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Seared cod with fennel fondue (starter)

 4 ratings

Prep Time:10 mins

Cooking Time:60 mins

Serves:4 Adults


Seared cod with fennel fondue (starter)

Try something different this Christmas with this delicious and light starter.


  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 120ml / 4 fl oz. of dry white wine
  • 375ml /13 fl oz. of  water
  • 200g / 7 oz. of cod fillets, skin on and slashed half way through at 1½cm intervals
  • 1 tablespoon of low fat crème fraiche
  • 1 teaspoon of tarragon
  • 2 star anise - optional
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Heat half the oil in a pan and gently sauté the shallot, fennel and star anise (if using) for about 10 minutes until softened but not coloured
  2. Pour in the white wine and allow to bubble right down for about 5 minutes until well reduced and syrupy
  3. Pour the water into the pan and season to taste, adding a pinch of tarragon
  4. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 25 minutes until the fennel is completely tender and the mixture is fragrant
  5. Remove the star anise from the pan and stir in the crème fraiche. Simmer, uncovered for about 3 minutes
  6. Ladle into a food processor or liquidiser and whiz until smooth. Pass the puree through a sieve set over a bowl, rubbing with the back of a ladle or wooden spoon. Cover the bowl with cling film until needed
  7. Heat a heavy-based frying pan until searing hot and add the remaining oil
  8. Add the cod fillets skin-side down and cook for about 2 minutes until the skin is crispy and lightly browned
  9. Turn the fillets over and cook for another 2 minutes or so until just tender. Season lightly
  10. Meanwhile pour the fennel fondue into a clean pan and reheat gently

What you will need

  • Frying pan
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon

Serving suggestions

To serve ladle the fennel fondue into wide rimmed serving bowls and arrange the cod fillets on top, skin side up and garnish with the reserved fennel sprigs

"Remember to store any leftovers in the fridge"

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