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This is a no-fail fish recipe that is so flavorful and easy to make. The cod poaches in a buttery coconut milk broth, and you can cook it in a skillet on the stove or over a campfire.  

cod in coconut milk broth with spinach and fresno peppers

To start, sautè some Fresno peppers and lime zest in a pat of butter. 

Fresno peppers have a heat level that is similar to jalapeños. I love them in this recipe, because they make the dish so vibrant, and the heat balances with the creamy broth.

Unfortunately, my grocery store doesn’t always stock Fresno peppers. When that happens, I just use red peppers and add a pinch of chile flakes. You can substitute jalapeños, too…you’ll just be missing the bright red contrast. 

cod simmering in coconut lime broth.

For this recipe, the cod cooks quickly in a poaching liquid of coconut milk and chicken broth. Be sure to use coconut milk, not cream of coconut. Cream of coconut is better saved for your pina coladas, because it’s full of sugar. 

After the fish is cooked, add a large handful of raw spinach to the broth. The pop of green makes for a beautiful presentation. 

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4.78 from 40 votes

Coconut Milk Poached Cod with Spinach

This poached cod, served in a Fresno pepper coconut milk broth with spinach and a hint of lime zest, is ready in about 15 minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 3 fresno peppers
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 can coconut milk, (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 cod filets
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 pinches white pepper
  • 4 cups spinach


  • Dice the peppers, zest the lime and cut the lime in half.
  • Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the peppers and lime zest, until tender, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, juice from half a lime and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Sprinkle salt and white pepper on each side of the cod filets. Gently place the filets into the broth. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until the fish flakes.
  • Remove the filets from the broth and place each in a wide soup bowl.
  • Add the spinach to the skillet. Continue cooking until the spinach is tender.
  • Squeeze the juice from the other half of the lime into the skillet and stir to combine.
  • Evenly spoon the broth into each bowl.


Calories: 333kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 24gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 823mgPotassium: 943mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 3060IUVitamin C: 32mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @girlscangrill

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Hey BBQ Family

Hi. I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and have dozens of top ten category finishes. People know me as the girl who is forever hovering over a grill, smoker or campfire with tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Didn’t have chicken broth, used beef. Didn’t have peppers, used extra fresh ground black paper. Still have to give five stars for a great recipe and perfect procedure. Will make again.

  2. Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope the will like it.

  3. Excellent! Used Miso Ginger broth from Trader Joe’s. Added garlic, carrots, celery, bell pepper and grape tomatoes. Served with jasmine rice and zucchini and topped with fresh basil and cilantro. Didn’t have chili peppers so used Chili crisp!

  4. The only greens I had were beet greens and I also had a fresh ear of corn. I cut off corn kernels and sautéed with the pepper. The tang of the greens and the sweetness of the corn balanced out well.