Olive Oil-Poached Cod with Mediterranean Salad


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A World in My Kitchen

A World in My Kitchen

By Peter Gordon

Published 2003

  • About

Poaching fish in oil keeps it moist and juicy and preserves it for up to four days. Make this a few days ahead, but make the salad on the day. Tuna, hapuku and snapper also work well. Use any leftover oil for tossing through fishy pasta or for grilling fish on the barbecue.


  • 4 Γ— 150 g(5 oz) pieces cod, skin and bones removed
  • about 600 ml(1 pints) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves


    Pat fish dry on paper towels. Place oil in a pan just large enough to hold the fish, but with enough room so that the pieces don’t touch each other. Place on the stove and warm oil until tepid. Add basil leaves and try to make them settle on the bottom of the pan. Sit fish on top and turn the heat up. You may need to add a little more oil so that it covers the fish. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook until fish is barely done, about 8-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

    To test, carefully lift a piece out with a slotted spoon and pull back the flesh with a sharp knife – it should be translucent. You can serve it now, or leave it to cool completely in the oil. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon and serve with the salad.

    If making this in advance, store the fish in the oil, covered tightly in the fridge. Bring back to room temperature before serving.