Steaming foods involves cooking them with the steam produced when the item is enclosed in a heated container. Cod is a firm, white fish that holds up well to steaming and pairs well with many flavors. An electric steamer takes the guesswork out of steaming cod, allowing you to prepare a healthy meal in a short amount of time with a cooking method that helps retain the nutrients found in the fish.
Before placing cod in an electric steamer, thaw the fillets completely in the refrigerator or submerged in cold water. This allows them to cook evenly throughout. Most herbs and spices fall off during steaming because of the moist heat present, which reduces your options for flavoring your cod. To counteract this problem, place the cod fillet on a piece of aluminum foil, topping it with garlic, lemon juice and herbs and wrapping it before steaming. Seasonings added to the water infuse the cod with flavor, as well.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding how to use your electric steamer. In general, add water to the steamer's reservoir, place cod fillets in the designated container, replace the lid securely and turn the product on. Set the timer on your electric steamer according to the cook times provided with the product. A fish fillet typically takes about five to 10 minutes to steam, depending on its thickness. Most electric steamers will beep when cooking is complete. Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of the cod. FoodSafety.gov recommends eating fish when it reaches 145 degrees F or hotter. Remove the cod fillets promptly to prevent overcooking, which makes the fish rubbery and hard to chew.
The mild flavor of steamed cod pairs well with a variety of tastes, allowing you to try the fish in many ways. A simple sprinkling of salt and pepper with lemon juice on steamed cod is the easiest way to give it flavor and bring out its natural taste. Dill, basil, tarragon and ginger are good herb choices that add flavor to steamed cod. Serve steamed cod with fresh green salads or steamed squash and carrots. Baked, roasted or mashed potatoes are another good accompaniment to the flavor of steamed cod. Rice pilaf, quinoa or roasted asparagus are other items to serve with steamed cod.
Choosing a Steamer
Electric steamers are available at most home supply stores and range in size and price. If you cook large meals, choose a steamer that accommodates more than one cod fillet, which allows you to complete several servings at one time. Cooking smaller meals means you can get by with a small product, which typically costs less. Some steamers feature several compartments. Use one to steam cod and vegetables at the same time for a meal that comes together quickly with little effort.