Cod and Fennel with an Orange Mayo Dressing

Well how about it! You are going to love this cod and fennel recipe if you love fish and orange! The fennel flavour really shines too, pairing so well with the orange. And that orange mayonnaise dressing – OMG it’s heaven!!

Super simple, super quick – you can make this for the family or for a dinner party – it works brilliantly for both!

So what is the Fuss about Fennel?

3 fennel bulbs with their fronds attached.

So, fennel is a bulbous plant with green stalks and fronds. The entire vegetable is edible including the seeds, which are used in abundance in Sri Lankan cooking.

According to Medical News Today, the nutrients in fennel are linked to a wide variety of health benefits including bone health, maintaining low blood pressure, helping with the risk of getting heart disease, immunity to infection and even helping digestion.

Fennel tastes kind of a little like licorice but not overly so it doesn’t overpower the rest of the meal! The texture is crunchy but when braised or roasted, it becomes less so. Although I use the seeds often in my curries, I very rarely use the fennel bulb. However, this recipe has shown me how flavourful this vegetable is, so I might think of a few more ways to use it!

How do the Orange Mayo and Fennel work together in this dish?

Well I think the texture of the fennel works well against the soft, flaky fillet of cod. The sauce contains mayonnaise so can be rich, but the orange thins it out, while adding another subtle favour. Overall the fennel works well to introduce both flavour and texture to this dish. The dressing coats the fennel adding that extra dimension. Try it – I think you’ll be surprised!

If you like this recipe and want to try some other fish recipes of mine, then how about my Filo Pastry Butternut Squash Fish Pie or my Pan Fried Halibut with a Beurre Blanc Sauce or even my Stunning Salmon and Meat Paella? Yum, so delicious!

Cod and Fennel with an Orange Mayo Dressing

A delightfully light dish that pairs orange and fennel beautifully beside the cod
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4


Fish Marinade

  • 50 ml fresh orange juice
  • ¾ tsp ground fennel
  • 1 tsp grated zest of orange
  • salt and pepper

Orange Mayonnaise sauce

  • 50 g mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • ½ tsp grated orange zest
  • salt to season
  • chopped chives
  • squeeze of lime

Other ingredients

  • 4 fillets cod
  • 2 knobs butter
  • 2 bulbs fennel
  • dill, salmon caviar salt and pepper salmon caviar is optional


  • Turn the oven to 180C (fan oven)
  • Remove any fronds of fennel you may find on the top of the bulbs and set aside. Slice the fennel lengthways. Arrange the pieces on a baking tray and season with butter, salt and pepper
  • Put into the oven for 40 minutes, taking the fennel out halfway and rotating so that they are cooked evenly.
  • Meanwhile, in a steel bowl, mix together the fish marinade ingredients.Add the cod to this and let marinade for 20 minutes
  • After the fennel has been in the oven for 40 minutes, remove it and place the cod fillets on top of the fennel pieces Pour the remaining marinade over the cod before putting back in the oven for 12 minutes or until the cod is cooked. A thermometer should read at least 63 Celcius when inserted into the thickest part of the fish.
  • Meanwhile make the orange mayonnaise dressing. Add all the mayonnaise ingredients together and mix together well. Season according to taste. Your sauce should be adjusted by adding more orange juice or mayo according to your desired consistency.
  • Once cooked, place the fennel and cod on a plate and sprinkle the chopped fennel fronds and dill on top. Pour the orange mayonnaise dressing around the fish, garnish with the salmon caviar and serve immediately
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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