Fish / Free from / gluten-free

Steamed cod parcels with asparagus & lemon parsley sauce


What a glorious day! The sunshine was streaming into my living room earlier this evening, warming the flat and making it feel almost like a balmy summer’s eve. I have been secretly fearing a final cold snap so had kept my winter coat and boots close at hand but they have now been retired for the year and the ballerinas are out of storage and ready to roll. And to match the mood, I fancied something light and fresh for supper.

I have been cooking variations of this fish dish for years now, tweaking it according to what’s in season and what’s in the fridge. Cooking in parcels or en papillote (if you’re trying to impress guests!) is quick, easy and means that there is almost no washing up to do! It’s also quite exciting because you don’t know exactly how it will taste until you open the parcel at the end and the wonderful aromas tickle your senses – surprise!

These parcels are a fabulously healthy midweek meal – steamed white fish and crunchy green vegetables topped with a refreshing lemon parsley sauce. It’s the kind of dish that’s perfect with a cheeky glass of crisp white wine (making it a little less healthy oops)…


I have used cod here but other white fish such as coley, haddock or whiting would also work well.

Steamed cod parcels with asparagus & lemon parsley sauce

Serves 2


– 125g asparagus spears (about 8 spears), trimmed
– 4 spring onions, chopped
– 2 stems celery, chopped
– 2 150g cod fillets

For the sauce:

– handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
– juice 1/2 lemon
– 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
– 2 teaspoons olive oil
– seasoning


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 5 minutes.

Lay two large sheets of aluminium foil or baking paper onto your work surface.

Divide the celery and spring onions between the two sheets, placing in the centre of the foil. Lay the cod fillets on top of the vegetables and the asparagus on top of that.

To make the lemon parsley sauce, mix all of the ingredients together, seasoning well. Pour over the fish.

Loosely fold each sheet into a parcel, with the seam at the top. Tip: The parcels need to be tightly secured (to keep the goodness in) but loosely wrapped (to allow the contents to steam). Tip: If using baking paper, secure using bamboo skewers.


Place on a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and flaky.

Add a final squeeze of lemon and serve on a bed of cous cous to soak up the lush sauce.

Source: Recipe and photos by pip & little blue.


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