Cod is unarguably everyone’s favourite fish, because of its delicate taste and soft texture. It’s also adaptable to varieties of cooking methods and flavourings.
We all know fish dishes are good for us, though ways of cook them tends to become monotonous. This recipe uses a sauce made from butter and soy sauce, which gives an interesting Japanese-ish twist to crispy pan-fried cod. I serve with sautéed leek, which adds sweetness to the dish.
The flavour of the soy sauce, the richness of butter, and the sweetness of the leek make the difference to ordinary pan-fried cod.
You could also try my other Japanese influenced flavour, miso and butter sauce for fish recipe here. This sauce is also fantastic with cod.
Adjust cooking time for cod depending on the thickness of the fillet. For instance, if your fillet is thinner than the cod in the picture, reduce the cooking time.
If your fillets don’t brown, quickly pan-fry them over a high heat until browned at the end of cooking.
Serve the cod with rice or mashed potato as a main. It’s also nice on salad leaves to serve as a starter.
Topic 1: Butter and Soy Sauce Flavour
Butter and soy sauce flavour is one of the most popular flavourings in Japan. We even have butter and say sauce flavoured snacks, including crisps and popcorn. Everyone loves the charred aroma of the soy sauce and rich butter taste.
Butter and soy sauce are great with light and delicate ingredients, such as white fish and chicken breast, as they accentuate their tastes. Adding soy sauce to butter sautéed vegetables is equally tasty.
Topic 2: Cod
Cod is an excellent source of protein and, as it’s much lower in calories and saturated fat, a healthier substitution for meat. It’s also rich in health beneficial properties, such as omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.
Unfortunately, cod is currently classified as ‘at risk’ due to overfishing in the UK, Canada and most other Atlantic countries. You can use haddock, hake, coley, or pollock instead of cod.
In Japan, cod is called tara and its Kanji character is ‘鱈‘. It’s a Japanese-made Kanji, and the left side signifies fish, and the right side signifies snow. The character was created because of its snow-white meat. Cod is said to taste nicer during winter because they keep more fat against coldness. Salted cod roe is called tarako, literally meaning ‘cod’s children’, and is one of the most widely available side dishes in Japan. Shirako, meaning ‘white children’, is milt of male cod and prized as a seasonal delicacy by many Japanese. I must warn you that shirako is not for everyone, but only for those people who are adventurous enough with food.