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Seared Cod with Grapefruit Fennel Slaw for #SundaySupper

Seared Cod with Grapefruit Fennel Slaw | Magnolia Days

Citrus and seafood go together like peanut butter and chocolate. It’s a magical combination in the food world. One enhances the other and brings out the best in both. Chocolate on its own is lovely. Add peanut butter and it’s divine. Citrus gives a certain freshness to seafood no matter how it is prepared. One of my favorite combinations is seared cod with grapefruit fennel slaw. I’ve made it often during grapefruit season. Sometimes I switch out the fish to halibut depending on availability.

I discovered this dish years ago. If you have been following along my blog, you may remember how my husband and I have very different tastes in seafood (not counting shellfish). He only wants it battered and fried. I want it every way except that. I’ll take it raw (sushi/sashimi), steamed, seared, broiled, grilled, and roasted. Back when he worked evening shifts is when I cooked more seafood for myself. Seared cod with grapefruit fennel slaw was one of my go-to meals. I like the slaw so much I would eat the leftovers with sandwiches or as a side.

Seared Cod with Grapefruit Fennel Slaw | Magnolia Days

One thing is learned to do is segmenting a grapefruit. I’m not fond of the chewy membranes and I don’t think many people like them either. It is why most people cut a grapefruit in half and dig out the pulp. To segment, cut off the top and bottom, cut off the peel and pith, and then cut out the pulp close to the membrane. Handle the segments delicately because they will come apart easily. They will come apart in the slaw after it sits for a bit. It does not affect the flavor, it is only a visual change.

Citrus goes with much more than seafood. Have you seen my citrus cocktail? Or lemon pie tartlets? Or salad dressing? There are more recipes to be discovered too. Scroll down to find them.

Seared Cod with Grapefruit Fennel Slaw

A recipe for pan seared cod served with a grapefruit fennel slaw. The slaw is made with red grapefruit, thinly sliced fennel, olives, and fresh parsley.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Renee


For the grapefruit fennel slaw:

  • 1 large grapefruit
  • 1/4 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated grapefruit zest
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1/4 cup pitted Greek olives sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For the seared cod:

  • 1 tablespoon light cooking oil
  • 4 pieces cod 6 ounces each with skin and bones removed
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Fennel fronds for garnish


For the grapefruit fennel slaw:

  1. Zest the grapefruit first and add the zest to a large bowl.
  2. Cut off top, bottom and the outside peel and pith from the grapefruit. Over a small bowl, use a knife to cut out the segments. Cut as close to the membranes as possible. Lift out the segments and place on a plate. When finished squeeze all the juice from what is left of the grapefruit.
  3. Cut the fennel bulb in half. Cut out the hard core in the center. Thinly slice the fennel using a mandoline or as thinly as possible with a knife. (Possible alternative to slice/shred with a food processor). Place the fennel slices in the large bowl with the zest.
  4. Add the grapefruit juice, olives, parsley, salt, and pepper flakes to the bowl and stir to combine. Add the olive oil and stir to combine. Add the grapefruit segments and gently stir to combine.

For the seared cod:

  1. Place a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat until almost smoking. Season the cod with salt and pepper. Add the cod to the pan and cook for 2 to 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness. The cod should be lightly browned and will flake easily.

To serve:

  1. Divide the slaw onto 4 plates. Top with the cod. Garnish with fennel fronds. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

The grapefruit segments will come apart the longer the slaw sets or if stirred too much.

Recipe adapted from one by Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network website.

Today’s Sunday Supper event is all about celebrating citrus. Get your juicer and zester ready because there are so many wonderful recipes you will want to try:

Better with Citrus Breakfasts:

Big On Citrus Breads & Condiments:

Make You Pucker Salads, Sides, & Main Dishes:

Sour Citrusy Sweets & Desserts:

Sour Sips & Drinks:

  • {DIY} Arancello and Limoncello from girlichef
  • Orange Creamsicle Smoothies from Mama.Mommy.Mom

It’s time to head to the store and get more fruit. I am certainly craving citrus after reading all those recipes. Now what will I make next? Who knows. Which citrus fruit would you want to use first?

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Announcing the Food and Wine Conference sponsored by Sunday Supper! It’s being held in July in beautiful, sunny Orlando, FL. It’s a must for food bloggers. Check it out by clicking here -> Food and Wine Conference

Recipe Rating


Friday 5th of April 2013

Love that slaw and it must go so well with that cod ! Delish. I often bake Bass. Next time I can try pairing with this slaw ! love grapefruit too !


Saturday 6th of April 2013

I love bass too. The slaw should be nice with it also.


Tuesday 2nd of April 2013

I will take seafood anyway you give it to me! I love it raw, steamed, grilled broiled and DEEP FRIED! I love a good fish and chips. Yummy! But this looks so much better! I bet that slaw makes an amazing combo with the cod. Lots and lots of olives for me please!


Thursday 4th of April 2013

Thanks Sarah! I'm the same with the olives. I actually have a few extra to add to it when I eating this dish.

Tammi @ Momma's Meals

Monday 1st of April 2013

I don't eat fish but I bet that slaw would be great with anything!! I have to try it! Thanks for sharing!


Tuesday 2nd of April 2013

The slaw is a nice side and would go with a lot of things (pork, chicken, etc).

Nancy @ gottagetbaked

Monday 1st of April 2013

The Husband and I love fish, no matter how it's made. This sounds lovely, Renee, the perfect light, fresh, vibrant spring-time dinner. Thanks for the tips on segmenting grapefruit - I've got one sitting in the fridge just waiting for me to eat :)


Tuesday 2nd of April 2013

Thanks Nancy! Good for you that your husband like seafood the same as you. It must make it easy when you are craving fish and can make it however you want and it's for the both of you.

Diana @GourmetDrizzles

Monday 1st of April 2013

I love the blending of grapefruit with the fennel, and olives- fantastic! Sounds like a perfect meal, and so pretty! Thanks for sharing ;-)


Tuesday 2nd of April 2013

Thanks Diana!