Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Pan Fried Cod Fillet on a Bed of Stir Fried Chinese Spinach

Cooking simple recipes is what this blog is all about. This next recipe is in actual fact very simple. I had leftover cod fillet in my freezer and chinese spinach. This is of course not a typical Asian or Western dish rather a fusion of sorts. Thus giving birth to this dish aptly called Pan Fried Cod Fillet on a Bed of Stir Fried Chinese Spinach.

1 packet / 250 gms cod fillet
Juice of 1 lime / lemon to rid fish of smell and slime
2 bunches Chinese spinach
1 clove of garlic

Marinade for fish:
a dash of salt
a tsp of freshly ground black pepper
a tsp of chilli flakes
a tsp of dried oregano / mixed herbs
a tbsp of cornflour or enough to coat the fish

  1. First prepare your fish. Wash the fish fillet under running water. Then place fish on chopping board skin side up. Use the back of your knife to scrape any excess slime on the fish. Next squeeze the juice of 1 lime / lemon on to the fish and leave it for about 5 minutes. You will notice a layer of excess water coming out from the fish. Wash under cold water again to rid of this excess water. The reason for the lime / lemon is also to take away the smell of the fish. Place fish on kitchen towel to absorb any excess water from the fish.
  2. Next, marinade your fish with the salt, black pepper, chilli flakes and dried herbs. After which, on a plate, scatter the cornflour and coat your fish. Shake off excess cornflour from the fish and place over a kitchen towel. The cornflour also acts as an agent to avoid your fish from sticking to the pan.
  3. Heat up a non-stick pan, add some vegetable oil and wait till oil is hot enough. Place fish skin side down so as to make sure the fish doesn't stick to the pan. Fry on medium heat for about 3 minutes before turning over. Continue cooking for 3 minutes.
  4. Whilst fish is cooking, prepare your vegetables. Discard any old / yellow leaves and slice into 5 cm length. Separate the leaves from the stem as leaves cook faster then the stem. Soak in a bowl of water to rid of any dirt and sand from the vegetables. Drain the water. Leave washed vegetables aside.
  5. Heat up another pan with vegetable oil and toss in the chopped garlic, salt and maybe some pepper. Stir fry till garlic is fragrant and toss in the stems first. Stir for about 1 minute before adding in the leaves. Don't forget to check on your fish. Overcooked fish is hard and unedible!
  6. One leaves have wilted, and the vegetables have turned into a deeper shade of green, switch off the gas and spoon onto a plate. Check on your fish. Once fish is cooked, you will see the flesh is white. Press down on the fish with your spatula and you will see it bounce back up. That's when you know it's cooked. Take it off the fire and dish on to the bed of spinach. Serve hot.
  7. You can opt to serve it with rice or plain noodles but I eat it like that. 
Where do you get Chinese Spinach? Most Oriental Supermarkets sell them. Go into the Chinese Vegetables section, it will be catalogued, and when not, ask the sales assistant. They'll be more than willing to help. If you don't fancy Chinese Spinach, you can always substitute it with any vegetables. Normal spinach, mustard leaves, Kai Lan, cabbage leaves or even french beans can be used. Even the fish can be replaced with Haddock, Salmon or even a dover sole. Dorade is also possible. 

So if you're in the mood for fish, this is as simple as it can get. 

Having savoured the flavours of the sea,
The Innovative Baker

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