Happy New Year!

Happy new year, pig 2019, Chinese new year greetings, Year of pig

Today, 5 February, is Chinese New Year and the start of the Year of the Pig, the 12th in the 12 year cycle of Chinese animals. Myth has it he came late to a party called by the Emperor because he overslept!

I thought, at first, I might not be able to do a Chinese dish as most dishes seem to involve lots of different platters and people – but I think you will find this one completely fits the bill cooking for one – but can easily be doubled/quadrupled up if you invite some friends over the New Year.  And so much better for you (and cheaper) than a takeaway!  It uses a traditional Chinese method of pouring extremely hot oil (BE CAREFUL!) over the dish just before serving to really bring out the flavour.

Baked Cod Loin with sizzling spinach, ginger and chilli

  • 1 cod loin
  • 12 mls rice wine (or sherry)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 150g baby spinach leaves
  • 2 salad onions
  • 5g fresh root ginger
  • 1 small red chilli, deseeded (use the seeds if you like it HOT)
  • 12ml sunflower oil

Preheat the oven to 200oC, gas mark 6.  Place a large sheet of foil on a baking tray and sit the cod on top.  Drizzle over the rice wine, 1/2 soy sauce and the garlic.  Massage the dressing into the fish and tightly seal the foil parcel.  Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or so.  Meanwhile, cook the spinach for a few minutes in some boiling water until wilted and drain.  Cut the onion into small lengths then into small slivers.  Do the same with the ginger and chilli.  Dilute the remaining soy sauce with 1 tablespoon of boiling water.  Arrange the spinach on a plate.  Top with the cod and any cooking juices.  Heat the oil in a pan over a high heat.  Pile up the ginger, onion and chilli onto the cod. When the oil is extremely hot, almost smoking pour it over the fish and vegetables so that it sizzles.  Pour over the diluted soy sauce and eat immediately with a salad of tomato, onion and beansprouts.  Yum yum!

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