Cod with Shrimp Butter

Try James Martin's stylish way of serving cod, topped with savoury shrimp butter on a bed of salad leaves
By James Martin
Cod with Shrimp Butter
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Serves 4
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 30 mins chilling time
  • Effort: easy



  • 100 g potted shrimps, at room temperature
  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g cooked peeled prawns, thawed if frozen and patted dry
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cod fillets, about 150–200g each
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 100 g mixed salad leaves


1. In a bowl mix the potted shrimps with the unsalted butter. Finely chop the cooked prawns. Add the chopped prawns and parsley to the shrimp mixture. Season generously with freshly ground pepper and mix well.

2. Slit the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. Add the seeds to the shrimp butter. Shape the shrimp butter into a log on a sheet of cling film and roll neatly until smooth on the outside. Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes until firm.

3. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Season the cod fillets with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Fry over a medium heat, skin side down, for about 5-7 minutes until the flesh is three-quarters cooked. Check this by pressing the cod flresh which should feel just slightly spring. Carefully turn over the fillets and remove the pan off the heat so the fish cooks gently.

4. Cut the chilled butter into 8 neat discs. Add any end pieces of butter to the frying pan to flavour the cod.

5. Mix the remaining olive oil with the balsamic vinegar. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Place the salad leaves in a serving bowl, add the dressing and toss well.

6. Divide the salad between serving plates. Arrange the cod fillets on the dressed leaves. Top each cod fillet with 2 discs of shrimp butter. Grind over some black pepper and serve immediately.

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