Cod and Oriental(ish) Sauce

Cod in oriental sauce (10 of 10)

I wanted to cook something Oriental. I had a yearning for something hot and spicy. My issue was I had two pieces of cod to cook.  So I decided to try a little experiment and to cook something Oriental(ish). That is something using Oriental and Western ingredients cooked in a Western(ish) way. If the dish were a person, we would refer to it as being of mixed race. That is if it is currently politically correct (fashionable) to use such terms.

East meets West in a rhyming taste test.

The soy doesn’t normally have a head, I dropped it on the floor before taking the photo.

Now that you think I’m a racist, I’ll let you in on the ingredients for Cod and Oriental(ish) Sauce.

  • 2 nice cod fillets (Western)
  • 1 bag of spinach leaves (Western)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (Western)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (Western in this case. Used in all sorts of cooking, all over the place)
  • 4 or 5 spring onions (Western in this case but used a lot in Oriental cooking)
  • 1 red chili (Oriental)
  • 3cm (1 inch) of ginger (Oriental)
  • Noodles for 2 people (Bought in an Oriental supermarket. So Oriental.)
  • A half tablespoon of sesame oil (Definitely Oriental)
  • A few drops of hot chili oil (Also definitely Oriental – Look at the bottle for goodness sake)
  • A few twists of Szechuan peppercorns (You know which these are.)
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (As oriental as Dr. Fu Manchu).

Side note on Fu Manchu: Probably not my best Oriental reference point as the evil overlord, Dr. Fu Manchu, was played brilliantly by Westerner Christopher Lee in films during the 1960s. Well worth a look if the opportunity arises.

First, boil some water for the noodles. While this is going on, chop the ginger, garlic, chili and spring onions.

I used a Western knife to chop the ingredients to keep things mixed up.

I used a Western knife to chop the ingredients to keep things mixed up.

Fry these in a little oil until soft.

Wonderful Oriental flavours coming from a pretty flat looking Wok type thing.

Wonderful Oriental flavours coming from a pretty flat looking Wok type thing.

Add the soy sauce, sesame oil and chili oil.

The oils and soy blend when heated. There's a lot of flavour in this sauce.

The oils and soy blend when heated. There’s a lot of flavour in this sauce.

Stir well and bring to a rolling boil.

Woops! Taking photos and pouring from a bag is not recommended.

Woops! Taking photos and pouring from a bag is not recommended.

Side note on sugar pouring: I got carried away with “getting the shot”. I had to spoon most of the sugar back out of the pan as the recipe only needs one teaspoon. I am an idiot!

Season the cod with the Szechuan pepper. Stir the pan and when the sugar has melted in, gently add the cod pieces. Turn the heat down to very low.

Very Oriental sauce, pretty Western poaching / steaming method.

Very Oriental sauce, pretty Western poaching / steaming method.

Place a lid on the pan and steam the cod for about 8 minutes. Steam the spinach and cook the noodles while this is going on.

The cod is cooked in the sauce below, and steamed above.

The cod is cooked in the sauce below, and steamed above.

Gently lift the now very delicate cod out of the sauce and serve it on a bed of noodles and spinach. Spoon some of the hot and spicy Oriental sauce over the fish.

A perfect combination of Western and Oriental ingredients.

A perfect combination of Western and Oriental ingredients and method.

If you are from the Orient, invite a Western friend over to share this delight. If you are Western, do share with a friend from the Orient. Do as I did, provide cutlery and chopsticks so nobody feels inadequate or unthought of when it comes to eating.

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  • “I hear you’re a racist now Father!” 😉
    Had some hake in a restaurant recently with a very unusual sauce which tasted sweet but spicy at the same time. It was delicious. Your recipe sounds like it may not be too far off the mark. Will have to try this!

    • The sauce is pretty powerful but it gets toned down by the fish and noodles. Well worth giving it a go. This is my kind of racism!

  • Looks good Conor. I want to make Asian noodles some time soon and fish.

    • Thanks Rosemary. This one is punchy and pretty good, if you will forgive my saying so myself.

    • Love it! That sums me up pretty well (bar the collar).

  • Truly wonderful, and I’m enjoying my soy rather a lot at the moment, as you’ll see this afternoon 🙂

  • Very nice, Conor, light and spicy. Just what Dr Fu Manchu ordered.

    • He was a real childhood frightener that Doctor. Hopefully the dish is not too off-putting.

  • Your recipe looks good, they call it fusion cooking here in California. Who is Dr. Fu Manchu?

  • Brilliant work Conor. Damn humorous! My face is smiling all over the place 🙂

  • An oriental(ish) / western(ish) dish sounds delish.

    • Probably a better description than mine.
      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  • Nice sauce and nice fusion, Conor. Had to giggle at the sugar pouring shot. I think I would prefer more of the sauce on the noodles and spinach, but that would not make for such a pretty plating shot.

    • There was more slathered on after the photo. Hot and delicious.

  • A lovely dish Conor but personally I would call it Oriental(ish) for certain!! Garlic, spring onions and sugar end up in almost every Asian dish 🙂 !! We even use spinach here!!! So set on a Western(ish) table and eaten by Western(ish) residents but definitely looking towards the east!!! Yum!!! [Written by a Western(ish) person living in an Eastern(ish) world . . . and no racism in sight anywhere methinks!!!]

  • Clearly, Conor, you are very international. At least in a 20th century sort of way. 😉 That looks very, very delicious, whatever its provenance.

    • Thanks Michelle, Early to mid 20th century outlook.

  • Conor, there IS such a thing as a physical teaspoon for your pouring shots. Even Richard gets good pouring shots from even a teaspoon, silly man! I love that you admit your mistakes. I do them more often than not! Lovely fusion meal!

    • That’s what I get for rushing and saying to myself “I’ll just pour it and it will be fine….”

  • The honesty of your ‘pouring sugar’ comment gave me a giggle. Nothing wrong with a Panasianwesternfusion dish. 😁

    • Just so long as there is not too much sugar in it!

  • Great combo Conor… get you Cod from you suppliers in Kerry?

    • From George’s in Monkstown. Very nice people.

      • Thank God – I had visions of you standing in Supervalu screaming ‘Cod….COD..fresh COD!!!’ at one of their fishmonger/butcher/deli-counter/cleaner staffers!

        • You’r a hard man Liam!

          • Thanks Vincent!

          • Sorry Martin, I’m losing it. I was talking to a Liam while I typed. I should leave the multitasking to the Wife.

          • No sweat Frank


  • Ah yes, the action shot can be fraught with peril. Which is why you usually don’t see action shots in my posts unless it’s something I can pour slowly, very slowly. Lovely recipe.

  • Very nice, Conor. Cod is my favorite fish. It is so versatile.

  • Hello! Fist time to visit your blog, and all the dishes look so good. Even this Asian inspired dish! Often this type of dishes prepared by someone comes from non-Asian culinary background often goes far away from Asian inspiration, but yours NOT! Looks yummy!

    • Thanks for the kind words. I really appreciate that. As you say, so many Westerners make very poor imitations of Asian food. Though I have never been any further East than Prague, I think I keep it pretty real. So my Asian friends tell me and they should know.
      Thanks for visiting too.

      • Hi Conor
        It seems you already know the secrets of ‘how to not only cook but also serve Asian cuisine ‘properly’- like Japanese dishes, portion control and garnishment of fresh leafy greens! Not only this dish, all of your dishes make me starved all the time. Please keep it coming for us! (^-^)/ Thanks again, Mo

        • Thanks Mo for the kind words. I really appreciate the comment. I will do my best to keep them coming!

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