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Pan Seared Cod with Tomato and Onion

Posting Date: 05/17/22

Pan Seared Cod with Tomato and Onion

Pan Seared Cod with Tomato and Onion is an adaptation of my mom’s recipe called Sardines in Tomato Sauce. Her recipe uses 2 cans of sardine. Instead of using canned fish, I use fish fillets. In this recipe, I use cod fillets but you can use haddock, tilapia, or flounder. I sometimes use shrimp because I always have shrimp in my freezer and this is my go-to recipe when I am in a rush. For the shrimp, I just sprinkle it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika. I then place the shrimp in a baking sheet and bake it in the oven at 350 deg F until it is cooked. While cooking the shrimp, I can cook the onion and tomato mixture. So, the food will be done in 30 minutes. My mom’s recipe also uses fresh jalapeno. I use pickled jalapeno because I always have it in my fridge. You can use fresh jalapeno but make sure you remove the seeds and ribs so that it will not be too hot. I also adapt the recipe by adding olive green because I like it. Black olives works, too. Indonesians don't normally use olives in their cooking but I added it after seeing it in a Spanish cooking show.

For the pan seared cod, I sear the fish on a pan so that it will be brown on the outside. However, you can also bake it in the oven. Make sure you sprinkle the fish with olive oil after seasoning it with salt, pepper, and paprika. This will prevent the fish from sticking to the baking sheet. I normally serve this dish over cooked rice, quinoa, or pasta. Quinoa has become my favorite rice replacement since it has nutty flavor. To make it more flavorful, I add chicken bouillon to the water used in cooking the quinoa. You can also use chicken broth instead of water and chicken bouillon.

The recipe serves for 2 people.


  • For cooking the fish: 2 cods fillets. You can use haddock, tilapia, or flounder instead.
  • For cooking the fish: salt to taste
  • For cooking the fish: black pepper to taste
  • For cooking the fish: 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • For cooking the fish: 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 slices of pickled jalapeno, chopped. You could skip it if you don't have any tolerance to heat. Instead of pickled jalapeno from a jar, you could also use fresh jalapeno. Remove the seeds and ribs so that it won't be too hot. Also you can use half of it rather than the whole jalapeno if you don't have high tolerance to heat.
  • 5 green olives, quartered. You can use black olives, instead.
  • lemon wedges


  1. Pat dry the fish fillets with paper towel. Season both sides with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  2. Melt butter on a pan over medium heat. Don't use high heat because it will cause the butter to burn. Once the butter has melted, place both fillets on the pan and press them while putting them on the pan so that they have good contact with the pan. This will make good crust on the fish. Cook until bottom side becomes brown (about 5 min). Turn it over to cook the other side and press the fillets on the pan while turning them over so that they make good contact with the pan. Cook until fish is fully cooked. Fish is fully cooked when the flesh becomes white and flaky or when the temperature inside is 145 deg F. Once the fish is fully cooked, remove it from the pan.
  3. Heat 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion into the pan. Cook until it becomes soft. Add minced garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant. Add diced tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, and olives into the pan. Cook until tomatoes becomes soft. Add salt and pepper. Taste it and add more seasoning if needed. Remove from the heat.
  4. Place fish, onion and tomato mixture, and lemon wedges on a serving plate. Serve while it is still warm. You can serve it with rice, quinoa, or pasta.

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