Nostril to Caudal: Fish Tongues Recipe

I grew up eating cod’s tongues while visiting my grandparents in Newfoundland. But when I tried to recreate this nostalgic dish a couple decades later, it took me several days and a lot of fish heads to figure out exactly what to remove and how to butcher this part of the fish.

I wanted to cook the tongues in a way that didn’t mask their taste or texture, so I used Josh Niland’s throat recipe from his new “The Whole Fish Cookbook.” Apart from the throats (or tongues) it only calls for four additional ingredients.

I halved Niland’s recipe, but otherwise followed it to the letter. After 10 to 15 minutes, the tongues were perfectly coated in a delicious glaze and the rich smell of tarragon-infused butter wafted through our house.


4 fish throats/tongues
5 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2.5 tbsp. of butter
Sprig of tarragon
Pinch of salt



Put all the ingredients into a pan. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit your pan and cover. Gently simmer for about 12 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced and turned sticky.