Hello fellow food lovers! If you’ve ever met someone who’s unabashedly passionate about fish, that person is probably me. I can’t hide it; I’m head over heels for the delectable creatures of the sea. And when it comes to cooking, I’m not one to shy away from experimenting with all manner of ingredients. So, it should come as no surprise that I recently embarked on a kitchen escapade to create this vibrant fish dish. The result? Seared Cod with Coconut, Basil, and Lemongrass.
There’s something undeniably satisfying about sourcing the freshest ingredients from your local fishmonger and turning them into a delicious evening meal. The foundation of any seafood-based meal is the quality of the ingredients. I am fortunate enough to have a local fishmonger, always my first port of call. That said some of the major supermarkets have very good fish counters. Building a relationship with a trusted fishmonger not only ensures you get the freshest seafood but also allows you to learn about their sourcing practices and the origins of their products. When buying cod and prawns, look for the following characteristics:
- Freshness: Choose seafood that has a clean, briny scent of the sea. The flesh should be firm and translucent, with no off-putting odours or discolouration.
- Sustainability: Opt for seafood that is sustainably sourced to support responsible fishing practices and help protect marine ecosystems.
- Local Options: Whenever possible, choose locally sourced seafood to reduce your carbon footprint and support local economies.
I have used cod in this recipe, other firm white fish works equally well. I suggest – Haddock, Hake, Monkfish or Pollock. For a more Scandinavian style recipe you could try this Swedish Fish Soup with Saffron Rouille.
I hope you give this recipe a try and that you enjoy the results. It’s not only tasty, it’s also a healthy option. Plus, the best part is that it’s not too difficult to prepare, making it a great choice for both novice and experienced cooks. Happy cooking!
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE FOR Cod, Coconut, Basil and Lemongrass?
I would love to know how it turned out. Please let me know by commenting below. Or you could snap a photo and share and tag it on Instagram @nordickitchenstories.
Cod, Coconut, Basil and Lemongrass
- 160 g 2 x cod loins
- 150 g cooked whole North Atlantic prawns
- 1 fennel bulb finely sliced
- 1 small courgette finely sliced
- 1 bunch spring onions
- 1 handful frozen peas
- 200 ml full fat coconut milk
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves only
- 1 small bunch parsley leaves only
- 2 stalks of lemongrass
- 1 tbls nam pla fish sauce
- ½ small onion or 1 banana shallot finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
- fresh lime to serve
- a few basil leaves
- 1 green chilli sliced
- Begin by preparing the ingredients. Peel the prawns, placing the shells and heads in a small saucepan and the prawns into a bowl. Add 200ml water to the saucepan. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 15 minutes. Strain, you should have approximately 180ml fish stock.
- Prepare the vegetables. Trim and very finely slice the fennel (I used a mandolin). Do the same with the courgette, cutting at an angle. Finely trim the spring onions, leaving the majority of the green part intact. Have the frozen peas ready in a bowl.
- If you’re unfamiliar with lemongrass, remove the tough outer layer and use the tender inner part. Discard the top and bottom of the stalk. Then finely chop. In a pan, heat a little cooking oil over medium heat. Add the onion (or shallot) minced garlic and lemongrass. Sauté for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
- Pour in the coconut milk and fish stock, stir well. Allow the mixture to simmer gently for about 5-10 minutes, letting the flavours meld. With the sauce simmering add the basil and parsley, cook for no longer than 60 seconds, then remove from the heat. Blitz until smooth. Pour back into the saucepan and add the fish sauce. Check the seasoning, add more fish sauce if needed. Gently simmer and add fennel and spring onions, cook for 1-2 minutes or so, then add the courgette and peas. Continue to simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the vegetables are just cooked. Add the prawns to the hot sauce and remove from the heat.
- Lightly coat the flesh side of the loin with a little sunflower oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a separate heavy based pan, heat over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the cod and sear for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until they're beautifully golden brown and just cooked through (timings will depend on the thickness). *Option: add a knob of butter halfway through cooking for added flavour and colour.
- Portion the glorious green sauce, vegetables and prawns between 2 bowls and top with the seared cod. Serve immediately with a wedge of lime, basil leaves, chilli and an optional side of Jasmine rice.