Stir-Fried Cod With Yellow Squash and Asparagus Recipe

Stir-fried water-velveted cod with squash and asparagus. . Shao Z.

This quick and simple stir-fry features cod that's been water-velveted—an easy technique that guarantees tender, silky meat. Light, delicate and full of gently cooked vegetables, it's a perfect dish in a multi-course meat-heavy menu.

Why this recipe works:

  • Marinating the cod in a mixture of cornstarch, egg white, wine, and seasonings—a process known as velveting--guarantees silky, tender meat.
  • Par-cooking the meat in a bath of boiling water with just a little oil is much easier for home cooks than the more traditional hot-oil-bath method, with equally good results.

Note: To make egg white easy to measure, beat it with a fork until it has a thinner viscosity.

Recipe Details

Stir-Fried Cod With Yellow Squash and Asparagus Recipe

Active 15 mins
Total 45 mins
Serves 2 servings


For the Cod:

  • 1 tablespoon egg white, lightly beaten (see note)

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or sake

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 pound cod or other firm white-fleshed fish such as halibut, sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 6 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable, canola, or peanut oil

For the Stir-Fry:

  • 3 tablespoons homemade chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium broth

  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely minced

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, canola, or peanut oil

  • 1/4 pound yellow squash, sliced 1/8 inch thick

  • 1/4 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch lengths

  • Kosher salt

  • Cooked white rice, for serving


  1. For the Cod: In a small bowl, thoroughly combine egg white, cornstarch, rice wine, and salt. Place cod in a bowl and pour cornstarch mixture on top, tossing gently to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  2. Fill a wok with the water, bring to a boil, and add oil. Add cod and cook, stirring with chopsticks or a strainer, until opaque outside and still raw within, about 30 seconds. Gently drain cod in a colander and gently shake to remove excess water. Wipe wok clean and dry.

  3. For the Stir-Fry: In a small bowl, combine chicken stock, garlic, sesame oil, and cornstarch and mix well.

  4. Heat vegetable oil in wok over high heat until smoking. Add squash and asparagus and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

  5. Add cod and continue to cook, turning gently to avoid breaking up the fish, for 1 minute. Add sauce, season with salt, and cook, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens and coats fish and vegetables. Transfer to a platter and serve with white rice.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
336 Calories
12g Fat
32g Carbs
23g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 336
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 716mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 23g
Vitamin C 8mg 40%
Calcium 71mg 5%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 569mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)