Sourdough cod cheeks with spicy pea salsa

Sourdough cod cheeks with spicy pea salsa

Home Comforts
Yuki Sigura

Cod cheeks are solid lumps of meat with a membrane running through them, which needs to be removed. Cheeks mainly come from cod and monkfish and you can easily find them in good fishmongers or – frozen – online, but, if you can’t get hold of them, fish fillets will do. It’s easy to find cod cheeks in France; even village markets will sell them.


Quantity Ingredient
150g stale sourdough bread, chopped
1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest
lemon wedges, to serve
75ml plain flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
20 cod cheeks, cleaned, membranes removed
300g frozen peas, defrosted
3 tablespoons roughly chopped mint leaves
2 green chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 limes, juiced
100g creme fraiche
flavourless vegetable oil, to deep-fry
100g beef dripping, to deep-fry


  1. Put the bread into a food processor and blitz until crumbs are formed, then add the lemon zest and blitz once more. Tip the lemon crumbs into a shallow bowl and put the flour and egg into another two shallow bowls. Season the flour, then dip the cod cheeks into the flour to coat, then into the egg and finally into the lemon crumbs until totally covered. Cover and set aside in the fridge until ready to serve (you can make these a day in advance).
  2. Wash the food processor out, then make the salsa. Put in the peas, mint, chillies, lime juice and crème fraîche and blitz until chunky; you don’t want it to be smooth. Tip out into a serving bowl; this can also be made a day ahead and kept, covered, in the fridge.
  3. Heat a deep-fat fryer to 190°C, or heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep heavy-based saucepan, until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
  4. Drop the cod cheeks into the hot fat in batches, and cook for two or three minutes until golden and cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper while you quickly cook the rest.
  5. Pile the cod cheeks on to a serving plate and serve with lemon wedges and the pea salsa.
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
comfort food
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