Codfish 2 days, 2 ways 

Tara(鱈) is Japanese for Codfish. It’s used often in Japanese hot-pot dishes, and is loved for its texture. I made two dishes from two filets over two days.

I wasn’t a big fish eater until a few years ago, and I’m still kind of picky. Salmon sashimi for example, gives me shivers. But that’s a different story.

The other day I found Codfish filets for a very good price at the super. I bought it, but didn’t really know what to do with them. I called my mother for quick advice and she told me to make a simple vegetable soup and add the filets only shortly before eating the soup.

So that’s what I did. 

I sautéed a quarter of an onion and about 40gr carrots in olive oil. Then I added about half a liter of vegetable broth and 1Tblsp Japanese cooking wine to it and let it simmer for a bit over 15 minutes. For the last five minutes I added jullienned spring onions and 100gr sliced Codfish filet. You may want to add salt&pepper to your liking.

On a soup plate I mounted a handful of raw Komatsuna, and lastly poured the soup over that. Voila. Simple fish soup for dinner. I really needed that to calm down my slightly upset stomach.

However, Codfish has a very peculiar smell. It’s so fishy, one might actually think it’s gone bad fish. I read up on that, and found out that this smell is distinctive for deep sea fish like Cod. Apparently that smell is a byproduct of certain decaying proteins. That sounds yummy…..not.

For my first codfish dish, the typical lemon treatment didn’t do the job for me.

That’s why I tried sousing the second filet in milk for about 20 minutes the next day. And it worked wonders! Best method ever, in my opinion!

So, the second day I made a dish called Zōsui(雑炊). It’s a Japanese rice porridge dish, and if you got rice and broth in the house, you can make Zōsui adding everything that’s left over in your fridge.

So here’s what I did.

  • 100gr cooked Japanese short grain rice
  • 250ml of the above mentioned vegetable soup
  • 100gr sliced codfish filet
  • 1 medium sized egg (beaten)
  • Spring onions sliced

I reheated the soup, put in the rice and let it cook for a bit until the broth started reducing. Then I added the fish.

When the broth reduced down to about half the amount and the rice starts getting plump, that’s when I reduced the heat and swirled in the beaten egg.

Turn the head off, put a lid on and wait.

When the egg sets, the Zōsui is ready to be served.

I sprinkled sesame seeds and some sesame oil on it.

Bon appetit~


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