Thai-Inspired Coconut Cod

4.93 from 14 votes
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Thai-Inspired Coconut Cod with scallions, cilantro, and lime. Serve this simple skillet meal over rice for a vibrant dinner in 30 minutes.

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Thai Coconut Cod topped with cilantro and green onion in a large white sauté pan.

This recipe is in proud partnership with the Seafood from Norway. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Read more: Thai-Inspired Coconut Cod

Why You’ll Love this Thai Coconut Cod

This easy weeknight dinner boasts bold flavors with a beautiful blend of Thai-inspired ingredients.

Much like my other go-to seafood skillet meals (Creamy Coconut Shrimp and Mediterranean Salmon), this one is fast enough for a weeknight but special enough for company.

It features sautéed aromatics and flaky cod fillets in a lux coconut curry broth. Garnishing with a flurry of fresh herbs and squeeze of lime helps balance the richness of the sauce.

I love using cod (specifically cod from Norway) in this recipe because its mild, palatable flavor and flaky white texture give it endless versatility.

Norway is a world leader in sustainable seafood. It follows the strictest standards for
sustainability and thoughtful care for ocean health. Norway’s ice-cold, clean waters also make it ideal for producing the best seafood in the world.

If you love recipes like this, be sure to also check out my reader-favorite Mediterranean Baked Cod.

The Ingredients

Recipe ingredients in separate bowls on a wooden platter with labels.
  • Cod from Norway: Norwegian cod is wild caught and arguably the most important fish to Norwegian culture. Many chefs specifically ask for Seafood from Norway because its taste, quality, and versatility make it truly unique.
  • Bell Pepper: For a pop of color and sweetness, I prefer using red bell pepper over the other colors.
  • Shallots: The sweetness of sautéed shallots is especially delicious in the sauce, however yellow onion will also work.
  • Garlic + Ginger: This mighty duo creates an aromatic foundation for the sauce. I strongly suggest using fresh garlic and ginger, which pack a bigger punch than dried.
  • Coconut Milk: Full-fat coconut milk lends creamy, silky richness to the sauce. 
  • Red Curry Paste: A mix of red chili pepper, garlic, lemongrass, coriander, and kaffir lime make this condiment extremely fragrant and flavorful.
  • Fish Sauce: You may be questioning the need for fish sauce when cooking fish, but since cod is so mild, the fish sauce just gives the dish that extra oomph. Alternatively, you can use oyster sauce or even soy sauce.
  • Garnishes: A mix of chopped scallions (green onion) and cilantro add a fresh finish. If you’re not a cilantro fan, basil (or Thai basil) is a great substitute.
One fillet of cod over a bed of rice in a blue bowl topped with coconut curry sauce and herbs.

Substitutions and Additions:

  • Add Spinach: To slip in some green leafy goodness, add 2 to 3 handfuls of fresh baby spinach to the aromatic mixture (before adding the coconut milk).
  • Make Spicy: Add 1 minced Thai chili (bird’s eye chili) or a drizzle of chili oil or chili paste.
  • Serve with Noodles: If you prefer noodles over rice, I suggest using Pad Thai or Maifun noodles.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Sauté aromatics, including bell pepper and shallots, until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, and red curry paste; cook 2 more minutes.

Red bell pepper, shallots, ginger, garlic, and curry paste being sautéed in a white pan.

Step 2: Add coconut milk and fish sauce; bring mixture to a simmer.

Step 3: Pat cod dry with a paper towel, and season generously with salt and pepper. Arrange cod fillets in skillet.

Coconut milk and cod fillets being added to pan.

Step 4: Gently simmer, covered, until the cod is flaky, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish Thai coconut cod with herbs and lime.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Rice: I love serving this Thai coconut cod over long-grain white rice, such as Jasmine or Basmati.
  • Noodles: If you prefer noodles over rice, serve over Pad Thai, soba, or Maifun noodles.
  • Cauliflower Rice: For a lower carb (but equally delicious) option, serve the fish and sauce over cauliflower rice.

How to Store and Reheat:

  • Store: Transfer leftover fish and sauce to airtight container and refrigerate for 3 days.
  • Reheat: While you can microwave individual portions in a pinch, I prefer to rewarm this dish in a skillet over medium-low heat. To prevent the cod from drying out, cover the skillet while it’s reheating.
Thai coconut cod in curry sauce arranged in a white pan topped with cilantro and green onion.

More 30 Minute Fish Dinners:

If you give this Thai Coconut Cod a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.

4.93 from 14 votes

Thai-Inspired Coconut Cod

Thai-Inspired Coconut Cod with scallions, cilantro, and lime. Serve this simple skillet meal over white rice for a vibrant dinner in 30 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Large skillet

Ingredients  

  • 1 to 1.25 lbs. cod fillets (preferably cod from Norway)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced (about 1 heaping cup)
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
  • 1 (13.5-oz.) can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped scallions (green onion)
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped or torn (sub basil or Thai basil leaves)
  • Cooked white rice or rice noodles for serving
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Instructions 

  • Pat cod fillets dry with a paper towel and season generously with salt and black pepper.
    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add bell pepper and shallots; cook 3 to 4 minutes, until soft. Add garlic, ginger, and red curry paste; stir to combine. Cook 2 minutes, until aromatic, and season with 1/4 tsp. salt.
  • Add coconut milk and fish sauce; bring mixture to a simmer. Nestle seasoned cod fillets in skillet, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cod is cooked through and easily flakes with a fork.
    Remove from heat and add fresh lime juice. Garnish with green onion and cilantro, and serve over rice or rice noodles.

Notes

  • Store: Transfer leftover fish and sauce to airtight container and refrigerate for 3 days.
  • Reheat: While you can microwave individual portions in a pinch, I prefer to rewarm this dish in a skillet over medium-low heat. To prevent the cod from drying out, cover the skillet while it’s reheating

Nutrition

Serving: 1cod fillet with sauce | Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.5g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Sodium: 680mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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4.93 from 14 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. Mindy Brems says:

    5 stars
    Super easy and really good. I added carrot matchsticks and cut up fresh green beans and served over bean thread noodles. I will definitely make this again and try it with the low fat coconut milk to reduce the fat and calories. We loved this meal, thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  2. Stacey says:

    5 stars
    My husband said this meal is restaurant quality! Thank you for another delicious recipe!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  3. Joan Page says:

    5 stars
    This recipe was delicious easy to prepare in advance, and then cook very quickly. We ate noodles with it, again very quick to cook choice. It was the first time I had eaten a fish curry other than prawns (shrimps) as we call them in the UK. This recipe would work well with tofu or any firm white fish. I’m so happy that I came across it.

  4. Tessa says:

    5 stars
    My family loved this! Quick, easy, and full of flavor. I’ve been trying to incorporate more fish into our meal plans, and this one will go in the regular rotation. Yum!

    1. Lisa says:

      5 stars
      I loved this! Flavorful, fragrant, beautiful colors, and comes together quickly. I will add Siracha or Thai chilies next time for an extra kick.

  5. Kiana says:

    5 stars
    Just had this for lunch today & it surpassed my expectations! Just the perfect amount of warmth and spice, such a comforting dish ❤️

  6. Eileen Neill says:

    5 stars
    This is really delicious! The prep time takes way longer, however, because there is a lot of mincing and, of course, you have to peel the ginger. I always use fresh ingredients and I think this recipe begs for those because of the delicate fish. Otherwise, very quick to cook once everything is prepped, so be sure to prep everything ahead of beginning to cook. Will definitely make this dish again. We had it over brown rice and accompanied with a lightly dressed, simple green salad.

    1. Pat says:

      5 stars
      I followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious. My family loved it. Next time I make it I will add some chili for a bit of heat but it was excellent the way it was.

      1. Kevin Leary says:

        Hi Pat
        I’m making it tonight for dinner and I’m gonna add a little Thai red chili

    2. SamJack says:

      4 stars
      This was really good! I added a TBSP of the fish sauce, 2 sliced and one whole green Thai chili. I would put another TBSP of the paste next time!

  7. Julie Glascock says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! And so easy! Thank you, Julie

  8. Sherly Mann says:

    5 stars
    This was a fabulous meal! Loved the flavors and simplicity. Thank you for wonderful dinner inspiration.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      I’m so glad the recipe was a hit! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review! – Jamie