Like I said, this recipe only uses five ingredients (not counting salt and pepper). So if you’re thinking that this is a fancy, experience-required recipe, you can guess again!
Before we get to the recipe I would like to show you how I cut my fennel, in case there are some of you at home (or at work now) who are not familiar with cutting this flavorful, licorice-tinged vegetable. Some of my friends are interested in cooking (here’s looking at you, Olivia!) and have become quite good at it. Other good friends of mine are either too busy, don’t see the point, or are intimidated by getting started in the kitchen. I used to fall into the latter category.
But I think you have to ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen? You will fail miserably – that is almost inevitable in your early cooking career. But you will also pick yourself up and try it again, and once you get the hang of it you’ll find that you’re not only good at it, but that it’s also more rewarding than you ever imagined.
Anyways, to properly cut fennel, first start with a full stalk, which you can buy at most grocery stores. Smell the fennel – perhaps it will remind you of those black licorice-flavored Twizzlers you never liked? Don’t worry, that flavor is very mild once mixed with the soy sauce, lime, and honey.
Next, simply chop off the fronds and the root.
Then, slice the fennel bulb – that big hunk in the center – however you want. You can discard the fennel fronds, or use them for garnish (as I do in the top photo). Here, we will be slicing them thinly lengthwise, into somewhat even slices. The more even the slices, the more evenly they will cook during baking – score!
Now is a good time for me to mention that this dish should almost definitely be eaten with some steamed rice, either sticky white or grainier wild. There will be a pool of sauce surrounding your fish and vegetables and you would be doing a disservice to both yourself and the sauce by not slathering some rice all over it.
I also think that this would be a great and impressive dish to make for a date – you can pop it in the oven before your lovely friend arrives, and it’s usually a fun treat to watch their expression as they open up the foil/parchment to find steam rush out and a bag of yums inside.
So there you have it! Happy hump day everybody, I look forward to hearing from you!
- 1 fennel stalk
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (low sodium or regular)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (from the juice of 1 lime)
- 1 6-8 ounce cod fillet (can be replaced by another flaky white fish, such as pollack or hake)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cut the fronds and root off of the fennel, reserving fennel fronds for garnish if desired. Cut fennel bulb into thin slices, running your knife over the pieces if any are too large, so they are roughly the same size.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, and lime juice.
4. Place a large piece of foil, lined with a slightly smaller piece of parchment, on a baking sheet. Create a makeshift bowl with the parchment and foil. Place fennel slices on parchment, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with half of the sauce.
5. Place cod fillet over the fennel, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle the remaining sauce over it.
6. Carefully fold the parchment and foil so that the fish is sealed and no air can escape – try to create a kind of calzone.
7. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from heat, unwrap foil, sprinkle with additional lime juice (if you have) and garnish with fennel fronds (if desired).