I know, I know I haven’t written in a while. Summer seems to have gotten a hold of my priorities and I’ve had a lot less time to spend in the kitchen. But I will try to be as faithful to my posting goals as I can – just be aware there may be a little more time between posts during the summer. After all, summer is the time to be out and about, right? So be patient with me and I promise to continue to deliver some great, no nonsense recipes.
And speaking of great, no nonsense recipes – this is definitely one of them. I recently read an article that talked about how Americans are still eating too much processed meats and should make an effort to add more fish to their diets. I know that’s something that my husband and I have been trying to do. Neither one of us grew up eating a lot of fish – it was just either too expensive or not something that was a regular part of the diets in our families.
My doctor told me there is a lot of research regarding when you were born, the diets that existed at the time and how that has affected your weight and health as you age. I grew up in a household where carbs were king, bread and potatoes mostly, and we know now the affects of too many carbs on weight and health. So my doctor said the same thing – try eating more fish. And you know what, it’s been quite pleasant actually.
I guarantee you this recipe will have you eating more fish. It is so simple to make and so flavorful you’ll wonder why you waited so long to bring more fish to the table. So let’s talk honey teriyaki baked cod…
Lesson Learned 1 – All fish are not created equal when it comes to cooking them: I think that’s the part of cooking fish that makes people shy away from doing it. So it’s important, if possible, to cut your fish into equal sized portions to determine a somewhat standard cooking time for it. I usually cut 4 to 6 ounce portions. That way I am relatively sure how long to cook my fish.
Keep in mind that portion size is only one factor. The type of fish also contributes to the equation. I’ve found that a 6 ounce portion of salmon has a different cooking time than a 6 ounce portion of cod. Cod cooks in less time. The main thing to remember is you can always put the fish back in the oven or pan if it is not cooked well enough, but once it dries out you’re stuck – you can’t take it back. So err on the side of caution and I guarantee you’ll get the hang of it. I’ve been doing it so often now that I can tell when fish is done by how it looks – but that took a lot of time, so be patient with yourself.
Lesson Learned 2 – The longer you marinate the cod in this recipe, the better: I marinated mine for about 7 hours but you can go up to 24 hours on this one. I may try that next time if I have the time, but it was quite flavorful after being marinated for 7 hours. I wouldn’t marinate it for less than 6 hours – I don’t think the fish will absorb the flavors of the marinade that well if you only marinate it for a short while. And don’t forget to turn the bag over every once in a while to make sure both sides of the fish are getting the marinade.
Lesson Learned 3 – Working with fresh ginger: I know a lot of people use fresh ginger quite regularly but I’m not one of them. But there is no substitute for it when you need it. What I learned is that you can freeze the ginger root. I put mine in a vacuum sealed bag and freeze it. That way when I need it, it’s as fresh as it can be. And I don’t have to buy ginger root every time I need it. It keeps beautifully in the freezer. So use what you need and freeze the rest. You’ll increase the lifetime of the ginger root substantially.
Lesson Learned 4 – Avoiding a big mess when baking this fish: Something important to remember is there is honey in this marinade – and honey will burn in the oven. So whenever I cook fish with a honey based marinade I put the fish on a foil lined pan and spray the pan with cooking spray before I lay out the fish. That way you eliminate or greatly minimize any sticking and the pan is easy to clean with no burnt on mess.
This recipe is extremely simple – the only challenge initially may be feeling comfortable with how to cook it correctly. If you use my directions you’ll be fine, or at least you will not overcook your fish and can judge if you need a little extra time. I doubt that you will need a lot more, but it’s always good to err on the safe side. All you need to remember is that the fish is done if you can flake it with a fork. Just test the edges if you’re not sure. Enjoy this one – it’s a keeper!
Honey Teriyaki Baked Cod...
4 – six ounce pieces of fresh cod
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup sesame oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
Lemon wedge, for garnish, optional
In a small bowl mix the honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, cider vinegar, shallot, ginger and black pepper. Place the cod filets in a gallon size resealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the cod (use a spatula to scrape in any remaining honey from the bowl). Seal the bag and marinate the fish in the refrigerator from 6 – 24 hours, turning the bag over every once in a while.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the marinated cod on a foil line baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon a little of the marinade on top of each piece. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Serve immediately.