Haddock is a popular white fish that is quite abundant and a favorite for fish lovers. In Massachusetts, haddock is wild-caught all year round, making it readily available in fresh markets around the country.
Haddock is very versatile and can be baked, fried, poached, and broiled. It is mainly used in kid’s dishes or for people who don’t like overly fishy-tasting varieties.
Haddock fillets are flaky with low levels of oil and stay moist when cooked. If you are looking to incorporate this fish into your recipes, you may be wondering what it tastes like.
Haddock is mild to the mouth palette, with a slight sweetness and very little fishy taste. It’s quite flavourful and versatile, making it a great option for various recipes.
Read on to learn more about different ways to prepare haddock and how these affect the fish’s taste.
What Kind of Fish is a Haddock?
Haddock is part of the cod fish family and usually gets confused with cod. It is a cold water fish of the North Atlantic commonly associated with the dish “fish and chips”.
Haddock stocks are abundant, meaning that you can get fresh or smoked fillets easily at your local fish market. They are mainly caught in deep waters in the Gulf of Maine and across Georges Bank.
They are at their peak in winter and spring when it’s colder in the Northwest Atlantic.
Though it is too flaky to be grilled, haddock works well in a variety of recipes. It is also rated among the best white fish to eat because of its low mercury content.
Additionally, haddock has a high protein and low-fat content. You can get it fresh, smoked, dried, or frozen. Canned haddock is available, though not as common.
To choose the best fresh haddock, look for white fillets that don’t have a grey hue. The fish should also have the smell of the sea with clear, bright eyes and gills.
What Does Haddock Look Like?
Haddock is very similar to cod, even in appearance. When whole, the haddock fish is a dark grey color with tall and pointed dorsal fins.
The color can range anywhere from purplish-grey to black with a silver grey or white underbelly. Haddock is also smaller and slimmer than cod. They weigh between 2 and 7 pounds and are 14-23 inches long.
To identify a haddock fillet, press it gently. Haddock fillets are firm and a little dryer than cod fillets. Haddock fillets are also thin and flat.
Smoked haddock is usually yellow in color. This yellow tint comes from added coloring ingredients such as turmeric.
What Does Haddock Taste Like?
When preparing haddock, different ingredients and recipes will give you slightly different tastes. Here’s a look at how different cooking methods affect haddock taste;
What Does Smoked Haddock Taste Like?
Smoked haddock is a healthy food option due to its low-fat content. If you are trying to lose some of the weight in your midsection, smoked haddock will help you do that while adding vital vitamins to your diet.
Smoked haddock is very mild and slightly salty tasting, especially if you smoke it yourself. Store-bought smoked haddock can be quite salty, though.
To neutralize the salt, add raw potatoes, which soak away the extra salt. You can also add an acid such as lemon juice which helps to balance out the excess salt.
What Does Fried Haddock Taste Like?
Fried haddock is commonly used in quick dishes, especially for kids. Haddock is especially versatile, and most fired fish recipes call for this specific white fish.
However, frying fish can reduce the Omega-fatty acid content and of course, adding a lot of oil to your food is not always healthy.
Fried haddock is very tasty, and you can taste the famed mild sweetness of this fish in fried recipes. Adding a bit of black pepper and lemon juice greatly enhances the taste.
Baked Haddock Taste
Haddock is one of the nest fish fillets for baking. It can be marinated in olive oil, garlic, thyme, and lemon juice. Roasting it alongside herbs such as fennel gives a tasty punch.
Baked haddock is mildly sweet with a firm and tender texture. It retains its slightly oily moisture to make the perfect protein source for your dinner.
Here’s a video recipe you can follow for your baked haddock preparation.
What Does Poached Haddock Taste Like?
When poaching fish in milk, sturdy filets like haddock and cod are the best. The milk helps to absorb all the herbs you add to your fish.
Poached haddock will have the taste of the herbs and spices you use when poaching. Additionally, the taste will also change depending on whether you use smoked or fresh haddock.
What Does Broiled Haddock Taste Like?
You may need to be more attentive when broiling haddock than when cooking it in a simpler fashion like baking. But that doesn’t mean that broiling this fish is hard.
You can use these simple broiling recipes online to prepare a delicious haddock dinner.
Broiled haddock maintains its mild, and slightly sweet flavor, with the fillet staying form and moist.
Read Also: What Does Cod Taste Like? (Fish or Chicken?)
Does Haddock Taste Fishy?
Not everyone is a fan of strong fish flavors like those found in anchovies and sardines. Because of this, most non-seafood lovers may have a misconception that all fish is “fishy”.
The good news is that fish have a wide range of tastes and smells. Some are very strong in fishy taste, while others are mild.
If you are looking for fish options with mild to low fishy taste, haddock is a good choice. When coupled with other herbs and spices and even some type of sides, you can barely tell the fish taste.
Haddock is on a similar scale to halibut and cod in that these white fish are mild in both taste and smell. They are highly recommended for kids or first-timers trying out seafood.
So, go ahead and enjoy your haddock meal!