Pan seared cod: Trial 1

In my (parents’) household we call it “cod fish”, though the second word is redundant as everyone understands that cod is a type of fish. For familiarity’s sake I’ll just refer to it as cod fish.

I started out wanting to make steamed cod fish ala Hong Kong style (recipe here), but it required me to buy 1) a wok and 2) a steam rack. Currently I make do with the steam function on the Zojirushi rice cooker, but the steam basket is shallow and small, so I can only manage small foods such as kueh. I took a trip to the shopping mall and saw a few woks that looked suitable, but I didn’t buy any in the end because… it was too heavy for me to carry home on my own on public transport! Also I wasn’t sure if A would be receptive towards me spending (wasting) money again on enhancing the kitchen. :/

So it was back to the pan again, and I cooked the cod fish exactly like how I did the salmon except with a shorter time as I had bought a thinner slice of fillet. Each side took about a minute and a half, and then I plated it.

For the sauce, I tried this basil sauce recipe but it didn’t turn out as nice as I had hoped? I suspect it’s because I didn’t heat up the sauce prior to serving. The recipe didn’t call for it, and I was running out of time. I’ll try lemon butter sauce next, because everyone loves lemons and butter.

Although we ended up not using much of the basil sauce in the end, the fillet itself was very flavourful on its own! I seasoned with regular salt and ground black pepper and coated with plain flour, just like the salmon. I’ll try using sea salt next, but the last time I used sea salt on fish it turned out very salty, probably because I can’t agar the quantity for coarse salt. I may also sprinkle freshly ground pepper instead, but that requires me to buy yet another pantry item, so I shall look at A with puppy eyes and hope that he will approve the purchase.

Stray observations:

  • I tried to sample the basil sauce like any decent chef would, but I couldn’t tell if the sauce was acceptable to my taste buds. Like, what am I supposed to look out for when I’m tasting something? Whether it is too bland? Or too salty? No matter how many times I tried, it tasted both bland and salty to me! This is so confusing.
  • This dish marks my third attempt at cooking fish fillet. I have previously cooked mackerel and salmon. I CAN COOK FISH! Man. Cooking fish is so easy.
  • Once I get my steamer I will venture into Chinese style cooking, though I don’t know how the Hokkiens in the household will feel about that.
  • Didn’t have to thaw the fillet as I bought it on the same afternoon from Fairprice’s fish section. There was a strict “do not refreeze” sticker on the package. Yay to no thawing!
  • I should start posting my food photos, right?
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