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Fish is the Dish: Pan-Fried Coley (Wild Saithe) with Quick Cheesy Mash

More fish! This time, coley, which I have to say is a new one for us at home. What can I say about coley? Well, I was very pleasantly surprised. Coley is a white fish and is also known as saithe. The fillets I was sent to try by John at Delish Fish were marked at ‘Wild Saithe Fillets’ and they were individually packed in sealed pouches and sent in a well packaged cool box. I signed for the box at 4pm and they were still cold to the touch on arrival. I popped them straight into the freezer and de-frosted two fillets by putting them (still in their pouches) into a bowl of cold water for an hour or so, until I was ready to cook them. 

Fishy Facts:

Coley is in the cod family, but is less expensive and it is a very good alternative to cod and haddock.

Honest opinion: I thought the coley fillets tasted nicer than cod or haddock. They were very mild in flavour, the kids wolfed their food down and crucially, even pan-frying the fish, it didn’t make the kitchen smell. Some of the fillets looked pink/grey, but when I cooked them, they turned white.  The fillets were very flaky, took just a couple of minutes to cook on each side and I didn’t get the sense that they were ‘meaty’ – in the way that cod can be, they just simply fell apart and almost melted in the mouth.

Coley and mash kids version

[gmc_recipe 3338]  

There is definitely something very comforting about eating fish with mashed potatoes. I think it is because we used to eat cod in parsely sauce with mash growing up. In this recipe, the mash is ‘quick’ because I bunged two potatoes into the microwave to bake them and then scooped out the insides and mashed them.


 Fish is the Dish -Top fish tips for all the family 

N.B Review/Sample Thank you once again to Fish is the Dish for their ongoing campaign to encourage us all to eat more fish and to John at Delish Fish for sending me the fillets to try.

I received the Wild Saithe Fillets for free in the hope that I would mention them on my blog. I only recommend food/products or services I use personally and believe my readers may be interested in.


What do you think about lesser known species of fish? Have you tried coley?!


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  1. Yes, I agree with Solange, I’d always associated coley as cat food but clearly this is unfair! It looks fantastic!

    1. I too knew it as cat food – surprisingly nice and inexpensive, which is a bonus x

  2. I will have to look at coley with a different eye, I always thought of it as the poor cod’s relation and not tasting as good.

    1. I think that seems like the general perception – hope I’ve encouraged you to try it 🙂

    1. Yay! Another fish fan! See you Sunday for cake x

  3. Wow, I learned something new today. I have always avoided buying coley as I did not know what it was. I am partial to cod and haddock, but don’t like really strong flavoured fish. I may give Coley a try after this! It sounds like we would like it!

    1. Me too! It was really as good as cod or haddock, not much of a flavour difference I thought and I will definitely try it again. Thanks for the comment. x

  4. i normally add a little bit of the skin for additional flavour:D and i’ve discovered that mixing green peas into our mash potato is one good way to get kids to start eating their peas:D

    1. Green peas into mash is a brilliant idea – even just crushed potatoes and peas with a bit of butter…mmn. Thanks for the visit.

  5. I get Coley but only for my cats! I poach it in a little water and have to say I find the smell quite strong-mind you, perhaps cod and haddock would be the same if I cooked them this way. The cats are in ecstasy though as they smell it cooking and can’t wait to eat it-perhaps I am missing something!!

    1. Hiya, I was going to out into my post that many people feed coley to their cats!!!! I think maybe because it is nice and mild, and perhaps is easily digestable?! I think that steaming fish can make it smell stronger…baking is probably the least smelly!!! Perhaps if you pan-fried it or baked it you would be more tempted to eat it!

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