has no doubt been driven by pollock’s status as a sustainably farmed fish, combined with its low cost – yet similar taste and texture – in comparison to the likes of cod and haddock.
Most of the pollock readily available within the UK is from the Gulf of Alaska or the Bering Sea. Despite having a fairly sparse population, Alaska is one of the world’s largest exporters of seafood, with the Alaska seafood industry second only to oil and gas in terms of generated labour income. Commercial fishing and seafood processing provide a vital source of employment for many people living in Alaska’s rural, coastal communities.
Keep reading to find out more about Alaska Pollock and why we should be eating more of it. The recipe can be found at the end of this post.
- 1 Alaska Wild Pollock Fish: A Handy Guide
- 1.1 What kind of fish is pollock?
- 1.2 What’s the difference between pollock and pollack?
- 1.3 What does pollock fish taste like?
- 1.4 Are cod and pollock the same?
- 1.5 Is pollock cheaper than cod?
- 1.6 Is Alaska Pollock sustainably farmed?
- 1.7 Is pollock a good fish to eat?
- 1.8 Where can I buy Alaska Pollock fish?
- 2 Alaska Seafood’s pollock flatbreads
- 3 Indian Spiced Alaska Pollock and Charred Onion Flatbreads
Alaska Wild Pollock Fish: A Handy Guide
What kind of fish is pollock?
Formally known as walleye pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus), Alaska Wild Pollock is a marine fish belonging to the Gadidae cod family. As you can probably tell from its name, Alaska Wild Pollock can be found throughout the north Pacific, particularly in the eastern Bering Sea.
What’s the difference between pollock and pollack?
Although the names sound similar, pollock and pollack are two completely different fish. While pollock is mainly farmed in the north Pacific, pollack is found in the north east Atlantic. Popular in Scotland, where it’s known as ‘lythe’, pollack (sometimes referred to as pollock) is line-caught off the Cornish coast and tastes similar to cod and haddock when cooked.
What does pollock fish taste like?
With large, soft flakes and white flesh, pollock has a mild, subtle taste, akin to that of cod or haddock. Some people find the texture a little course.
Are cod and pollock the same?
Although pollock belongs to the Gadidae cod family and both cod and pollock are white in colour, mild in flavour and low in fat, there are subtle differences in the texture of each. While pollock is soft and flaky, Pacific cod tends to be firmer. However, pollock is used as a substitute to cod in many recipes.
Is pollock cheaper than cod?
Yes, pollock is usually slightly cheaper than cod. This is why it’s often used as a substitute to cod in products like fish fingers and burgers (including the McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish).
Is Alaska Pollock sustainably farmed?
With seafood being Alaska’s biggest export, sustainable fishing techniques are a must in order for the industry to survive in the long-term. In fact, when Alaska was founded in 1959, sustainable fishing techniques were written into the Constitution, with “sustainable” applying not only to the fish, but to the local communities, the fisherman and women, alongside the economic return. When you buy Alaska seafood, you can be confident it’s a sustainable catch – just look for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) blue tick mark on the packaging.
Is pollock a good fish to eat?
In terms of nutritional value, Alaska Pollock is extremely good for you and this is one of the reasons why Alaska Seafood wants us to eat more of this humble fish. Its high protein content makes it easier to digest, while it also contains all nine of the amino acids that the body cannot produce by itself. Just 85g of Alaska Pollock contains as much as 16g of protein, with no carbohydrates whatsoever and a fat content of less than 1%!
Add to this a healthy dose of Omega-3 fatty acids (which help to ensure a healthy heart, brain, immune system, vision, nerve cells and gums) and a range of vitamins and minerals (including vitamin A, C, D and E plus zinc, iron, calcium and selenium) and it’s clear to see that not only does pollock taste delicious, but it’s also very good for you.
Where can I buy Alaska Pollock fish?
You can find Alaska Pollock fish fillets in the frozen aisle of most reputable supermarkets including Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Iceland and the online supermarket, Ocado. While these can usually be cooked from frozen, you’ll need to defrost them for use in the recipe I’m sharing in this blog post.
Alaska Seafood’s pollock flatbreads
Now that we’ve established just how good Alaska Pollock fish is not just for ourselves, but for the wider environment and for the local rural communities which work within the Alaska seafood industry, let’s turn our attention to how to cook Alaska Pollock and what kind of recipes it works best in.
How to cook Alaska Pollock
Alaska Pollock is often sold as frozen fillets or steaks and as they’re fairly thin and flaky, they can be cooked from frozen in the oven in around 15-20 minutes.
If you prefer, you can defrost Alaska Pollock in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before use.
Indian spiced Alaska Pollock and charred onion flatbreads
While this is my first time cooking pollock, I’m pleasantly surprised by how quick and easy it is to cook and at £3.49 for four fillets in Waitrose, it’s not out of my budget range either. I normally prefer to buy fish fresh rather than frozen but once cooked, the pollock flesh was much juicier than I’d imagined it would be.
Although the original recipe for these Indian spiced Alaska pPllock and charred onion flatbreads calls for frozen pollock fillets to be cut into bitesize chunks and marinated before cooking, I thought it’d be best to defrost the fillets beforehand so they’d be easier to cut up and the marinade could really soak into the flesh.
Once the pollock fillets have thoroughly defrosted, marinate them in the mixture of Greek yoghurt, hot curry paste and mango chutney for at least five minutes. Personally, being a lover of spice, I like to marinate mine for at least an hour.
Meanwhile, pour some olive oil into a heavy-based frying pan or skillet and fry sliced onions over a low to medium heat until slightly charred on each side. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Return the pan to the heat, gently place the pollock pieces into it and fry for a few minutes on each side, until the pollock is also a little charred.
While the pollock is cooking, cook the naan breads according to the package instructions.
Once warmed through, carefully remove the naan breads from the oven or grill and place them on a clean work surface. Top each naan with a layer of charred onions, followed by spicy Alaska Pollock broken up with a fork into light, fluttery flakes. Follow with a dollop of smooth Greek yoghurt, a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice, fresh coriander leaves and mango chutney.
Devour! Thank me and Alaska Seafood later 😉
Indian Spiced Alaska Pollock and Charred Onion Flatbreads
- 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt plus some more to serve
- 1 tbsp hot curry paste
- 1 tbsp mango chutney
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 frozen Alaska pollock fillets defrosted and cut into bitesize pieces
- 1 large onion peeled and cut into chunky slices
- 2 naan breads
- A squeeze of lemon juice to serve
- Fresh coriander leaves to serve (optional)
- Mix the yoghurt, curry paste and mango chutney together with a dash of olive oil and season with ground black pepper.
- Transfer the fish pieces in the marinade, coat thoroughly and leave to marinate for at least five minutes.
- Pour some olive oil into a heavy-based pan, bring it to a low-to-medium heat and fry the onions, stirring for a couple of minutes until starting to char and brown. Remove from the pan.
- Return the pan to the heat and once hot, place the marinated pollock pieces into the pan and let them cook until slightly charred on one side (this will take about 1-2 minutes) then turn them over and cook on the other side keeping an eye on them – if they begin to get too hot, take the pan off the heat.
- Warm the naan bread as per the instructions on the packet.
- Divide the onions between the two naan breads, top with the pollock fish and some more Greek yoghurt, followed by a squeeze of lemon juice. Scatter some fresh coriander leaves over the top and serve with mango chutney.
- If you’d like the fish to be spicier, marinate it in the curry paste for a few hours beforehand.
- Defrost the pollock fillets in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours prior to use.
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If you like this recipe, why not take a look at some of my other culinary creations?
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