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Pan-fried Cod With Homemade Chili Crisp

  • Pacific Cod
  • All White Fish
  • Grace Parisi
  • Fast
  • Easy
  • Active Time:20 min
  • Total Time:20 min
  • Servings:2
  • Difficulty:Easy
Photo by Julia Gartland

This sizzling ginger-garlic sauce is similar to the super popular, sometimes hard-to-keep-in-stock chili crisp (aka mala sauce), but uses everyday ingredients found in most pantries or supermarkets. Served over pan-fried cod with green beans and rice, it may become your new favorite condiment.


  • 1 portion whitefish fillets (10 to 12 ounces), such as Pacific cod, lingcod, or rockfish Available in Our Seafood Subscription Box

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup neutral oil, such as peanut or canola, plus more for cooking

  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 1 scallion, white and green parts, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds or chopped roasted peanuts

  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • All-purpose flour for dusting

  • 1 large garlic clove, very thinly sliced

  • Steamed green beans and rice for serving


Prep the Fish and Aromatics

Sprinkle the fish generously with salt and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Rinse the fish and pat very dry with paper towels.

Prepare the Chili Crisp

In a small heatproof bowl, combine the ginger, scallion, sesame seeds, tamari, red pepper flakes, sugar, and a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Cook the Fish

In a medium nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat ⅛ inch of oil until shimmering. Dust the fish with flour, tapping off the excess, and add the fish to the skillet. Cook without disturbing until golden, about 4 minutes. Carefully flip the fish and cook until golden and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet. Transfer the fish to a platter. Discard the oil and wipe out the skillet.

Make the Chili Oil and Serve

Add the ¼ cup oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high until shimmering. Working quickly, add the garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant and lightly golden, 30 to 45 seconds . Carefully pour the sizzling mixture into the bowl with the ginger mixture.

Spoon the chili crisp over the fish and serve right away with green beans and rice.

Pair it Up

Ginger pairs well with slightly sweet, citrusy white wines like sauternes, gewürztraminer, or riesling.

Change it Up

Wrap leftover fish and rice in lettuce leaves and drizzle with soy sauce and sriracha for a light lunch.


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