Baked Cod Parcels with Black Bean Sauce is made with succulent black cod baked with aromatics and topped with an easy and delicious Chinese Black bean sauce.
So EASY. So DELICIOUS.
Melt in your mouth buttery textured organic black cod baked with ginger, green onions, chilis in parchment (wax) paper and topped with a black bean sauce is going to be your new go to meal when you want something really delicious but are low on time.
In less than 30 minutes, you can have these delicious Baked Cod Parcels with Black Bean Sauce on your table that makes it a great weeknight meal but fancy enough for guests on the weekend. This dish is low carbohydrate, can be made gluten-free and diabetic friendly.
My dear friend Mala was talking about making a similar dish for her husband the other night and I just could not stop thinking about this delicious dish. Cod...MMMMM...baked...MMMMM... black bean sauce... MMMMM...Thank you Mala for inspiring me to make this dish again! What is not to love about this dish?! Mala is a huge foodie herself and I can't wait to learn how to make some of her favorite dishes and share them with you.
What is in Black Bean Sauce?
The black bean sauce is made from fermented black soybeans (douchi) that has been cooked with garlic and soya sauce or some combination of similar ingredients. The black bean sauce that I have used for this recipe is plain without chilis and it is just lightly earthy and slightly salty tasting. The fermenting of the black soy beans gives this sauce it special flavor and aroma.
I am using a local Hong Kong brand of black bean paste for this recipe and it is called Yuan's Black Bean Sauce. If you are not living in Hong Kong, you can find a similar condiment in your Asian food stores or even the Asian section of your local grocery store. Black bean paste is a very common condiment used in Asian cooking. Have you tried our Sichuan Beef and Broccoli or Beef and Peppers in Black Bean Sauce. These two recipes are from the older archives and despite the photos are tried and true dishes that our family loves.
Gluten-free options for Baked Cod Parcels with Black Bean Sauce
Each type of black bean sauce will have a slightly different note of saltiness and earthiness depending on the douchi used and also the preparation of the black bean paste and its additives. Therefore, I highly suggest that you start out by adding smaller amounts of both black bean paste and tamari (soy) sauce until you know how savory your black bean paste is. Taste test along the way as it is much easier to add more tamari (soy) sauce than try to fix an over salty sauce. There are also some gluten-free black bean sauces on the market. If you are a diagnosed celiac, do not trust the ingredient list as many items produced in Asia are not made in a gluten-free factory. However, if you are just gluten-sensitive, then you can find many black bean sauces that do not include wheat.
How long to cook fish parcels?
Cod is a beautiful light white fish that compliments this dish very well. However, you can also use other light white fish of choice from your region. You could also bring this party outside if you use aluminum foil packets and throw these on the grill at your next outing. The cooking time for Baked Cod Parcels with Black Bean Sauce depends on the size of your fish. I had one 200 gram thick center piece of cod and this took 12 minutes in my oven at 190 degrees C. However I also had a couple of smaller grouper fillets and they took less than 8 minutes in the oven. So the lesson here is you need to start checking your fish at about the 6 minute mark to see if it flakes easily with your fork. Do not open the whole pack up but just unravel one side and take a quick peak as you do not want to lose all of the steam and juices from the packet.
Here in Hong Kong, this Chinese dish would be served with a whole steamed fish with the black bean sauce. However, sometimes I just want my dishes without the pain of having to sort through all the bones and the mess and that is why using a skinned and deboned beautiful cod fillet is always a hit with our family.
What kinds of additions can you make to your fish parcel?
Baked Cod Parcels with Black Bean Sauce are one of those adaptable dishes and you can include whatever you like in your little fish packet. I have chosen to use some aromatics inside my packet but you could easily add vegetables like snow peas, guilan (Chinese broccoli), zucchini (courgettes), bell peppers or anything your little heart desires as well. I chose to cook my packets inside of my iron skillet just because I wanted some super sweet vine roasted tomatoes on the side. However, you can cook your fish parcels on a baking sheet if you wish. I recommend, however, that you double layer your parchment (baking) paper or aluminum fish parcels to prevent any leakage. As you serve your fish packets to your guests still in the packet, clean up is a snap!
Well let's get cooking this less than 30 minute Baked Cod Parcels with Black Bean Sauce wonder!
More Delicious Fish Recipes
Baked Cod Parcels with Black Bean Sauce
Baked Cod Parcels (Packets)
- parchment (waxed/cooking) paper - Double layer large enough to fold over at the top and sides of the fish
- black cod (sable) fish - 400 grams (4 fillet) or other white light fish
- green onions (scallions) - 2 washed ends trimmed and cut into 2 inch segments
- ginger - 2 inch knob peeled sliced and julienned
- chili peppers - optional as desired
- salt - to taste
- white pepper - to taste
- sesame oil - 4 teaspoons (1 teaspoon for each serving)
Black Bean Sauce
- canola oil - 1 tablespoon
- ginger - 2 teaspoons grated
- green onion (scallion) - 1 chopped
- garlic - 2 cloves minced
- black bean sauce - 2 teaspoons
- shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) - 1 tablespoon (can exchange with cooking sherry)
- tamari (soy) sauce - 1 teaspoon
- sugar or sugar alternative - I did not add any but you may want to add 1 teaspoon to balance the flavors
- water - 2 tablespoons (or can use vegetable or chicken broth)
- green onions (scallions) - as desired
- cilantro (coriander) - as desired
- chili peppers - as desired
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees C or 375 degrees F.
- Layout parchment (waxed or baking) paper so that it is large enough to cover the fish and fold over a couple of times at the top and at the edges. Highly recommend that you double your paper. You can also use aluminum foil if you wish. Wash and pat dry cod fish. Remove any pin bones and remove skin. Place your fish in the middle of your laid out parchment paper add your trimmed green onions, julienned ginger, chili peppers, salt and white pepper and drizzle on 1 teaspoon of sesame oil for each fish. You should have 4 packets.
- Fold up your cod parcels. Close the edges of the paper lengthwise centering your fish inside. Then fold the paper over twice while still leaving room for the fish. Then at each end fold each side twice while still leaving a little excess room for the fish. Crimp the edges with your fingers to make sure that each parcel stays together. (if you want you can add additional thin sliced veggies in the packet to cook at the same time)
- Bake your cod parcels (depending on their size and weight between 8- 12 minutes. Set your timer at 6 minutes and check the packets by just unfolding carefully one end of the packet and if your fish flakes easily with a fork it is done. If not, close up and seal the packet and bake until your fish just starts to flake easily with your fork. My large 200 gram thick sliced fish took 12 minutes to cook and my smaller fish packets took between 7-8 minutes. Do not overcook!!! You can bake on a baking sheet or oven proof skillet. (I also chose to bake some vine ripe tomatoes with just a little olive oil and salt since I had the oven going and a great way to round out the meal) Keep the fish in the packets and serve right in the packets.
- In the mean time while your fish is cooking make your black bean sauce on the stove top. In a small sauce pan, add your canola oil, ginger, scallions and garlic and saute just until aromatic. Add black bean paste, shoaxing wine, tamari (soy) sauce, sugar alternative if desired and water. Stir until well incorporated. If sauce is too thick, then add more water to thin out and if sauce is too thin just cook over low-medium heat until it is the consistency of applesauce.
- Open up the fish packets and top with a drizzle of the black bean sauce and top with fresh garnishes like cilantro, green onions and chilis as desired. Enjoy!