Recipe: Fabulous summer fish

Rapeseed poached Brixham cod, Somerset asparagus, lemon curd 

Rapeseed poached Brixham cod, Somerset asparagus, lemon curd - Credit: Andrew Duncan photography

Thir13en Private Dining's private chef Ben Richards and his partner Izzy share this gorgeous summer fish recipe with us.

Rapeseed poached Brixham cod, Somerset asparagus, lemon curd 

Serves 6 


For the cod 

  • 1 large side of cod 
  • 300g course sea salt 
  • 300g caster sugar 
  • 1 lemon zested 
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds 
  • 1 tsp coriander 
  • For the lemon curd 
  • 2 lemons 
  • 100g caster sugar 
  • 50g butter 
  • 2 eggs 


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  • 2 bunches asparagus 
  • 300g butter 
  • Rapeseed oil 
  • Salt 


  1. Firstly, combine salt, sugar and spices and whisk thoroughly to create the cure for the cod.
  2. Place a thin layer of the salt mixture onto the tray and lay the cod skin side down, use remaining salt to cover the flesh.
  3. Wrap and place in fridge for 6-8 hours. Remove cod, discard liquid, and thoroughly rinse cod with cold water and pat dry. Cut into 200g portions, place into a vac pack bag with a drizzle of rapeseed oil.
  4. Seal the bag and place it into a water bath for 45 mins at 46 degrees.  If you do not have a sous vide machine then you can pan roast the cod by placing it into a frying pan on a medium/high heat with a drizzle of oil – skin side down.
  5. Cook the fish for 3-4 minutes on the skin until crispy then turn fish over and add a knob of butter. Take it off the heat and cook for a further 2 minutes. The residual heat from the pan will keep cooking the fish -  the flesh will become opaque.  
  6. To make your lemon curd – put lemon juice, sugar, and butter in a heat proof bowl, over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the butter has melted.
  7. Once melted add eggs and whisk mixture for 10 minutes until thick.
  8. Pass lemon mixture through a sieve to discard any lumps and to create a smooth texture. Store the curd in a sterilised jar in the fridge until needed. 
  9. Take six asparagus spears, boil for one minute and refresh in ice water (this stops the cooking process).  
  10. Cook the rest of the asparagus in boiling salted water until tender. Place them into the blender with butter and salt to taste. Blitz until smooth.

To serve 

  1. Warm your six asparagus spears in butter.
  2. Remove cod from bag, peel off the skin, blow torch or grill until slightly charred.
  3. Ladle hot asparagus puree onto centre of the plate, place cod on top of puree.
  4. Lay asparagus spear next to cod.
  5. Drizzle with lemon curd.  

To see more great fish recipes from Ben see the special food and drink section in the August edition of Somerset Life.

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