Spicy fried cod fish chunks seasoned with cumin and star anise make this fish very tasty. I suggest serving with rice pilaf or green salad, but good with a side of cool cucumber salad. If you have any leftovers, break up a bit and make fish tacos, just top with shredded lettuce and medium hot salsa mixed with mayo. However you serve this fish it is good.
1-½ lbs cod fillets or any firm thick whitefish (tilapia)
1 tspn ground cumin
½ tspn ground or crushed Cilantro
3 small clove of garlic, crushed
1 tspn ground star anise*
¾ tspn red pepper flakes, crushed
1 tbspn fresh lemon juice**
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil for frying.
Remove all skin and bones from fish, then rinse and pat dry with a paper towel.
Cut fish into large chunks and set aside in bowl.
Make a mix of cumin, cilantro, garlic, ground star anise, crushed pepper flakes, lemon juice and salt and blend until the ingredients are a smooth past.
Place mix in bowl with fish chunks and carefully coat each piece of fish. Being careful not to break the fish. Cover dish and put in refrigerate for 45 minutes to one hour. Remove fish from bowl and place on paper towel to allow some drainage of marinade.
Heat large skillet and add vegetable oil until the skillet is almost ½ deep with the oil. Heat oil until it starts to shimmer or heat to 350 degrees. Use standard test of browning a small piece of bread. Bread should brown in less than a minutes.
Cook a few chunks of fish at a time, allow 2 to 3 minutes cooking time or until the fish is a golden brown. Serve fish over rice pilaf or a green salad. Also good with a cucumber salad, see recipe below.
Makes about 4 servings
*Star anise is native to China can be found in most supermarkets. It is sometimes packaged in small cellophane bags. Regular anise seed can’t really be used as a substitute for star anise because it is a bit more bitter than the better known anise seed. This is one of the ingredients found in good Chinese five-spice powders. If you cannot find star anise locally, you should be able to purchase it online. It is also available from Amazon.com
**Squeeze juice from whole lemon, save what you do not use, to drizzle over cooked fish.
2 cups cucumber, peeled and sliced (or use English cukes, no need to peel)
½ Vadalia or other sweet onion
1 tbspn sea salt
¼ cup cider vinegar*
½ tspn sugar
1 tspn dill weed
2 tspn plain yogurt
Salt cucumbers and place in colander to allow water to drain from the cucumbers for at least one hour. Rinse with cold water and place on clean cloth towel, fold towel over cucumbers to further eliminate water, the dryer the cukes are the better.
Put cucumbers, onions, vinegar, sugar, dill weed and yogurt in a bowl and mix gently.
Makes about 4 small servings.
*You can use a seasoned rice vinegar like Nakano brand rice vinegar (any flavor) and eliminate the ½ teaspoon sugar.