This Steamed Cod Recipe in Parchment Paper is a show-stopping dish that’s guaranteed to impress a crowd! Cod filets are cooked until tender and flaky in a coconut milk sauce infused with Asian-inspired seasonings. Serve it over a bed of steamed rice with fresh herbs for a restaurant-quality meal.Jump to Recipe
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Quick: This steamed cod recipe takes less than 20 minutes to prepare! Make it for dinner when you don’t have a lot of time on your hands but still feel like something delicious.
- Healthy: It’s high in protein and full of vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy fats. Steamed cod is an optimal choice for just about anyone.
- Affordable: Even though this dish looks like it could be served at an expensive restaurant, you’ll be surprised at how affordable the ingredients are.
Easy steamed cod recipe
Similar to salmon en papillote, this steamed cod recipe in parchment paper is made using a classic French cooking technique, called “en papillote.” Meat, or fish in this case, is enclosed in parchment paper before cooking it, resulting in an incredibly moist and tender texture.
I’ve incorporated Asian-inspired flavors into my recipe, like shallots, garlic, green onions, and ginger. However, the star of this dish is the silky-smooth coconut milk sauce that’s infused with savory chicken broth, lime, and cilantro. It’s rich, tangy, and herbaceous!
The best part about this dish is how versatile it is. Make it for a quick weeknight dinner when you’re busy, or serve it on special occasions to wow your friends and family. Enjoy it by itself or alongside rice, vegetables, and a salad.
Ingredients & substitutions
- Cod: Adds a mild flavor and flaky texture. You can also use other white fish varieties like haddock, hake, pollock, striped bass, white sea bass, or tilapia.
- Shallots: I prefer shallots over regular onions for a slightly milder and sweeter taste. You can omit them or try replacing them with thinly sliced red onions.
- Garlic: Imparts a pungent, savory element that rounds out the dish and gives it a full-bodied flavor. I don’t recommend substituting garlic powder for whole garlic cloves.
- Green onions: Provide additional mild onion notes and a pop of color to the dish.
- Ginger paste: Adds a spicy, warm, and mildly sweet flavor. You can also use freshly grated ginger in place of ginger paste.
- Lime: I like to incorporate both lime zest and juice for a bright, citrusy, and tangy element that balances the richness of the coconut milk.
- Red chili pepper: For a slight kick! Feel free to omit the chili pepper if you are sensitive to spice, or add extra if you are a spice lover.
- Kosher salt: Brings out the natural flavor of the fish and other ingredients.
- Olive oil: You can also use other neutral vegetable oils like avocado oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, or sunflower oil.
- Coconut milk: Adds a rich and creamy texture with a subtle sweetness. Use full-fat coconut milk from a can for the best results, but light coconut milk will work in a pinch.
- Chicken broth: Provides depth and complexity to the sauce. If you don’t have chicken broth, replace it with vegetable broth for a similar taste.
- Cilantro: Finish the dish off with fresh cilantro for vibrant and herbaceous notes. You can also try fresh parsley if you don’t like the taste of cilantro.
How to make steamed cod in parchment paper
- Season the cod: Cut the fish filets into approximately 6-8 equal pieces. In a large bowl, season the fish with the marinade ingredients. Make sure to coat them evenly.
- Wrap the fish: Line a heavy-bottomed pan with two layers of parchment paper. Lay the fish on the parchment paper with a layer of shallots underneath the filets.
- Mix the broth: Combine the coconut milk, broth, and lime juice in a bowl, making sure to thoroughly mix everything. Pour the coconut broth over the fish and top it with cilantro.
- Cook the cod: Cook the fish on the stovetop over low-medium heat until it’s flaky. Top the fish with extra cilantro leaves and serve it over rice with more broth.
Garnishes for steamed cod
You can keep your steamed cod recipe simple with just cilantro on top, or test out some additional garnishes like these:
- Fresh dill, basil, or parsley
- Lemon or lime wedges
- Sliced onions, chives, or scallions
- Cherry tomatoes
- Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Toasted almonds or cashews
- A light drizzle of oil
- More red pepper flakes
Serve this steamed cod recipe over a bed of plain rice, or pair it with one of these other sides for a complete meal:
- Roasted cauliflower salad
- Roasted butternut squash risotto
- Baked asparagus
- Asian cabbage salad
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can use frozen fish for this steamed cod recipe. Just make sure to thaw it completely before starting.
Yes, you can save a bit of time by marinating the fish and chopping the vegetables ahead of time. Just wait to assemble and cook it until you’re ready to eat.
You can use light coconut milk instead of full-fat coconut milk, but the broth will have a thinner consistency.
Yes, if you’d prefer a milder steamed cod recipe, simply omit the chili pepper.
Storage & reheating
For any leftover steamed cod recipe, follow these simple storage instructions:
- Fridge: Once fully cooled, store leftover steamed cod in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Reheating: To reheat it, place the fish and some broth in a microwave-safe dish. Heat it on medium power until warm, stirring every 20-30 seconds.
- Fish: Use a different fish variety, like salmon, instead of cod.
- Curry: Add a tablespoon of red, green, or yellow curry paste for a Thai-inspired twist.
- Spicy: Make this dish extra spicy by adding more chili flakes or a dash or Sriracha.
- Basil: Instead of cilantro, add fresh Thai basil for an equally bright yet unique flavor.
- Cut evenly: Remember to cut the fish into even pieces so each one cooks evenly.
- Double the paper: Double up on parchment paper to prevent any tears or leaks.
- Marinate: Generously coat the fish in the marinade, making sure to work it into all sides.
- Full fat: For the richest and creamiest broth, I suggest full-fat coconut milk.
- Heavy pan: Use a heavy-bottomed pot for an even distribution of heat.
Looking for more fish recipes?
If you enjoyed this steamed cod recipe in parchment paper, be sure to check out some more of my favorites fish dishes like these:
If you try this Steamed Cod Recipe in Parchment Paper, let me know what you think! Rate and review this recipe in the comments below. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog!
Easy Steamed Cod Recipe (in Parchment Paper)
- 1 ½ pounds cod filets cut into 6-8 pieces
- 2 large shallots cut in half and thinly sliced
- 8 cloves garlic sliced
- 4 green onions thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons ginger paste
- 1 medium lime zested
- 1 red chili pepper thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup coconut milk full fat
- ½ cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 medium lime juiced
- ½ bunch cilantro more for serving
- Cut the fish into 6-8 equal pieces. In a large bowl, add the fish, sliced shallots, garlic, green onions, ginger paste, lime zest, red chili pepper, kosher salt, and olive oil. Gently toss everything together.
- Line a heavy-bottomed pan with 2 layers of parchment paper. Then lay the fish in the parchment paper, making sure most of the shallots under the fish.
- In a bowl combine the coconut milk, broth and lime juice and whisk together. Pour the coconut broth over the fish, top with cilantro. Cover with a lid.
- Place the pot on the stove on low-medium heat and cook for 12-15 minutes until the fish is cooked through and flakey.
- Remove from heat and top with extra cilantro leaves. Serve over rice with broth.
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