Basket-Steamed Cod & Lime Sauce | Something New for Dinner

Basket-steamed black cod with lime sauce and vegetables




Yield 4 servings

Bamboo steaming is the trifecta of fish preparations. It is incredibly easy, delicious and healthy. What's more, there is almost nothing to clean up. So is that a quadfecta?



  1. Pulse garlic and lemon grass in food processor using the chopping blade until finely chopped. Add cilantro and chili and pulse until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and pulse to incorporate. Taste and adjust flavorings. You can add a splash of soy sauce, sesame seed oil, sriracha sauce or grated ginger, according to your palate. Set aside.
  2. Pour three or four inches of water into the wok or pot. Make sure the bamboo steamer can sit on top of the wok or pot with some airspace between the water and the bottom level of the steamer. You want the fish to steam and not boil. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
  3. Season whole fish or filets. For whole fish, work salt, pepper and seasoning into the diagonal cuts on both sides of the fish.
  4. Line one of the bamboo steamer layers with the cabbage leaves. If you are making fillets, use one large leaf per fillet and place fish skin-side down. If you are making a whole fish, overlap the cabbage leaves to cover the entire bottom of the steamer.
  5. Drizzle one third of the sauce over the fish. For fillets, sprinkle the julienned vegetables over the fish. For a whole fish, stuff the diagonal crosshatches of the fish with the julienned ginger and sprinkle the remaining vegetables on top. Place limes on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with cilantro sprigs.
  6. Place the bamboo basket with the fish on the top of the wok or pot filled with boiling water. Arrange the vegetables, one layer deep in the second basket. Place the second basket on top of the basket containing the fish. Cover with bamboo top. Cook time will depend on the thickness of the fish, with a whole fish taking a little longer. A 1" thick fillet will take about 10 minutes. Do not over cook or the fish will be mushy. I recommend checking after 10 minutes and then every couple minutes after that if the fish needs more time. Fish is done when it flakes easily and is no longer translucent. The fish will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat. The vegetables will take no more than 10 minutes, so you may need to remove them from the steamer earlier if the fish requires more time. Check for doneness after 5 minutes.
  7. For fillets, you can serve the fillet on its cabbage bed. For a whole fish you can either remove the fish from the basket and place on a serving plate, or put the entire basket on a platter and serve from the basket. Drizzle fish with sauce and pass any remaining sauce at the table.

Recipe by Something New For Dinner at