OK, I’ll go out on a limb here and claim this cod recipe is probably one of the best fish dishes I’ve ever eaten! The skillet braise is a simplified version of daegu jorim, or Korean braised cod. Here, Milk Street builds an umami-rich braising liquid by combining sake, mirin, soy sauce and gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste), plus garlic, ginger and chilies.
In the Korean kitchen, steaks of fatty fish, such as black cod or mackerel, are commonly used in daegu jorim, but this recipe opts for easy to source Atlantic cod fillets. Instead of buying individual fillets, we bought a 1 1⁄2-pound piece and cut it down to our preferences.
Earthy, subtly sweet daikon radish is a standard ingredient in the braise but Yukon Gold potatoes are said to be a good alternative. Baby bok choy is also added for color and to round out the braise. Let ‘s just say, this packs quite a punch—which we loved—but to tone it down a notch or three, use only one Fresno chili and discard the seeds and veins.
If you like, sprinkle on sliced scallions or toasted sesame seeds as a garnish, and/or drizzle on some sesame oil. Be sure to serve steamed short-grain rice alongside. Kimchi would be a great accompaniment, too. It was even very good as leftovers. — Just YUM!
Don’t cover the skillet tightly after adding the cod and bok choy. Leaving the lid ajar allows some steam to escape, so the broth reduces slightly, for more concentrated flavor and consistency.
Spicy Korean-Style Braised Cod
- 1 1/2 cups sake
- 1/3 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp. gochujang
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
- 1 – 2 Fresno or jalapeño chilies, stemmed and sliced into thin rounds
- 12 oz. daikon radish, peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces or 12 oz. medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
- 4 6-oz. skinless cod fillets, each about 1 inch thick
- 8 oz. baby bok choy, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- Steamed rice
- In a 12-inch skillet, stir together the sake, mirin, soy sauce, gochujang, garlic, ginger and chilies; bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring occasionally. Add the daikon (or potato), then cover, reduce to medium, and cook, flipping and stirring the radish every 5 minutes or so, until a skewer inserted into the pieces meets no resistance, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Slide the cod fillets into the skillet and scatter the bok choy over the top. Cover partially and cook over medium, turning the fish and stirring the vegetables just once or twice, until the cod flakes easily and the sauce is slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Ladle into shallow bowls and garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
Adapted from a recipe by Courtney Hill for Milk Street