Alaska Pollock

Species Information

This member of the cod family Gadidae is sometimes called walleye or bigeye pollock, sometimes snow cod or tomcod. Its eyes, projecting lower jaw and slim body readily identify it. The fish is olive green to brown on the back with silvery sides. Alaska Pollock are served at chain restaurants around the world because of good availability, mild flavor and flaky white flesh.

Pollock are a mid-water to bottom dwelling fish usually found between 328 to 984 feet depths but have been found up to 3,280 feet deep with a lifespan of up to 17 years. Speckled coloring helps pollock blend in with the sea floor to avoid predators.

Cooking & Handling

Store pollock fillets up to 1 day refrigerated on ice. Keep in mind that due to higher oil content, pollock has a shorter shelf life.

While this versatile whitefish is commonly used in surimi and fried-fillet sandwiches, it can hold its own in gourmet preparations. If a white fillet is desired, your odds are much better with single-frozen vs. twice-frozen Pollock, which is often grayer. Deep-skinned (fat line removed) Pollock offers a whiter, more “cod like” portion.

Alaska pollock is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat.

Try pollock dishes with flavors such as bell pepper, butter, cilantro, coriander seed, cumin, garlic, jalapeno, lemon, lime, onion, scallion, shallot, sour cream, tarragon, tequila, tomatillo, tomato.

Cooking Methods

Bake, Broil, Fry, Sauté, Steam

Global Supply

Japan, South Korea, Russia, United States

Seasonal Availability

Fresh available except May/June and October/November.
Frozen available year-round.

Did You Know?

Female pollock can produce more than 2 million eggs over the course of several weeks.

Adult pollock are "cannibalistic"; they sometimes consume smaller pollock.

Like most other groundfish species, pollock are aged by counting annual growth rings that occur on otoliths (ear bones), similar to counting growth rings occurring in trees.

Scientific Name

Theragra chalcogramma

Market Name

Pollock, Alaska pollock

Common Names

Walleye pollock, Pacific tomcod, Pacific pollock, Alaska pollock

Substitutions

Cod, Haddock, Flounder

Raw Characteristics

  • greenish-brown color
  • creamy-tan, dark-hued meat
  • market weight 4-15 lbs

Cooked Characteristics

  • mild tasting
  • white meat when cooked
  • medium texture
  • higher oil content than cod

Pronunciations

Danish: alaskasej
French: lieu de l’Alaska
German: pazifischer pollack
Italian: merluzzo dell’Alasca
Japanes: suketôdara
Spanish: abadejo