Healthier choice recipe: Seared cod with orange dressing

PHOTO: Healthier choice recipe: Seared cod with orange dressing

SINGAPORE - The goodness of cod can be drowned by sinful sauce. Oily fish, such as cod, mackerel, salmon and sardine, contain omega-3 fatty acid, which helps prevent heart disease and stroke.

But this benefit will be overridden if the fish is covered in sauce that is high in saturated fat, say, full cream.

After being consumed, saturated fat is converted into low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or "bad" cholesterol. When it is in excess, it is deposited on artery walls, narrowing the arteries and raising a person's risk of heart disease and stroke.

Dressing can be made healthier using olive oil, which is rich in unsaturated fat.

This becomes high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or "good" cholesterol, in the bloodstream, and helps remove "bad" cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Using citrus juice, such as lemon and orange juice, is also a good way to naturally flavour the dish without having to add too much salt.

Consumption of high levels of sodium, found in salt, has been linked to the development of high blood pressure, which, in turn, raises the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Including tomatoes and cucumbers also adds nutrition.

Vegetables and fruit contain fibre, vitamins and beneficial plant substances called phytochemicals, which reduce the risk of some types of cancer.

Mr Yen Koh, regional executive chef at the food solutions department of Unilever Singapore, created his seared cod with orange dressing with the help of the Health Promotion Board (HPB).

It is among 150 healthier dishes that the HPB and several chefs came up with, either by adapting existing recipes or developing them from scratch.

Mr Koh said: "This is a versatile dressing that can be used for other seafood or fish dishes."

Recipe: Seared cod with orange dressing

Recipe: Seared cod with orange dressing
(Serves four)


2 tbs low-fat yogurt
120ml orange juice
4 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
120g tomatoes, diced
120g cucumber, diced
600g cod fillet
Salt, to taste
½ tsp white pepper


1. Using a hand blender, process the low-fat yogurt, orange juice, lemon juice and olive oil to make the dressing.

2. Once the dressing is ready, toss the diced tomatoes and cucumber in it. Keep the mixture chilled for 10 minutes.

3. Rub the cod fillet with salt and pepper.

4. Then, sear the cod fillet till it turns slightly brown.

5. Transfer the cod fillet to a rack and continue to cook in an oven that has been pre-heated at 190 deg C for four minutes.

6. Serve the baked cod fillet with the vegetable mixture.

(Per serving)

Energy: 175 kilocalories
Protein: 27.8g
Total fat: 3.8g
Saturated fat: 0.7g
Cholesterol: 65mg
Carbohydrate: 6.6g
Dietary fibre: 0.7g
Sodium: 234mg


Make your own healthy salad dressing to control the amount of fat, oil or seasoning. Enjoy the edible skin of fruit and vegetables as it provides additional fibre and nutrients.

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