One of the many enticements of this dish is its versatility. You can substitute any firm-fleshed fish for the cod, including salmon, and use any kind of citrus you have on hand. The technique—crisping just one side of the fish, then laying the fish, crisp side up, in a small amount of sauce—is borrowed from noted chef Gray Kunz and is a real winner. The hard-to-find ingredient here is rice flakes, but Indian grocers carry them. They make a beautiful crust. Excellent with Champagne.–Eric Gower
LC SIMPLE SOPHISTICATION NOTE
Before you turn your nose up at this seemingly fancy pants supper, consider that this simple seared fish fillet with a slightly tart citrus lilt comes together with ease even on the craziest of weeknights. We swear. Talk about simple sophistication—particularly if you pop open a bottle of bubbly. (Change your mind yet?)
Crispy Rock Cod with Citrus Sauce
For the sauce
- 2 cups fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup peeled and finely chopped ginger
- Pinch kosher salt
- Pinch cayenne
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
For the fish
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk whisked together
- 1 heaping tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Pinch kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Four 6-ounce rock cod fillets (or substitute any white fish fillets)
- 1/2 cup rice flakes pulsed in a coffee or spice grinder with a pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Several tablespoons finely chopped chives
Make the sauce
- Combine the orange juice, ginger, salt, cayenne, and maple syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and gently simmer until the sauce is reduced by about half. You should have about 1 cup. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt and sweetness accordingly.
Make the fish
- Whisk the egg and flour until smooth and add a generous pinch each salt and pepper. Spoon this mixture onto one side of each fillet and sprinkle with the rice flakes.
- Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the fish, coated side down. Sauté until golden and crisp, 4 or 5 minutes. Flip the fish and cook for 2 or 3 minutes longer.
- Spoon about a tablespoon sauce onto each individual plate and place the fish, crisp side up, on each one. Top with chives.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Excellent fish recipe. Very flavorful. We loved the sauce, and it was so simple to make. The technique of breading on only one side gave the fish fillet a lightness you don’t find with other fish recipes that include breading and sautéeing on both sides. I can’t say enough good things about this recipe. I could also see this recipe being equally wonderful using panko crumbs rather than rice flakes, and they would be easier for the home chef to find, as they’re readily available these days in just about any market. Served it with sautéed broccoli rabe, which was a nice complement to the citrus flavors of the sauce.
This is awesome! The hint of maple syrup was delicious and just sweet enough. The bite of the ginger wasn’t overpowering and was so pleasing with the citrus. We loved the crispy flakes on one side of the fish. We followed the author’s suggestion and had Mumm Napa Brut Prestige sparkling wine with the dish. The flavors were fantastic and I would definitely do this for company next time!
Originally published May 5, 2007