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Poached Cod In Coconut Milk with Vegetables

By January 27, 2022April 13th, 2024AIP, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Paleo

This Poached Cod In Coconut Milk is packed with flavor and is super healthy! It’s made in one pot with lots of vegetables. The simple ingredients come together in under 30 minutes. Naturally paleo and low carb. 

This Thai-influenced dish is easy to assemble and incredibly beautiful. The fragrant coconut poaching liquid gently cooks the fish and vegetables.

Coconuts provide healthy fat that is mostly in the form of medium-chain saturated fatty acids. Coconut milk also contains lauric acid.  Studies show it can protect your body from infections and viruses.

The fish and vegetables are served in a bowl with the delicious coconut broth and topped with cilantro, lime and scallions.

Serve alone or with jasmine or cauliflower rice to soak up the delicious sauce.

This is a really easy recipe. The cod fillets are poached in coconut milk that is flavored with shallots, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, serrano peppers, coconut sugar and lime.  

Poaching lean fish keeps it moist and silky, for a really succulent dish. 

I use cod but any flaky white fish will work. Sea bass and halibut are mild and have a rich, buttery taste,

The fish cooks quickly, 6-7 minutes. Don’t let it cook it longer, it gets rubbery. Remove the fish once it’s a little opaque and almost cooked through. It will continue to cook after you remove it from the coconut milk.

Once the fish is done, remove it from the coconut milk.

Add the bok choy stems and zucchini and cook for a few minutes until tender.  Then add the bok choy leaves, cook for one minute until wilted.  

If bok choy is unavailable, another sturdy green like kale or Napa cabbage, can be substituted.

Tips for Poaching Fish

  • Cut the pieces into 6 ounce servings so they cook evenly.
  • Cook the fish on low,  just barely simmering. It comes out silkier when cooked slowly.
  • Keep your eye on the pan and adjust the temperature if the sauce starts to bubble too much..
  • Cover the pan once you add the fish, ideally with a glass cover, this way you can easily keep your eye on it without the heat escaping.

This is an impressive dish. The flavors are exciting and so beautiful it looks like you spent a lot of time making it.  Perfect for company. 

It’s super easy. This recipe takes just 10 minutes to prep!  Clean up is easy since it all cooks in ONE POT!

If you like this recipe, try these other delicious fish dishes:

Easy Mediterranean Fish with Tomatoes and Basil

Crispy Almond Crusted Fish

Simple Sauteed Fish with Garlic

Roasted Dill Salmon

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Poached Cod In Coconut Milk with Bok Choy

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  • Author: Ingrid DeHart
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


This recipe is packed with flavor and super healthy! It’s made with simple ingredients and comes together in under 30 minutes. Naturally paleo and low carb.


  • 2 (6-ounce) cod fillets or other flaky white fish
  • Celtic sea salt
  • 4 cups bok choy, stems sliced, leaves cut into large pieces (about 3/4 pound)
  • 3/4 cup zucchini, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or avocado oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1 fresh Thai or Serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • 1 (13 1/2-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar*
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion greens
  • Lime wedges for serving


  1. Season fish well with salt.
  2. Slice the stems of the bok choy into 1/2 inch pieces. Slice leaves into 1 inch pieces. Keep separate and set aside.
  3. Cut zucchini into 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside.
  4. In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add shallot, garlic, ginger and chile, and cook, stirring often until they become translucent, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.
  5. Add coconut milk, fish sauce and coconut sugar, and whisk together until combined. Bring mixture to a gentle simmer.
  6. Add cod fillets and turn the heat down to low. Cover and cook until cod is just cooked through and opaque, about 6 to 8 minutes. Carefully remove the fish and put into 2 serving bowls.
  7. Add bok choy stems and zucchini to the coconut milk broth and turn heat to medium. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add bok choy leaves. Cook 1 minute until wilted.
  9. Stir in lime juice. Taste to adjust salt.
  10. Divide vegetables evenly and place around the fish. Ladle the coconut milk broth over each portion.
  11. Top with cilantro, scallions and lime wedges on the side.



Leave out the coconut sugar for keto and Whole 30

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Poach
  • Cuisine: Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free



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