Sweet & Savoury Steamed Cod Fish with Crunchy Turnips & Garlic in Spicy Bean Paste

Arhem, what a long and erm.. savory name for a title.. Hahaha !! I wanna shrink it shorter but no matter how I re-phrase it, I couldn’t find a satisfactory one..

Argh !! So suan le… I just included everything in… so you will know how “comprehensive” this dish is !! Hahahaha !!

Cod Fish_3

We all know that cod fish is quite an expensive fish, especially fresh ones. So in order to get the most out of the fresh cod steak, steaming seems the best way to preserve most of its freshness and nutrients. But my steaming methods are always that few, either the Teochew style or the teriyaki way. So I was browsing through some recipes to discover new ways of cooking cod fish when I decided to come out with a new combination from various recipes and planting them altogether. Cooking has had to be an adventurous journey yeah !

The end result ?? A very tasty cod fish indeed !! Cod FIsh_5

This is more to the Chinese style of cooking. While I love the slight crunch from the sweet turnips that was paired with the fresh fish, the savoury base that comes from the spicy bean paste adds a twinge of spiciness to the flavours and enhances the taste on an even better note. Cod Fish_6

Most of the supermarkets do sell cod fish but usually bulk of them are in frozen form. Unless you do patronise the wet markets, it not that easy to get cod steak in its fresh state. And as you know, ever since PurelyFresh has chanced upon my life (sounds dramatic yeah ! Hahaha), even my weekly groceries trips to the supermarkets have reduced in frequency. Look at this huge chunk of fresh cod fish that was ordered and delivered right to my doorstep from PurelyFresh, which was just in time for the feast on National Day itself ! Yes, it is that fresh, without the fishy stink that some frozen ones might have, in particular those that have been kept frozen for long and it’s not easy to tell from the first look unless you de-freeze it in whole.

Cod Fish_PurelyFresh

Other reason why I so loved cod fish, next to salmon, is that there are usually very few fish bones in a cod fish. I am a very careless person when it comes to eating fish and hence the need to look out for the safest way to eat fish is the essentiality to find certain fish that carries few bones. And amongst good and fresh fish, the cod steak happens to be one of them.

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The sweet turnips, or the “cai po” that we so commonly called, is a side dish that people enjoy with plain congee. After frying them with the spicy bean paste, they will turn slightly crunchy.

Cod Fish_1

Further to the additions are stir fried garlic, ginger and spring onion all in minced form, you can literally enjoy many tastes in one single dish here. Freshness, sweetness, savory, spice and flavors. The only setback is extra care has to be taken while frying the “cai po” as they will splatter all over the place. So do stand by with the wok’s cover once you “throw” the sweet turnips into the hot oil and quickly had it covered while stirring it occasionally only after it had simmered down on low heat. 

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Guaranteed you won’t be able to find this in dining restaurants elsewhere ! Start cooking your way now !!

Sweet & Savoury Steamed Cod Fish with Crunchy Turnips & Garlic in Spicy Bean Paste

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2


For the Ingredients

  • 250 g cod fish steak
  • 2-3 stalks of spring onion chopped (set aside a handful for garnishing)
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing huatiao wine
  • 1 tbsp spicy bean paste
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 4 tbsp sweet turnips "cai po"
  • 8 tbsp oil

For the Seasonings

  • 1 tbsp sweet rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar


  • Place the cod fish on a steaming plate and drizzle over the shaoxing wine. Cover the plate with a cling film. Boil the water in the steamer and steam the cod fish for approximately 8 minutes.
  • At the same time, heat up the oil in a wok. Once the oil is hot already, reduce the heat to low and add the spicy bean paste (Cover the wok immediately with a cover to prevent the oil from splattering.)
  • Remove the cover of the wok after the oil has stopped splattering and stir fried the spicy bean paste until fragrant. Drain the oil after it has turned red and discard the bean paste, but retaining the oil.
  • Put the oil back to the wok and heat it up slightly. Add the sweet turnips quickly and cover the wok immediately to prevent the turnips from splattering all over. Reduce the heat to low and remove the wok's cover after the sizzling and splattering is reduced. Continue to add the minced garlic, ginger and spring onion and stir fried slightly.
  • Add the seasonings and fry until all are fragrant and become golden brown in colour. Set aside.
  • Remove the fish after steaming completes after 8 minutes and drizzle the sweet and savoury turnips, garlic, ginger, spring onion and sauce from the previous step all over the fish. Garnish with spring onion and serve hot.


If you find the sauce to be too oily, feel free to drain them away instead of drizzling over the fish. (However, bit of it can help to give the fish a shiny glow.) Retain only the turnips, garlic, ginger and spring onion to complement the fish.

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