Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Panko-Crusted Cod with Miso Sauce

Mild, flaky cod is a good candidate for quick-frying with a crispy coating of dry breadcrumbs. It cooks quickly, turning crunchy outside while staying tender inside.

Here, I dressed the fish with a salty, slightly spicy, slightly sweet miso sauce. It complements the mildness of the cod without overpowering it. (For more about miso, see Japanese-Style Chicken Wings with Miso-Sesame Glaze.)

Tip: The soy sauce and miso provide plenty of salt in this recipe, so I recommend not adding any more sodium to what's already in the ingredients. Sugar and vinegar help temper the flavor, but the dish still has a pleasantly salty taste.

If you're a fan of crispy-coated fish—and Mexican flavors—check out Cornmeal-Crusted Cod with Mexican Rice and Guacamole.

Serves 2

  • 3/4 cup panko, or other fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 5-oz skinless cod filets, about 3/4-inch in thickest part
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil, divided
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1 habanero or red Thai chile, finely chopped  
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp white or yellow miso
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • steamed white rice, snow peas, and sesame seeds, for serving 
  1. Place the panko in a wide, shallow bowl and season with black pepper. Whisk the egg and mustard together in another shallow bowl.
  2. Dip each piece of fish in the egg mixture until well coated. Let the excess drip off, then press the fish into the panko mixture, turning to coat both sides. 
  3. Place the filets on a plate and refrigerate 20-30 minutes. (Refrigeration helps the breading stick to the fish during cooking.)
Breaded Fish

  1. Heat a small wok or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Add the white parts of the scallions, chile, and garlic and stir-fry 1 minute.
  2. Add the soy sauce and next 5 ingredients (through sesame oil) and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. (Re-warm gently over low heat just before serving.)
Scallion, Chile, and Garlic 
Miso Sauce

  1. Heat another nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Fry the fish until golden and crispy on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. 
  2. Turn and fry until golden and crispy on the other side and just cooked through, about 2 minutes longer.

Cod Beginning to Cook
Fish after Turning
To serve, spoon rice in the middle of 2 plates and top each with a piece of cod. Divide the miso sauce and spoon over each. Garnish with the green parts of the scallions and sesame seeds and serve steamed snow peas alongside.

Panko-Crusted Cod with Miso Sauce

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