Time: 30 minutes
The secret to succulent seafood is judging the precise moment when the meat is perfectly ‘done’. In this recipe we will pair a savory crust of fried parmesan, panko, lemon zest and herbs with succulent and sweet Alaskan Cod.
Pro tip – Use an instant read thermometer probe if you have one in your kitchen. If you don’t already have one we will give you some tips on how to judge the correct time to take it out of the pan.
This recipe also works great with salmon. Cut a full fillet into 4 portions and use the low end of the cooking times.
2 or 3 COD PIECES (3/4 to 1 pound)
1/4 cup PANKO or BREADCRUMBS
1/4 cup PARMESEAN CHEESE
1/2 tsp SALT plus and additional pinch
1/4 tsp ground BLACK PEPPER
1/2 tsp PAPRIKA (preferably smoked)
1/4 tsp GARLIC POWDER
1 Tbsp chopped fresh PARSLEY
1/4 tsp dried OREGANO
1 tsp LEMON ZEST (zest from half a lemon)
1. PREPARE THE COD
Briefly rinse and pat the COD pieces dry. Identify what used to be the skin side (it will have light grey stripes on it). Lightly salt the skin side and place to the side.
2. WHISK THE EGG
In a bowl of sufficient size to accommodate the COD (one piece at a time), crack one fresh EGG and whisk it until it is uniformly combined.
3. PREPARE THE BREADING
In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients plus the diced PARSLEY, LEMON ZEST, and PARMESAN CHEESE. For this recipe we used a micro-planer to grate the cheese. If using a standard grater cut the volume in half since it will be more dense. Use a fork to make sure it is well mixed
4. BREAD THE FISH
Take each piece of fish and grasp the side you’ve already lightly salted. Dip the opposite side in the egg mixture and then press it firmly into the dry panko mixture and set it face down on the cutting board or plate while you get the pan ready. Make sure you picked up a good amount of the dry ingredients – you might have to press it into the mixture one more time.
5. PRE-HEAT THE PAN
We prefer to use a high-sided pan in order to minimize grease splatter. Place a small amount of oil in your preferred pan- enough to thinly coat the whole pan. Heat it over medium heat until it has a slight shimmer.
6. COOK THE FISH
Once the oil is hot place each piece breaded side DOWN into the pan. If you don’t have much oil in the pan you can tip it from side to side to ensure each piece of fish has oil under it. Cook for about 4 minutes (2-3 minutes for small or tail pieces). Check the underside of one of the pieces using a pair of tongs. you are looking for a medium crispy brown crust. Before the crust burns, turn each piece over making sure that some oil has been given time to accumulate where you plan to place the fish.
Cook for another 2-4 minutes over medium/high heat until an instant read thermometer reads 135-140 degrees. If you don’t have such a thermometer you are looking for the point where the center of the fish just begins to change from wet or slippery looking to white or chalky. In our experience it is better to have your fish underdone than overdone. Until you get the hang of it feel free to divide a larger piece in half while it is still in the pan to check for doneness.
6. PLATE THE FISH
Once the fish has finished cooking, remove it from the pan and place it breaded side up on a small stack of paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Serve with your favorite side dishes such as a salad, beets, or roasted potatoes.
At our house, once we have plated the fish we quickly move the frying pan out onto a covered porch to reduce the smell of fried fish in the kitchen.