To ensure crispy skin on your pan fried cod, dry the fillets with kitchen roll before seasoning them with salt. Don't put too much oil into the frying pan and make sure it has a chance to get hot before adding the fillets.
If you are cooking a very thick loin or fillet, cook skin-side down in the pan until the skin is golden, then turn over and finish cooking in an oven preheated to 180°C/gas mark 4 for 6 minutes.
If desired, add a squeeze of lemon juice to the pan before serving to ‘brighten’ the final flavour of the cod.
Once you have turned the fish over, James Sommerin suggests adding a knob of butter to the pan and basting the fish for the final 2–3 minutes to add extra flavour and keep the fish moist.
As cod is quite a mild flavoured fish, it relies on sauces and accompaniments for extra interest. For example, Anna Hansen pairs pan-fried cod fillets with clams and chorizo while Stephen Crane serves cod fillets with squid and fennel in a rich bouillabaisse sauce. It is equally delicious served very simply with wilted spinach, crushed new potatoes and a poached egg as in Mark Jordan’s recipe.
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