Baked Lingcod with Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce

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 seabass.

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



  • 2 pounds lingcod fillets
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce
This recipe makes 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.

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

Bake 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.

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

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Diane

    This was a huge hit when I served it at a dinner party. Used halibut as lingcod wasn’t available and it worked beautifully, as I’m sure any white fish would.

    I saw a slight curdling effect in the boiling phase, but ignored it and the sauce turned out smooth and creamy. The only changes I made were to use 1% milk and only 1 stick of butter (couldn’t bring myself to add the second), and there was plenty of sauce to cover 3 lbs of fish, serve extra on the side, and even have a little left over. Delicious!!

  • Olga Loza

    As soon as the sauce ingredients came to a boil, the whole thing curdled. Pretty sure the milk was fresh. What gives?

    • Elise Bauer

      Given the amount of butter in the recipe, that shouldn’t have been an issue. Don’t know what to tell you.

      • Olga Loza

        Elise, mine kept curdling in step 1, before adding the butter. I kept trying last night and finally got it to work by adding a little heavy cream to the milk, clam juice, and the sherry – fourth time was the charm! Lol The sauce was very tasty, thank you for the recipe.

        • Deborah Pastor

          Boiling milk will always cause curdling – I substituted heavy cream and added it near the end. You don’t need as much.

        • Anya

          Also it could be because acidity in the wine. I had no clam stock so used white wine instead. I reduced my sherry and wine by half with garlic and bay leaf and then added the milk but did not boil it

  • Ringo

    Wow! this was great! I stuck to the ingredients….somewhat but didnt have clam juice so I used white wine…and…didnt have sherry so I used red wine!…also used the amount of butter and only drizzled a minimum portion on the servings….what a great flavor!!

  • Sarah

    Great recipe! Too much salt for my taste, though. I added a little sugar to balance the flavor. Next time I’ll probably use half as much salt.

  • Julian

    Absolutely delicious recipe. Anytime I go spearfishing for lingcod I keep this dish in mind as a great source of motivation. If you ever have lingcod on your hands you need to definitely give this recipe a shot.


  • Karen

    This sounds very good. Have you tried it with any other type of fish? I am not sure if I could get Ling Cod, but I’m thinking of substituting with either Atlantic Cod or Halibut? Thanks for these great recipes.

    I’m sure this recipe would work with fillets from many fish varieties. ~Elise

  • John

    Im looking at this recipe and well just wanted to know what this means.

    reduce by 1/2

    Does that mean split the ingredients in 2 parts? If so what do you do with the other 1/2?

    If not please explain to the culinary laymen.

    “Reduce by half” means put the ingredients in a pan, put the heat on, let the mixture simmer until half of it has evaporated. ~Elise

  • paulina

    Yikes! Why so much butter? Especially since it with a small amount of other ingredients, since the mixture is reduced.

    Great recipe however. Delicious sauce. I found after 1.5 sticks it tasted very buttery and stopped there.

  • Jill

    I made this recipe tonight and it was quite delicious. The sauce was really rich and yummy. A relative had brought me back some ling cod he caught while on a fishing trip in Alaska and the sauce ended up being perfect for it. I didn’t have any sherry and ended up using only half the amount of butter and it was still excellent. I’ll definitely use the sauce for any white fish again.