Cod Poached in Herb Butter

This year I resolved to eat more fish. Nothing like a good New Years Resolution, right?  Fish is healthy and tasty so it may not be the world’s toughest goal! One of my creations for this was Cod Poached in Herb Butter. Don’t let the word “butter” scare you–it’s still healthy. I promise! 

Cod Poached in Herb Butter, Served

Cod Poached in Herb Butter, Served

This recipe had an odd genesis. A local grocer had cod on sale, and I had a compound butter in my freezer that I was looking to finish off. So I put the two together with some extra seasonings and it was magical.

Compound butter is clearly trending now. You mix herbs or truffles or other ingredients with a good butter for a magical taste combination. Compound butter is a convenient flavor boost for a variety of recipes–or a spectacular topping for a good steak. 

Cod Poached in Herb Butter, closeup

Cod Poached in Herb Butter, closeup

But I know that including “compound butter” as an ingredient might make this recipe tough for the average home cook (you don’t have compound butter in your freezer?). So I played around and came up with an easier version that I like even better.

Dried Mushrooms

Dried Mushrooms

The recipe uses dried mushrooms which give it a warm earthy taste. If you can’t get dried mushrooms, I would use about 8 ounces of shitakes and/or baby portabellas and sauté them until they are just starting to get crisp around the edges.  The other really important component of this dish is a good cod. Yes, the standard wisdom about not using fishy smelling fish is dead on.

cod-herb-butter-platedWe loved the end result and it has even become occasional company fare.  Don’t you love a good New Year’s Resolution?

Cod Poached in Herb Butter
Serves 4
A light butter mushroom sauce makes Cod Poached in Herb Butter a delicious and easy way to add more fish to your diet.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
146 calories
1 g
56 g
12 g
9 g
7 g
69 g
209 g
0 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 146
Calories from Fat 104
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
Saturated Fat 7g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 56mg
Sodium 209mg
Total Carbohydrates 1g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 cod fillets (about 1 1/2 lbs), cut into 4 pieces
  2. 1/4 cup dried mushrooms (see note)
  3. 4 tablespoons butter
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 shallot, minced
  6. 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced (or 1 t dried)
  7. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 t dried)
  8. zest from half a lemon
  9. sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Break dried mushrooms into small pieces (about 1/4 inch), then top with boiling water to soften.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large frying pan. Add minced shallots and garlic and saute until tender.
  3. Drain mushrooms and add to pan along with parsley, thyme, lemon zest, and remaining 2 tablespoon butter.
  4. Cook for another minute, then add cod. Cover and simmer on low until cooked through (cod juices will add to the sauce volume) . Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
  1. If you can't get dried mushrooms, substitute 8 ounces of baby portabellas and/or shitakes sauteed until starting to crisp around edges.
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15 thoughts on “Cod Poached in Herb Butter

  1. Pingback: Citrus or Mushroom Flavored Sea Salt - Art of Natural Living

  2. Louise

    What a delicious post, Inger!!! We’ve been eating a lot more fish around here lately. Not really a resolution more for less meat and the health benefits.

    My one problem with fish is how confusing it is to buy the right kind Environmentally, farmed versus fresh, and a host of other questions. That old adage get to know your fish monger has been a priority around here:)

    Your Cod looks delicious! I love the way you have served it with an earthy herb butter. If there was any left, just imagine the tasty cod fish cakes it would make, lol…

    Thanks so much for sharing, Inger…

  3. grace

    i simply don’t like the taste of fish, though i’ve been told that cod is a great way to ease into it. i like this preparation!

    1. Inger Post author

      This would be a good way to break into fish with the mildness of the cod and the contributions of the other flavors! Hopefully you haven’t been overly discouraged by bad fish. The other source I tried was unpleasant–without actually being spoiled–and I would have sworn off fish from that too.

  4. Beth

    Your cod looks wonderful. And how did you know I didn’t have any Morel and ramp butter in my fridge? This herb butter sounds like a wonderful compromise.

    1. Inger Post author

      LOL! I do like this herb butter combo though, which is good since I only find morels when I am lucky (that is not most years 😉 ).

  5. lena

    hi inger! cod fish is very expensive over here, the price keeps going up, it’s crazy and i think now it is selling ard usd 28/kg, which in my country it is very pricey 🙂 HOwever once in a while we do eat this at home, a simple panfry….and just with a little soy sauce, the chinese way. Thanks for the idea of butter and herbs, i like this simple western style of cooking and i believe it pairs great with some other fishes too!

    1. Inger Post author

      Yes, I love fish, but it can be pretty pricey here for good seafood too. I have been buying the cod when it is on sale. I think it should work with other fish–probably almost any mild fish.

      Did you see Louise’s Napoleon recipe? I decided if you and she were both posting it, it must mean I have to try it myself!

    1. Inger Post author

      You know it is quite light but still tastes really rich. I have been spooning any extra sauce over the broccoli I often serve with this!

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