Chinese Steamed Cod Fish with Ginger Scallion Sauce
Silky smooth Chinese Steamed Cod Fish Recipe is super simple yet incredibly delicious. With 6 ingredients only, this Chinese fish fillet recipe is tender, nutritious, and full of flavor. I love the drama of pouring the hot oil over the cod fish and watching the ginger and scallion topping sizzle! You don’t need a bamboo steamer. Let me show you how to make this Chinese steamed fish cod recipe, using an oven or air fryer!
Chinese Steamed Fish with Ginger Scallion Sauce (Paleo, Whole30, Low carb, Gluten-free)
People often said simple food is the best and this Chinese steamed cod fish recipe is a classic example. The dish is so good that it never ceased to amaze me how simple it is to make.
Steamed cod fish with ginger and scallion sauce is one of the most popular and the easiest seafood recipes in China and Taiwan. And it is a popular dish during Chinese New Year. Here’s why –
The pronunciation of Fish (yu, 魚) has the same pronunciation as Surplus (yu, 余) in Mandarin. Eating fish during New Year means wishing the family with more resources and fortune than we need year after year. So more reason to eat fish!
Traditionally Chinese steamed fish recipe uses a whole fish. To keep today’s recipe simple and practical for everyday, I use fish fillets instead. I use cod fish fillets however, any white flaky fish fillets will work just perfectly!
How to steam fish without a steamer?
The answer is En Papillote! The fish is wrapped inside of a parchment paper pouch and cooked and steamed in its own juice and added sauce. The enclosed pouch traps the moisture inside thus the fish is juicy and tender. Air fryer is basically a small convection oven that cooks by circulating hot air around the food so this is a little hack I use to steam the fish without a bamboo steamer!
How to wrap fish in parchment paper?
1. First, pat dry the fish with paper towels to remove as much liquid and dampness as possible. The cod fish will be more juicy inside when it’s done.
2. Fold one piece of the parchment paper in half and place 1 fish fillet in the center and closer to the seam. Fold the parchment paper over so the two ends meet, enclosing the food.
3. Beginning at either end of the center crease, make small, overlapping diagonal folds around the filling, pleating it all around to make a semicircular airtight package that looks like a half-moon shape calzone.
4. Seal the packet tight. You might need to twist and fold the end tip to secure the envelope.
Freezer meal prep version! No need to cook in advance!
Place the fish pouch inside a gallon size freezer friendly bag. Place the chopped ginger, scallions, and chilies inside the ziplock bag. Store them flat in the freezer until solid. See more info in the recipe note section on how to cook this dish from frozen!
Now comes to my favorite part – the drama! Pour the hot oil over the fish and watch the ginger, scallions, and red chilies bubbling and sizzling on contact. This step also partially cooked the aromatics and released more aroma. It’s not only fun to watch but also makes the sauce Extra Delicious!
Pairings for Steamed Cod Fish Fillets
- Chinese Broccoli in Garlic Sauce
- Chinese Broccoli with Vegetarian Oyster Sauce
- Sauteed Swiss Chard with Chickpea Miso Butter
- Easy Sautéed Cabbage
- Creamed Napa Cabbage Casserole (Dairy-free, Paleo, Whole30, Keto)
- Paleo Chinese Cabbage Stir-Fry
- Paleo Hot and Sour Soup
- Gluten-free Wonton Soup
- Easy Chicken Pho Soup
- More Paleo Side Dishes
- More healthy hot soup recipes
More seafood dishes
- Paleo Fish Tacos
- Thai Fish en Papillote
- Easy Shrimp Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce
- Vietnamese Garlic Shrimp
- Zucchini Pasta Shrimp
- Low Carb Seafood Dim Sum
- Whole30 Temaki Tuna Sushi Handrolls
- More Paleo pescatarain recipes
Chinese steamed fish with cod in ginger and scallion sauce is truly a classic family dish. The cod fillets are melt-in-your-mouth buttery soft and that sauce is heavenly delicious…Umami to the max!
Because the fish is steamed inside of a parchment paper pouch, you can easily make this Chinese fish recipe, using an air fryer or oven. Serve this dish hot and immediately and pair it with your favorite vegetable saute and a bowl of hot soup, this is a timeless everyday low carb meal that’s totally worth the effort to give it a try.
Chinese Steamed Cod Fish with Ginger Scallion Sauce
- 1 lb. Cod fish fillets, boneless/skinless at about 1-inch thick
- ½ tsp coarse sea salt
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos, or 1 tbsp gluten free tamari
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 3 bulbs scallions, chopped
- 0.8 oz. Fresno or serrano red chilies, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 4 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 pieces of 15-inch x 13-inch Parchment paper
- Slice the cod fillet into two equal weight pieces, ½ lb each fillet. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Fold one piece of the parchment paper in half and place 1 fish fillet in the center and closer to the seam. Repeat with the other half of the fish.
- Season each filet with ¼ tsp coarse salt, 1 tbsp coconut aminos, and 1 tsp toasted sesame oil.
- To make a paper pouch: Fold the paper over so the two ends meet, enclosing the food. Beginning at either end of the center crease, make small, overlapping diagonal folds around the filling, pleating it all around to make a semicircular airtight package that looks like a half-moon shape calzone. Seal the packet tight. You might need to twist and fold the end tip to secure the envelope.
- If use air fryer: place 1 packet inside of the basket. Lightly press the paper pouch down so it won’t get burnt. Air fry at 300F for 15 minutes or until the fish is soft and flaky. Test with a skewer, if it goes in easily, the fish is done. If not, air fry for 5 additional minutes. If your fish is thinner than 1-inch, reduce the cook time by 5 minutes.
- If use oven: Place both packets over a large sheet pan. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is buttery soft. The exact bake time will depend on the thickness of the fish fillets and type of fish.
- In the meantime, finely chop ginger, scallions, and chili peppers. Divide them into 2 equal piles.
- When the fish is about 5 minutes away from out of the oven/air fryer, in a heavy bottom saucepan, heat up the avocado oil over medium-low heat. Cover the saucepan with a lid.
- Carefully remove the fish pouch. Let cool for 3 minutes before using a kitchen scissors to cut open the packet (be careful of the hot steam). Add the aromatics - ginger, scallions, and chilies - on top of the fillets and season with a pinch of salt.
- Carefully pour half amount of the hot oil over each fillet and the aromatics on top. Serve hot and immediately.