Cod in Tamarind Sauce


This recipe is the equivalent of using soya sauce and Honey in Chinese or Japanese cuisine.  I adore the sticky tar like onion consistency that almost sticks to the fork as if a gooey BBQ sauce, thickened with the soft onions that adds a lovely texture to the dish to compliment the fish.  I recommend using a firm white fish – though I know, it works with salmon too.  Cod steaks are good idea though they can be difficult to find in the local supermarket since most fish is sold filleted.  A fishmonger would be able to help.

Serves 2


For the fish marinade

1tbsp oil

½ tsp wholegrain mustard

½ tsp turmeric

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

¼ tsp black pepper

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander

Salt to taste

2 pieces of cod steaks or fillets (haddock or other white fish is fine)

2tbsp oil

½ onion finely chopped

½ tsp garlic

2 tbsp of tamarind pulp or tamarind chutney

1 tsp sugar (if using tamarind pulp rather than chutney)

Fresh coriander to garnish

¼ lemon wedge to garnish


Preparation instructions:

  1. Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl, mix and taste to adjust the seasoning if required.  Add the fish and coat evenly. Set aside.
  2. Now heat the oil in a wide pan, add the onions, garlic, and cook for a few minutes on a gentle heat until the onions have softened.
  3. Add the tamarind sauce or pulp (if you are using unsweetened pulp then add the sugar as well).  Stir the tamarind into the onions and cook for a minute.
  4. Add place the fish, skin side up (if not using cod steaks), into the pan, spooning over any left over marinade from the bowl.  Spoon some of the onion and tamarind sauce over the fish.
  5. Cook the fish about 5 minutes on the first side on a low heat.  Check the colour of the fish to see whether the flesh has turned white and if so turn the fish over.
  6. Cook with the skin side down for a further minute or two before switching off and let it rest in the pan for a minute before serving up. Garnish with fresh coriander and lemon juice.


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