Cod with Peanut, Ginger and Avocado Sauce

I made this dish after a trip to look at the peanut industry in Georgia, in America’s Deep South. On our first evening our hosts, the peanut farmers, welcomed us with an unusual grace: ‘Dear God, we thank you for our British friends and for the interest in peanuts which has brought them here.’ I left Georgia not much more enamoured with peanuts than I had been before, yet in some savoury dishes and sauces I really could see their point for the first time.

Ingredients

  • 5 cm/2 in piece fresh ginger
  • 3 medium to large cloves garlic
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 1 rounded teaspoon ground coriander
  • juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 rounded tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • ½ level teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 675 g/ lb skinned cod fillet
  • 1 medium avocado
  • salt

Method

Peel the ginger and garlic and chop together finely. Cut the red pepper in half, remove the seeds and stem and chop the flesh finely. Gently heat the oil in a medium saucepan and stir in the coriander, followed by the ginger, garlic and red pepper. Put the lid on the saucepan and cook over a very low heat, stirring now and then, for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon and orange juice and the water. Then stir in the peanut butter, add the cayenne pepper and salt to taste and put on one side.

Steam the fish for 8-14 minutes according to thickness — it should be just opaque in the centre. Halve and stone the avocado, peel off the skin and slice across thinly. Reheat the peanut sauce gently, stir in the avocado and keep over the heat for a minute or so, just to warm the avocado.

Drain the steamed fish on absorbent paper, then transfer it to a shallow serving dish. Spoon the sauce over the top and try to leave plenty of white fish showing. Serve at once.

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