Seared cod with asparagus, crab beignets and samphire

  • medium
  • 6
  • 1 hour 30 minutes

Ideally, you need marsh samphire for this seared cod recipe from James Sommerin to serve alongside little crab fritters, seasonal asparagus and pan-seared cod. Samphire season ends in September, but it is now available at some supermarkets as well as most fishmongers.

First published in 2016




Crab beignets


Crab butter

Cod fillets

Crab sauce


Gently sweat the ginger with the shallots and the paprika in the olive oil. Add the brown and white crab meat and remove from the heat
Mix in the coriander and divide into tightly packed 50g balls, each about the size of an apricot, reserving any leftover beignet mixture for the sauce
To make the crab butter, place the brown and white crab meat, cubed butter, curry powder, shallot and garlic into a blender and blend until smooth. Place in a bowl and reserve in the refrigerator until needed
For the asparagus, place the water, butter and a pinch of salt together in a pan, bring to the boil and add the white asparagus. Three minutes later, add the green asparagus and simmer gently until tender
To make the crab sauce, combine any leftover beignet mix in a saucepan with the Madeira and whipping cream
  • 50ml of Madeira
  • 50ml of whipping cream
Bring the mixture to the boil and squeeze in the lemon juice. Once the sauce has reached the boil, remove from the heat, place in a bowl, and aerate gently with the hand-held blender
Place the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs on 3 different plates. Roll the balls of crab in the flour first, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Roll once more in the egg and breadcrumbs
  • 100g of plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g of Panko breadcrumbs (1)
Heat the deep-fat fryer to 190°C and fry the crab beignets for 3 minutes. The centres should be hot when they come out
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying
To prepare the cod, place the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Pan-sear the fish, skin-side down, for 2 minutes
Turn the cod over and add the butter, cooking for a further 3-5 minutes and basting constantly with the butter. The fish should be firm to touch and opaque in the centre. Be careful not to overcook the fish
Remove the fish from the pan and set aside. While the pan is still hot, add the samphire. Keep it moving in the pan for 30 seconds and tip it out into a paper towel
Plate the asparagus first, placing some crab butter on top of it. Add some samphire on top and the cod on one side. Place the crab beignet on the other side. Smear some crab sauce along the outside of the plate
First published in 2016

Noted for his innovative, flavourful food, James Sommerin has won multiple Michelin stars throughout his career, most recently at his lauded Penarth restaurant, Home.

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