Cooking cod in a frying pan or oven takes skill, but by using a temperature-controlled water bath anyone can produce a perfectly cooked portion of cod. Cooking the fish under vacuum helps to trap the moisture inside the cod and the constant, low temperature of the water ensures the fillet cooks evenly.
Preheat the water bath to 56˚C
Place each portion of cod in a vacuum bag with a little salt and a splash of olive oil then seal under pressure
Place the bag in the preheated water bath and cook the cod for approximately 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the loin or fillet
To check if the fish is cooked, gently press against the cod and see if the flesh easily flakes
Remove the cod from the bag and drain on kitchen paper before serving
To add a caramelised flavour to the fish, quickly fry it in a hot frying pan until coloured. Be sure to do this quickly, however, or the fish will overcook.
Other ingredients can be added to the bag with the cod to impart flavour while it cooks. Andy McLeish keeps it simple by adding some olive oil but a concentrated fish stock or white wine sauce are both delicious alternatives.
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