Hayleigh’s Cod in a Harissa and Coconut Sauce

Hayleigh’s Cod in a Harissa and Coconut Sauce

Back again, this week we’ve got another mystery bag of ingredients.  The last few weeks have been a nightmare, I’ve not been able to post this sooner because my mother has been in hospital.  She recently broke her hip, after falling down in our living room.  She had a partial hip replacement and spent three weeks in hospital. thankfully she is home now and doing really well.

Anyway, on to this challenge, this week’s recipe is part of our “Wheelie Random Ingredient Challenge” where someone picks five ingredients and I have to cook a recipe from them.  It was set by Hayleigh and she chose Harissa, Coconut milk, Fish and Rice – she let me pick the 5th… I chose Passata, only somehow from messaging her to the finished recipe passata turned into tinned tomatoes… oops🙀!  has now come out thankfully Hello again folks, how are we all doing?

This week’s recipe is a microwave recipe, done entirely in the microwave, funnily enough!  I really enjoyed cooking it as it was quite easy to do on my own, I’ve even done it again since my mother has come out of hospital.  Anyway, let’s get in to the recipe… bewsh!

The Recipe:

A picture of all the ingredients laid out on a work surface


  • 2 Skinless Boneless Cod Loins
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Tin of Peeled Plum Tomatoes
  • 1 Tin of Coconut Milk
  • 2 Heaped Tsp of Harissa Paste
  • 1 Knorr Fish Stock Pot
  • Chives for Garnish
A chopping board with a pile of finely dinced onions on the left a pile of diced carrots on the right and a large chopping knife in between.

Step 1 Chop the onion and carrots, if I’m honest I’d have cut them in to strips had I thought about it but I tried to cut them in to cubes. Add them to a microwave safe bowl, when I cooked this, I made the sauce in one go, I would next time cook the carrot and onion on their own in a small drop of water to soften them first.

Adding, tinned tomatoes, chopped onions, carrots and harissa to a microwave dish

Step 2 To the microwave bowl that you’ve added the onions and carrots to add the tinned tomatoes, also add the harissa paste and give it a stir through.

Adding coconut milk to the microwave bowl with the sauce

Step 3 Next add the Coconut Milk, I used a tin from the co-op but any coconut milk will do.  As this is a recipe, I’ve made up on my own… not that you’d ever guess I don’t know much about Coconut Milk, so will look in to and use it again at some point with some facts and hints/tips.

The sauce with the stock pot added

Step 4 Add the fish stock pot, I used Knorr stock pot because I’ve had good results with them in the past.  At this point I put it all in the microwave and cooked it for ten minutes on full power, I stirred it a few times to make sure everything was getting to know each other.  There’s nothing like being at a party when you’re not sure who all the guests are🤪.   It’s also important at this point to season the sauce, I wouldn’t add too much as the Harissa is quite spicy so you may not need too much pepper.

Two cod loins and the sauce in a pyrex dish.

Step 5 Once the sauce is cooked, take a microwaveable dish and place the sauce on the bottom, then add the cod loins and cover with the rest of the sauce.

The microwave with the pyrex dish with everything in.

Step 6 Cover it with clingfilm and cook on high for approximately 8 minutes depending on your cod loins and your microwave.  Now you’re probably going to ask me if you should prick holes in the clingfilm… I do not know is the answer to that question…. Wait what’s that yes you should, how do I know that I hear you ask, because it says so on the Diabetes website.  I have since found another article that says different…. If you find out let me know, I didn’t prick mine but may not be the right thing to do lol.

Boil in the bag micrwoave rice in a microwave bowl

I served this with a boil in the bag individual portion of rice.  Because my mother was in hospital I didn’t need so much rice so Gemma (the oracle) found these in Tesco (other supermarkets stock them) I cooked this in the microwave for ten minutes, then let the rice sit in a bowl covered until I’d cooked everything, it didn’t go too cold and was really fluffy and nice to eat.  Don’t go by my cooking instructions on this because I don’t like al dente rice, I almost like it overcooked.  But if you live on your own and need smaller portions these are ideal.

The meal served on a plate in the kitchen

I served this with a nice sprinkle of dried chives… just for my mother because she loves a bit of greenery.  I’ve never cooked with Harissa before; I’ve thought about it and wanted to use it but never actually used it so thank you Hayleigh for suggesting it.  I tried the Harissa paste before I started cooking, I really wasn’t convinced it was quite bitter and quite smoky, but cooked with the coconut milk it was really nice, slightly smoky you could taste the Aniseed and the Coriander, I’m not normally an Aniseed fan but I think Harissa could convince me

The meal served on a plate in the lounge

My mother being hospital gave me the chance to become more independent, living on my own was nice in a way.  Don’t get me wrong I missed my mother, she’s my best friend and I wouldn’t be without her but it was nice having the home to myself.  Massive thanks to my carers for their help and support they’ve been amazing during the last few weeks, well they’re always amazing but don’t tell them I said that lol.  Big thanks to my friends to, I’m not going to name them but they know who they are, they say your friends are the family you choose and that couldn’t be truer in my case.  I also have a great family who have been brilliant helping when needed but also giving me space to get on with things.

Traffic light system - all red lights

I tried to find out how this recipe broke down in terms of the UK Government’s traffic light system.  I put the recipe and ingredients in to…. ChatbotGPT.  It wasn’t able to give me any accurate readings but did give me the above colours for Fat, Saturated Fat, Salt and Sugar… honestly, I think this is rubbish, the only unhealthy thing in it was coconut milk that I can see but I don’t know a lot about this area.  I’ll do some more reading over the next few months.

Like the Spanish Paste in my last recipe, the Harissa was really versatile, I can imagine using it with chicken, steak, tuna and even in rice or pasta.  I’ll use it again over the next few weeks and see how we do with it.

Also, if you’re like me you may not have used Coconut milk before, it is a rich and creamy liquid, it has a distinctively smooth texture and a subtly sweet, nutty flavour that adds depth and richness to various dishes. It is widely used in both sweet and savoury recipes, including curries, soups and desserts.  Due to its creamy consistency, it serves as a popular dairy milk substitute for those following a vegan or lactose-free diet.  I’ve never used it properly but I’m really glad I did, I don’t like coconut, my mother loves it but it didn’t feel overly coconutty, if that makes sense… no ok, I tried!!  My sister Heather uses it a lot in dishes, I can see why now, she’s just text me to say she’s picked up two more tins for me… winner winner!!

Black and white surround with coloured food and cuttlery The meal served on a plate in the lounge

Thank you again Hayleigh for giving me these ingredients, this recipe was fab and I’ve cooked it at least twice since.  Gemma will be up next with her ingredient selection as part of our “Wheelie Random Ingredient Challenge”, I wonder what she’ll chose.  If you like fish there’s a few fish recipes on here, you could try my fab Quickstep Left Over Fish Cakes a recipe which was part of my Strictly Suppers series.  You could also give my Cheat’s Fish Pie.  Since COVID and  the changes to supermarkets I don’t get to eat Tuna Steaks much these days, check out my Cha-Cha-Char Grilled Tuna.  Finally, on the theme of all things fishy, why don’t you have a read about Greg and I and our exploits at the Aberaeron Fish Festival

Instant Vortex Plus Digital Health Air Fryer.

I’ve just bought this baby!  Yes it’s an Instant Vortex Plus Digital Health Air Fryer.  I’ve not really used it yet, but will do soon, I’ve made roast potatoes in it and Roast Pork…. Potatoes were yummy, roast pork was lovely but it was a bit burned, it’s all a learning curve I suppose.  Stay tuned for the first Air Fryer recipe, I bought mine from amazon here.

9 year badge

I’ll be posting another recipe soon, hopefully it’ll be an air-fryer recipe.  I’m still planning on reviving the Time-Saving Tuesdays series, do you have recipe ideas or time-saving ideas I can feature, if you do let me know.  Remember you can also subscribe to the blog for regular updates.

Thank you for reading this blog post, and your continued support.  Last month Wheelie Good Meals turned 9 years old.  It’s mad to think I’ve been doing it so long, I know that there’s been periods of time where I’ve been radio silent because of health and politics, I’m really enjoying cooking and blogging again and am working on new recipes and new ways I can improve the blog… stay tuned for more folks.  As always if you have tried any of the recipes I’ve blogged about or tried a product I’ve reviewed please let me know, also drop me a line if you have any ideas for my blog

Social Media Details

As always, I hope you enjoyed this post, my pantry raiding recipe will be back some time in the next week. Come back again soon and, together, we’ll make more Wheelie Good Meals!

See you soon

Like what you've read, leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.