Cumin battered blue cod with tomatillo, chilli and lime jam

Photographer: Adam
Serves 2

When the Dunedin contingent from the Our Kitchen team descended on Auckland for Taste of New Zealand last month, we were astounded at the number of recommendations for ‘must try’ restaurants and cafes around the city – every dish was unique, delicious and utterly satisfying. Serendipitously, each team member ordered something completely different so we happily shared, ensuring we experienced as many flavours as possible per meal; we were in foodie heaven!

Our first night in Auckland we had a team meal at a very tasty little bistro in Northcote, the following day we downed seafood tapas at a bustling oyster bar in the central city, next we enjoyed Vietnamese down by the waterfront and tucked into incredible toasted sandwiches at a little café by Victoria park.

One the restaurants we ate at provided the inspiration for this dish – with a South Island twist (of course) – Blue cod!


Tomatillo, chilli and lime jam
450g tomatillos – peeled if possible
Small glug of oil
2 medium onions- chopped
2 garlic cloves – sliced
2 red (deseeded) chillies*
Juice and zest from 2 limes
S+P to taste
2 tsp sugar (optional)
*You can leave the seeds in the chillies if you like really hot food!

Cumin battered blue cod
750g fresh blue cod fillet
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour (plus extra for flouring the fish)
½ -3/4 cup of cold sparking water
Salt and pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
Oil for deep frying


Tomatillo, chilli and lime jam
1. Add the oil to a saucepan and allow to heat on low.
2. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and allow to soften before adding the chilli, tomatillos, lime juice and zest + a pinch of salt and pepper. 3.Allow to reduce for 30-40 minutes until a thick, chunky consistency has been met. At this point taste – if the jam is to your satisfaction omit the sugar, if the jam is too tart – add the sugar until it reaches your desired result.

This will produce more jam than required for the fish (in my opinion) but you can store in a sterilised glass jar until you next require it.

Cumin battered blue cod
1. In a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs, before adding the flour, water and cumin seeds- whisk thoroughly, until well combined. Refrigerate for the time it takes to complete the next step.
2. Add oil to frying pan and allow to heat. – I used a small (15cm diameter) pan and had it filled 2/3rd of the height with oil
3. Meanwhile, bone the fish if necessary, before slicing into chunks around 7cm long. Mix into the extra flour- This will ensure the batter sticks to the fish easily.
4. Remove the batter mix from the fridge and whisk again before carefully add a tsp to the oil to test its heat – when the mixture bubbles quickly your oil is hot enough to start using. If it doesn’t bubble, or the mixture sinks you need to wait a few more minutes and then try retesting again.
5. Add a piece of floured fish to the batter mix covering it well, before placing carefully into the oil. Each piece will take 4-5 minutes in the oil – remove and place onto paper towels when it is golden brown in colour. Repeat this step until all the fish has been cooked.