Sustainable Seafood: Rock Cod and Mussels with Cilantro Drizzle

Monterey Bay Aquarium's Cooking for Solutions offers a wide range of recipes with the help of Seafood Watch® to provide insight on the most environmentally friendly ways to cook delicious seafood.

Today's recipe comes from Tim Wood, a chef at Carmel Valley Ranch, whose dishes often feature fruits and vegetables that are grown at the ranch's onsite organic garden. Seafood Watch® currently recommends farm-raised mussels from all sources and handline-caught rockfish (also called rock cod) from California, Oregon, and Washington. Check here for mussels and here for rockfish on any updates to these recommendations since posting.

Rock Cod and Mussels with Cilantro Drizzle (serves 4)


For the cod and mussels

  • Olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 bulb fennel, cleaned, cored, thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced top to bottom

  • 2 tbsp. ginger, thinly sliced

  • 1 4" piece fresh turmeric, cleaned, peeled, thinly sliced

  • Kosher salt

  • Cracked black pepper

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 1 lb. mussels

  • 4 6-oz. rock cod fillets

For the cilantro drizzle

  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, half chopped, half whole

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • Ciabatta or sourdough bread, cut in rustic slices


For the cod and mussels

Heat a heavy-bottom saucepan on medium heat, allowing pan to warm. Add a liberal amount of olive oil, as it will add flavor to the finished dish. Add onion, fennel, garlic and ginger. Allow to cook slowly for 10 minutes on medium to low heat. Add fresh turmeric and season to taste with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add white wine and turn up heat to medium-high. Add mussels and cover. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. Add fish fillets to mussels mixture; cover and allow to steam. Ensure there is enough liquid; add water if necessary to prevent burning. The fillets will usually be done to medium-medium rare within 8 minutes; however, use discretion to cook to desired temperature and doneness.

For the cilantro drizzle

Toast bread in oven or toaster oven. Finely chop half the cilantro, then blend with olive oil for drizzle.

To serve

This dish can be served family style in large vessel or individually in bowls. Lay bread on top and add cilantro drizzle. Garnish with remaining cilantro. Enjoy!

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