Baked Lingcod with Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce

DinnerLentLow CarbSeafood

Baked ling cod recipe served with a lemon garlic butter sauce.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Have you ever seen a lingcod? They are almost primeval looking—huge, gaping mouths with sharp teeth. As with any fish, the most important factor for how good it tastes is its freshness.

I picked up this fillet at Whole Foods (they usually have a good selection of fresh fish) where they told me that the ling cod had just come in that morning. With the lemon-garlic butter sauce it was divine.

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Baked Lingcod with Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

If you don't have ling cod, you can use any firm white fish. Other fish that wold be nice here include: redfish, walleye, catfish, rock cod, haddock, pollock, cod or black sea bass.

The sauce recipe makes 1 1/2 cups, about twice as much as you'll need for the above fish. Refrigerate what is left over and consider using it as a topping for potatoes or vegetables.



  • 2 pounds lingcod fillets
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup clam juice
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallots
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley


Prepare the sauce:

1 Reduce sauce mixture: Put the first six sauce ingredients (clam juice, sherry, whole milk, garlic, shallots, bay leaf) in a pot and bring to a boil. Boil it down by half.

2 Make a roux: In a separate saucepan (1-qt minimum) prepare the roux. Heat one tablespoon of butter in the saucepan on medium heat until it is foamy. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring a couple of minutes with a metal whisk until well mixed (tan, but not brown).

3 Slowly whisk in reduced mixture to roux: Slowly add the reduced mixture to the roux, stirring quickly to incorporate. When you first add some of the mixture, the roux will bubble up. Just keep adding the mixture and keep whisking to incorporate.

4 Whisk in butter: Turn the heat to low. Slowly whisk in the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time.

5 Add lemon juice and seasonings: Add lemon juice, salt, and white pepper. Add some more clam stock or water if the sauce is too thick. Add the chopped parsley right before you serve.

Prepare the fish:

1 Preheat oven and prepare rack: Arrange an oven rack so that when the fish is on a baking pan in the oven it will be 4 to 5 inches from the heat. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2 Prep the fish fillets: Rinse the fish in cold water, cut into serving pieces if necessary. Remove any bones with fish-bone tweezers or (spotless clean) pliers. Lay the fish flat in a aluminum foil lined baking pan.

Rub some olive oil over both sides of the pieces, enough to coat. Sprinkle both sides with a few shakes of salt and pepper.

3 Bake: Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, until just done.

To test, use the tip of a knife to gently cut into the thickest part of the fillet. The fish is done when the fish has just turned from translucent to opaque at the center. Once you pull the fish out of the oven it will continue to cook for a few minutes.

4 Serve: Serve the fish with the sauce poured on top. Rice, crusty bread and a simple salad are good accompaniments.

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Salmon with Garlic-Basil-Lemon Butter - from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Sole with Lemon Caper Butter - from Blue Kitchen

Grilled Ling Cod Collars - from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

26 Comments / Reviews

No ImageBaked Lingcod with Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Joanne

    Fabulous….had to drain a can of clams for the clam broth. Also didn’t have milk so used heavy cream and added water 1 to 1. Didn’t have fresh parsley so added dried parsley to the broth when reducing. It was phenomenal! Fixed it for hubby for our 58th wedding anniversary. AND only used ONE cube of butter. :)
    Though I used sherry in the recipe, I added some savignon blanc to thin it out a bit toward the end. My husband thinks he died and went to heaven. Thank you so much.


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  2. Cindy Lu

    Delicious! We used less butter but otherwise followed the recipe. We had enough for a second night until the dog countersurfed and ate the next night’s long cod. The sauce was so delicious that I ran out and recreated the lingcod the next night. Didn’t want to lose that sauce!


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  3. Lgm

    I used chicken broth and substituted heavy whipping cream for the milk. The sauce was good but too subtle. I’d add more garlic and shallots next time and definitely try the clam juice. I did sautés some mushrooms and served that under the lingcod and sauce — definitely added some much needed counter taste! Next time I’d also make rice. Or maybe a mushroom risotto??


  4. Dawn

    Wow. I don’t often make sauces as I didn’t grow up eating sauce. This was GREAT! I did what other reviewers did: Used chicken broth (clam juice next time) and 1.5 sticks of butter (yikes). It was so yummy! I think this would be good on other fish that has a mild flavor, maybe even scallops. The recipe was written easy to follow. Thanks!


  5. KP

    Wow! I made this tonight for dinner for my family and they all LOVED it! I was concerned too about the amount of butter. I followed the recipe to a T and it was perfect in every way!!


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