Before you all start throwing your hands in the air because I’m using cod in this recipe let me just say that I buy my cod fillets direct from the beach in Aldeburgh from where Dean Fryer has been fishing most of his adult life. I’ve talked to Dean a lot over the years about fish stocks and all the problems that are involved with this dangerous profession. Dean has a small off shore boat that fishes within 3 miles of the coast. He fishes for cod, skate and sometimes herring in the winter and flat fish mainly Dover sole and dabs in the summer with bass and lobster adding gilt to his catch.
Dean will tell you that he has seen a huge rise in cod stocks over the last five years and I can see for myself that the fish he now lands are really quite large. As a cod has to be three to four years old before it can reproduce the prevalence of these large fish is good news.
Dean long lines for cod and bass fishing with a baited line therefor minimising the number of unsuitable fish he catches. But before you get too filled with joy about the local nature and sustainability of all this I must mention that the bait he uses is Falklands squid!
I like to lightly salt cod, it’s a fish I find a bit wet preferring haddock for it’s firmer flesh. I use Maldon salt crystals to salt the fillets sprinkling about a 1/2 a teaspoon over each one and leaving for 2-4 hours before washing and drying the fish. Dipped in beaten egg and coated with panko crumbs it’s ready for the pan.
Smoked paprika aioli