"NE-Style Spice" Mayo Cod Recipe

"NE-Style Spice" Mayo Cod Recipe
I had a lot of rockfish, lingcod and cabezon to experiment with this year, so have been messing around with a few different ideas. I think I've dialed in something that is going to be a mainstay in my rotation here.

General idea: I cut the meat in to roughly 1-2" chunks. Each gets coated in a seasoned mayo sauce and baked until just barely done (no overcooking allowed!).

Mayo sauce:
There's two routes to success here. I like doing my own spice blends. If that's not your thing, no biggy, there's a perfectly good workaround!

Easy way: Use old bay and mix with your favorite mayo (but never miracle whip).

How I do it: I make my own spice blend. Here is the approximate measurements. Personally, I'm not a real big user of hard and fast rules for measurements. So how much spice is going to be up to you. I'd start with like a couple teaspoons in a quarter cup of mayo or so.

Note: This is enough spice to do this recipe like 10 times. So do not put the whole thing in if you're just making a serving or two. Personally, I'll use these approximate ratios and "wing it" to make enough for one meal.
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground bay leaves (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

You can do this recipe with just about any fish you want: Lingcod, rockfish, walleye, bass, even salmon or trout! But lingcod was the canvas that I used to develop this.

Step 0: Preheat oven to 400f

Step 1: Cut in to chunks. I shoot for 1-2" cubes, but obviously the size and type of fish will limit what you can do here. But shoot for chunks that will be like 2 or so average sized bites each.

Step 2: Mix about 1/2 cup mayo per 3-4 servings of fish (estimated) with the spice blend. This will be to taste, and I've enjoyed it both light on the spice and heavy. Start with a couple teaspoons and taste it before proceeding.

Step 3: Coat your fish chunks in the mayo blend and spread out on a baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment paper

Step 4: Bake for about 8min for 1" x 1" chunks. Check with a fork and remove once they just start to come apart when you pull on them. Don't overcook! It's way easier to overcook and undercook.

I like serving with a "fresh salad" of cucumber and grape tomatoes. But really, it goes well with just about any side you typically would enjoy.

Other notes: I've also attempted this on the charcoal grill, but haven't been excited about the results. Want to also mess with the broiler to get some kind of caramelization with the sauce. Haven't like the results of either as much yet, but more science is required.
About author
Evan B
Evan is one of the original co-founding members of PNW Fly Fishing. He was working full time in the fly fishing industry since 2010, moving on in 2023 to other things, helping build and grow some of the most recognized brands on the fly fishing world.


Seems like the only sources of salt are celery salt and mayo. Does that provide enough for the fish or is there another source?

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Evan Burck
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