Chunky fillet of cod
A chunk of the thickest, foremost part of the loin along the back of a large and mature cod is one of the choicest cuts of fish around.
Keep in mind
A piece of about 150 grams is quite enough for one portion. It might not sound generous, but serving more can be experienced as too much of a good thing.
If there is any, leave the skin on for easier handling and more flavor.
How to cook chunky cod fillet
To enhance flavors and to make the fish meat a little firmer, immerse the fillets in a 10 percent brine (1 dl of salt in 1 L of water, take it from there) for about 30 minutes. Wipe off all traces of water before cooking.
Aim for an inner temperature just below 50° C (above all, you need to remove the fish from the heat before it has reached 50° C). The core of the chunky fillet should look like mother of pearl and the meat should fall apart in pretty, slices with a heavenly taste and very satisfying mouth feel.
If boiling: Bring a generous amount of water to boil, immerse the cod fillets and turn off the heat and let the residual heat do the job. It will take a little longer, up to 10 minutes, but you will get an even result. Steam cooking is also a gentle and appropriate choice for a chunky fillet of cod.
If frying: If you fry the fillet in a pan until it is done, the outer parts of the cut will become more dried out and less tasty than the core. Instead, give one or two sides a pretty and tasty fried surface, then carry out the final cooking in a moderately hot oven, about 125° C.
Dry frying on a griddle gives you a prettier piece of fish to put on the plate – but it takes the right equipment and some skills with the delicate cod meat. Increase your chances of success by (1) firming the meat in brine and (2) brushing it with a thin coat of oil just before it goes on the hot griddle.
Boiled or fried chunky cod fillet with nothing but melted butter, green peas and freshly harvested summer potatoes. Small shreds of crispy bacon or freshly grated horseradish are great accompaniments, but less is often more with raw material like this.