Poor Man’s Lobster (Cod in Butter) Cook Off

Poor Man’s Lobster is the ultimate way to prepare cod, with a sweet rich flavor that is truly reminiscent of broiled lobster. Poor Man’s Lobster is the ultimate way to prepare cod, with a sweet rich flavor that is truly reminiscent of broiled lobster.

Cod is a workhorse of a fish. Not only is it economical, but it’s suitable for a wide variety of preparations–from deep frying to baking. All delicious, of course. 

Poor Man’s Lobster, however, is where it shines. And, possibly due to my keto diet, memories from my childhood recently came flooding back. Poor Man’s Lobster is the ultimate way to prepare cod, with a sweet rich flavor that is truly reminiscent of broiled lobster.

My mother used to simply boil the cod, then serve with melted butter. But as I researched recipes on the internet, I came up with two interesting alternatives. The first boils the cod in sugared water, then broils. 

Version 1, Boil, then Broil

The second, a simpler alternative, is sprinkled in salt, pepper and paprika, then baked (and served) topped with a melted stick of butter. 

Recipe 2, Bake in Butter

Now clearly the second would have the advantage in work effort. But which would be the winner in taste?  I decided to make both to see. My husband, oldest daughter and I all judged the results.

In the end the boiled then broiled version (recipe below) did indeed taste more like lobster and edged out the other in flavor. The pre-boil in the sugared water adds a lobster-like sweetness and the subsequent broiling gave it a nice firmness. Poor Man’s Lobster is the ultimate way to prepare cod, with a sweet rich flavor that is truly reminiscent of broiled lobster.

But we also really liked the baked version. So on a day with lower energy levels, I wouldn’t hesitate to make that!

Hooray for cod! Poor Man’s Lobster is the ultimate way to prepare cod, with a sweet rich flavor that is truly reminiscent of broiled lobster.

Poor Man’s Lobster is the ultimate way to prepare cod, with a sweet rich flavor that is truly reminiscent of broiled lobster.

Poor Man’s Lobster

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Poor Man’s Lobster is the ultimate way to prepare cod, with a sweet rich flavor that is truly reminiscent of broiled lobster.

Ingredients

  • 4-6 cups water
  • ¾ cup sugar or equivalent substitute
  • 1 Tablespoon salt or lite salt
  • 1 ½ lb cod, cut into 4 6-ounce portions (thick is preferable)
  • Salt, pepper, paprika for sprinkling
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • Lemon and butter for serving

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Dissolve sugar and salt in the water. 
  2. Add cod pieces and boil 3-5 minutes, depending on thicknessof fish.
  3. Carefully (to avoid breakage) place fish on broiler pan or aluminum foil.  Brush with melted butter, then sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper and paprika. 
  4. Broil until fish flakes easily (approx. 145 F), about 5-10 minutes. 
  5. Serve with melted butter and lemon.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 409Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 2136mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 38gProtein: 39g

Nutrition data accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.

7 thoughts on “Poor Man’s Lobster (Cod in Butter) Cook Off

  1. David Scott Allen

    I love that pre-boiling them in a little sugar water makes them taste more like lobster. I’ve never heard this before, and you would think I would have growing up on the East Coast. I’m definitely going to give this a try, Inger… but I might serve it with a little less butter, as we are trying to reduce our fat intake. (How boring!)

  2. Chon

    …we (my wife) and I like just to boil it…we had never heard of broiling it…but the time is coming to broil it…she cuts the cod into 1 inch widths…adds one cup of sugar to the boiling water with 3 spoons of salt and one sliced lemon…stirring till the sugar dissolves…when it is a rolling boil she adds the cod and NEVER stir while it is boiling…they will float to the surface indicating they are done…pull and drain serve hot with melted butter…I add salt and fresh lemon juice to the butter used for dipping…love this…thank you…!!!

    1. Inger Post author

      I think the broiling just dries it out a little more so it is firmer like lobster. But similar methods up to that point. Yum!

    1. Inger Post author

      I have not but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. Cod is flakier than lobster so the fish chunks in the salad would be a little different in consistency, but I think the taste would be great. Inspired idea!

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