Growing up the kid of a Chinese dad forces you to have a greater appreciation for all things food. It was a common occurrence to wake up to pigs feet boiling on the stove. To watch my dad dig into chicken feet was a lesson in resourcefulness. I always marveled at why anyone would put in so much effort to get so little in return. Now I know better. If my dad were alive today he would be on the cutting edge of the whole nose to tail resurgence.
But the Chinese aren’t the only culture to eat the whole animal. Every ethnicity is steeped in the practice of consuming all edible parts of an animal. Sometimes eating without waste is simply dictated by economics, but the root of the practice lies in ancient wisdom passed down through generations. Our ancestors knew that strong bones and muscles were built by eating connective tissue. Our big, powerful brains were largely built on oily seafood and animal fats. It didn’t take a degree in science to understand that eating the whole animal gives you your best chance at obtaining the full spectrum of vital nutrients needed to build a strong, healthy body.
I remember trips to New York’s Chinatown in my childhood where I tried tripe and tongue for the first time. I can’t say that I enjoyed everything that I tasted, but I was game to give it a try. One of my favorite Chinese dishes to this day is a whole fish presented on a platter, eyes and all.
Fish is one of those foods that many people tend to shy away from. Some people aren’t real comfortable cooking it. Others just can’t get past that “fishy” smell or taste. If you fall into this camp, you should consider giving cod a try. Cod has a very neutral taste and is adaptable to many different flavor profiles. And when it’s already filleted, it’s no more difficult than cooking a chicken breast.
This recipe is super simple to put together and tastes great! You can assemble it and throw it right into the oven, but I like to put it together and let it marinate in the fridge for a couple hours before cooking. I like spicy food, but if you’re not into heat, you can omit the Sriracha. I created this recipe from what I had on hand in the kitchen. The next go round will probably be topped with sliced chiles and limes. But hey, you work with what you have, right?
This recipe would work equally well with salmon or any other fish of your choice. Give this a try and let me know what you think.
Baked Soy Ginger Cod
These baked soy ginger fillets are easy to prepare and taste delicious.
- 4 cod fillets
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 orange for juice
- 2 tbsp ginger root julienned
- 1 tbsp Sriracha
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4-6 scallions sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place fresh or thawed cod fillets in glass baking dish.
Mix soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, Sriracha, and juice of 1/2 orange and pour over fillets.
Season with salt and pepper.
Top fillets with ginger and scallions.
Cover and bake 15 minutes or until fillets flake easily.