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Cookism's Cod in a Pod


Let's face it. Originality is dying these days. So as and when we come across an idea so refreshingly offbeat and novel, we get all carpe diem. Cod in a Pod stands as a tower of all the things we love; a celebration of imagination over pretentiousness. The idea is to create a fountain of runny yolk that cascades down a pancetta-hugged cod block into a portobello reservoir - simply put, a visual and gastronomical bombshell.Only the freshest ingredients are used, particularly for the poached egg - the pièce de résistance - which was tested for freshness using the water technique.

Stop building sandcastles in the air and start building Cod in a Pod - the stuff of dreams.

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  • For poached eggs:
  • 4 Fresh Eggs
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • For pancetta-wrapped cod:
  • 4 Cod loins (able to fit into the mushrooms with a little room left)
  • 8 slices of Pancetta
  • 2 tbsp of Olive Oil
  • Zest of Half Lemon
  • 1/2 tsp of Salt
  • Pinch of Black Pepper
  • For roasted portobello mushrooms:
  • 4 giant Portobello Mushrooms (about 3.5 to 4 inches in diameter, cleaned)
  • 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tsp of Thyme Leaves
  • 1 Clove of Grated Garlic
  • Pinch of Salt & Black Pepper
  • For roasted tomatoes:
  • Tomatoes on the vine (total of 12 cherry tomatoes)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Black Pepper
  • Serves 2 as a main or 4 as an appetizer


Adapted from


Step 1

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Remove the mushroom stems and lightly scrap off the black gills on the underside of the mushrooms cap using a spoon. Place mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt and black pepper into a large mixing bowl. Mix well to coat the marinade evenly. Set aside and allow it to marinate for 30 minutes.
2. For the fish, combine olive oil, lemon zest, salt as well as a pinch of black pepper in a bowl. Using your fingers, rub the mixture onto the surface of the fish thoroughly. Carefully wrap two slices of pancetta firmly around each cod loin with the ends tucked underneath. Transfer cod loins onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, then drizzle a little leftover olive oil-lemon mixture over them. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until fish and pancetta is cooked.
3. When mushrooms are marinated, place them smooth side down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spoon leftover marinade over them and lay tomatoes on the other side of the baking tray. Season tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, pinch of salt and black pepper. Bake at 200C for 10 minutes until mushrooms are tender.
4. In the meantime, poach the eggs. Heat a skillet of water to 82C (180F). Add 2 tbsp of vinegar and 2 tsp of salt per litre of water. Stir well. Crack an egg in a bowl and gently lower it into the water. Repeat for the rest of the eggs. Gently release the egg from the bottom with a heatproof rubber spatula when egg whites firm up and poach for 3 to 4 minutes for runny yolks. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a paper towel to drain, then trim away flimsy whites. We did our poached eggs in advance to save time. To do that, simply place poached eggs into an ice bath and warm it up for a minute in a pot of simmering water before serving.
5. To assemble, place pancetta-wrapped cod onto each mushroom. Carefully lay a poached egg onto each cod and season them with salt and black pepper to taste. Place the tomatoes beside and drizzle truffle oil over the dish. Serve with a wedge of lemon and you are done!

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