Cooking for Friends

I love love love trying new recipes and discovering that they're good. When we invited our friends Nat and Al round for dinner, I knew I wanted to cook something involving fish. Unfortunately, I didn't plan ahead and we couldn't get some nice fresh fish from the farmer's market or the fishmonger's down the street. But that's ok - the flavours in this dish were enough to keep a slightly bland fillet of cod from being too boring. You could probably do with a smaller amount of brown rice -- we used a shortgrain rice that took ages to cook but fluffed up to multiple times the uncooked size. But now I have yummy leftovers for lunch today :)

Pan-fried Pollock with Eggplant, Mint, and Chili Rice

This serves 4 with leftovers and is healthtastic.


The particulars:

  • 300g brown rice, well rinsed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large eggplant, chopped
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 75g baby spinach, roughly shredded
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 long red chilis, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve
  • 20g fresh mint leaves, picked and roughly chopped
  • 4 skinless pollock or cod fillets
  1. Cook the rice for 25 minutes or until fluffy, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes until golden. Turn the heat down to medium-high, add the onion and stir for 5 minutes until the onion is lightly caramelized. Add the ground coriander and chili and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Add the drained rice, spinach, and 4 tbsp boiling water and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until the spinach wilts. Season, then stir in the lemon zest and juice, and the mint.
  4. Heat a large pan over a medium-high heat. Rub the fish with the remaining oil, season with salt and pepper, then cook for 3 minutes each side until just cooked through.
  5. Divide the rice among the plates, top with the fish and serve with extra lemon wedges to squeeze over.

Lesson learned: As I said before, using a nice piece of fresh fish would have easily made this meal even better.