Yorkshire Recipes

Main Meals

Golden Ling

The Common Ling, an ugly devil, rather like a cross between a cod and a conger eel, is caught in the colder waters of Northern Europe and the North Atlantic.  You can still buy it fresh on the Yorkshire coast, but can be ordered online, if not available from your fishmonger.

Here is a very old recipe. Theodora Fitzgibbon says that its rich golden colour was much loved in medieval times. She quotes from the 16th century The Babees Book:

Ling perhaps looks for great extolling being counted beefe of the sea … waxing in the end as yellow as a gold noble.


  • 4 fillets ling  (if you can’t find ling, you could use cod or haddock instead)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mixed herbs
  • 60g (2½ oz) fine oatmeal
  • 1 large parsnip, finely chopped
  • 1 pint (20 fl oz) fish stock *
  • Seasoning (salt & pepper)


  1. Rub each fish fillet with the cut onion (releasing juices and onion flavour), season and coat thickly with the oatmeal
  2. Heat up cooking oil in a pan and fry quickly so the outside is golden, but the fish not cooked through
  3. Put into an ovenproof dish and add the finely chopped vegetables and herbs
  4. Pour the stock over, cover, and bake in a slow oven at 170 C/325F/gas mark 3 for about 35-40 minutes. Serves four.


Ideally, you should use the skin, bones, head of the whole fish.  The fish, along with 1.5 pints of water, seasoning, chopped carrot, onion, and a pinch of saffron, are brought to the boil, then simmered until the stock is reduced to 1 pint. But failing that (life is short), use a good quality ready made fish stock, or fish stock cube.


Source: Theodora Fitzgibbon. A Taste of Yorkshire. In Food and in Pictures (1979). p.11. Pan Books, London. ISBN 0330257137.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Recipes