Hot-Smoked Cod with Tomatoes and Taramasalata Recipe (2024)


This dish requires a quick 15-minute brining of the cod, which draws out impurities and seasons the fish. It will also slightly firm up the cod, which will prevent it falling apart during the hot-smoking process. To make the brine, heat the water with the salt, dill stalks and lemon and lime zests. Stir until the salt has dissolved then remove from the heat and chill

  • 1l water
  • 150g of salt
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1 bunch of dill, small, stalks and fronds separated


Once the brine has completely chilled, submerge the cod in the brine for 15 minutes. Remove after 15 minutes and rinse with cold water, then wrap up tightly in clingfilm to help hold its shape and place in the fridge until needed

  • 720g of cod loin, pin-boned, skin on


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Roast the tomatoes, garlic and chilli with a drizzle of oil for 20-25 minutes or until they are soft and roasted

  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 red chilli, (remove seeds if preferred)
  • 1/2 garlic clove


Once roasted, squeeze the garlic from its skin and place in a blender with the tomatoes, chilli, oil and passata and blend until smooth. Add the fried bread and salt and blend again. Taste and season with the vinegar and more salt (if needed)

  • 75ml of passata
  • 5ml of rapeseed oil
  • 1.5g of Maldon salt
  • 1/2 slice of bread, fried in rapeseed oil until golden
  • 4ml of sherry vinegar


Next, make the taramasalata. This recipe will make more than you need but will keep in the fridge for a few days and is delicious slathered on toast. Place the peeled roe, panko, lemon juice, mustard and milk into a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil to emulsify. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more milk if it is too thick. Transfer to a piping bag

  • 50g of smoked cod roe, (skinned weight)
  • 8g of Panko breadcrumbs
  • 10ml of lemon juice
  • 5g of Dijon mustard
  • 125ml of vegetable oil
  • 65ml of milk
  • salt


Remove the cod from the fridge and cut into 4 separate 180g portions (leaving the cling film on). Cutting the cod into large pieces means you can showcase the large flakes that naturally separate after the smoking process. Although smoking is more associated with oily fish, it works well with large pieces of cod too – you just need to add more oil to help maintain the smoke


Place a large flat frying pan or skillet over a high heat and get the pan smoking hot. Remove the cling film from the cod portions and roll them in rapeseed oil. Make up 4 little rafts out of the lemongrass halves (5 pieces per portion) for the cod portions to sit on (skin-side down). Using a fish slice, pick up and place into the hot pan. The lemongrass rafts will protect the fish from the fierce direct heat, whilst creating smoke to help flavour the fish

  • rapeseed oil
  • 5 sticks of lemongrass (1), split lengthways and halved


Drizzle the pan with more oil and wait for the smoke to appear. Cover with am upturned pan or a lid to stop the smoke escaping. Cook the cod for 6–8 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fillets). Don't remove the lid or pan as this will allow the smoke to escape


Whilst the fish is cooking, slice the tomatoes into wedges and lightly dress with a few drops of vinegar, oil and a little salt

  • 500g of heirloom tomato, room temperature
  • rapeseed oil
  • white wine vinegar
  • Maldon salt


Remove the lid and you should see the pure white cod has changed colour– the lemongrass will have scorched and blackened, creating plenty of smoke that both cooks and flavours the fish. This is a great way to enhance the cod with a sweet, almost citrus-flavoured smoke but without masking it with lots of butter and allows the fish to cook in 3 ways at once – seared, baked and steamed. Once the fish is cooked, remove it from the pan with a fish slice and discard the lemongrass


To plate, add a large spoonful of the tomato sauce off-centre in the bowl and gently spread out with the back of a spoon. Place the smoked cod on top – be gentle as it will be quite flaky and delicate


Add a piped peak of taramasalata next to the fish and arrange wedges of tomatoes around the bowl. Finish with the dill fronds

Hot-Smoked Cod with Tomatoes and Taramasalata Recipe (2024)


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