Sticky Tamarind Cod


Sticky Tamarind Cod

North Atlantic Scottish Cod is back in season during spring and so I thought about a recipe for the early fish catch. You may want to try this recipe over the Easter break. It may not exactly be a traditional recipe, but it’s a great way of cooking the season’s early cod and my oh my it tastes great!

This recipe is the equivalent of using soy sauce and honey in Chinese or Japanese cuisine.  I adore the sticky tar like consistency that almost clings to the fork as if a gooey BBQ sauce, thickened with the soft onions that add a lovely texture to the dish to compliment the fish. I prefer a cod steak if available since it holds together very well and looks very pleasing when presented, however Cod steaks are not regularly available from supermarket fish counters so you may need to visit a fishmongers to get them. The dish works well with any firm white fish and Salmon too as it happens.

Serves 2 


For the fish marinade

1 tbsp 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


For the Cod: 

2 pieces of cod steaks or firm fish

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. 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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