Baked Catfish with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime

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Catfish with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime – oven baked catfish served over bok choy and topped with a flavorful ginger and cilantro sauce.

Catfish with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime | ZagLeft

It’s so hard to believe we’re well into the month of February.  Soon it will be spring which also means that Easter is right around the corner.  I realize we’re not yet into Valentine’s Day and we should take one holiday at a time, but bear with me please.  It’s not too early to start thinking about Easter, because in many Christian circles, Lent – the days leading up to Easter Sunday, is also about to begin.  When I was growing up, we didn’t eat meat on any Friday during Lent.  I also had to give up something I loved like chocolate or TV.  I struggled with it as a kid and always tried to negotiate a deal with my parents.  I’d tell them I would give up something one week and then give up something different the next week to make it easier.

When I lived in New Orleans and enjoyed the parades and parties during the Mardi Gras season, we made sure we partied it up on Mardi Gras because we knew that the very next day all the overindulging and parade watching would be over.  Mardi Gras literally translates to “Fat Tuesday” and the name reflects the practice of it being the last day to indulge on rich, fatty foods and sweets such as King Cake and Pralines before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. Lent was first practiced by the early Christians as a period of self-examination and self-denial to prepare for Easter.  Although in the past, Catholics observed strict fasting rules throughout the year – today many Catholics abstain only from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all other Fridays during Lent.

My family and I are very fortunate.  Abstaining from meat really isn’t much of a sacrifice.  We love seafood and we eat it often.  Because we eat it so often, I’m always looking for unique ways to prepare it.  A few months ago, I came across a recipe torn from a December 2012 issue of Bon Appetit magazine for Oven- Roasted Flounder with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime.

Catfish with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime | ZagLeft

This flavorful catfish recipe is a simple one and doesn’t take long to prepare.  Although the original recipe calls for flounder, I used catfish. I like both types of fish, but the market I shop at was out of flounder at the time I first made this recipe.  Since I loved the way the dish turned out, I’ve been using catfish every time.  Catfish is a meatier fish and I think it works well here.

I make up a delicious sauce to pour over the fish and it’s so tasty, I could eat it straight from the bowl with a spoon.  It’s a comination of  thinly sliced scallions, cilantro, lime juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar and fresh ginger.  You might want to double this part of the recipe because the sauce is so good.

Catfish with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime | ZagLeft

I used baby bok choy that I cut lengthwise and sautéed gently in a pan with garlic and white wine. Then, I placed the bok choy on the bottom of a baking dish and topped it with the fish that I seasoned simply with salt and pepper.  Although the recipe didn’t call for it, I spooned some of the sauce over the fish before baking it in the oven.

Baked Catfish with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime | ZagLeft

The fish cooked in about 20 minutes and I served it over brown rice pasta.  Regular pasta, rice or quinoa would also be great to serve the fish over.

If you’re looking for seafood recipes to use during Lent or any other time of the year, be sure sure to save this one.  The flavors are amazing together and I’m convinced you’ll love it too.

Baked Catfish with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime

Catfish with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime - oven baked catfish served over bok choy and topped with a flavorful ginger and cilantro sauce.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Seafood
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 1 scallion , thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro , coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ginger , finely minced, peeled
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 pound baby bok choy , cut in half lengthwise and rough chopped, (2-3 bunches)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 catfish fillets


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Combine scallion, cilantro, lime juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar and ginger in a small bowl. Whisk in 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  • Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a minute. Working in batches if needed, add bok choy and and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour in the wine, stir and cook for 2 minutes more.
  • Transfer the bok choy and all the juices from the pan into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  • Season each of the catfish pieces with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Arrange in a single layer over bok choy. Spoon a little of the scallion/soy sauce mixture over each of the pieces of fish.
  • Bake in oven until fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with the remainder of the scallion/soy sauce mixture.
  • Serve with rice or pasta.

 Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2012 issue

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24 thoughts on “Baked Catfish with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime”

  1. Andi @ The Weary Chef

    This is such a beautiful dinner. I love fish and bok choy together. I’ll have to try your version!

  2. Jaren (Diary of a Recipe Collector)

    This is a great dish for this time of year! I’m from Southwest Louisiana (Lake Charles), and Mardi Gras is a big deal down here. We will be going to our second parade of the day later and the kids are off of school next week. I really need to think about what I’m giving up really soon!

    1. Oh Jaren, I miss those days. When we moved to Texas my kids couldn’t believe they had to go to school on Mardi Gras day – and they still haven’t gotten over it. It’s such a fun time of the year. Have fun with your family!

  3. Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files

    I agree there…I could live off of seafood! Loving the flavors here of the catfish!

  4. Michelle@Healthiersteps

    Wow its interesting to hear about the tradition of lent. Thanks for sharing you lovely fish dish!

  5. Lauren @ Healthy Delicious

    I can’t believe Lent is coming up so quickly!! Easter is so early this year… This catfish looks great – I have’t had it in ages and I love this preparation.

  6. It was Christmas just yesterday! I cannot believe it’s time to think about Easter already. Granted I am ready for the pool to open and the weather to get warm, so maybe it’s not so bad that time is moving so quickly.

  7. Kacey @ The Cookie Writer

    I was thinking the exact same thing about how February is almost over. Food bloggers are always observant over the holidays 🙂 I never cook with seafood but this catfish sounds exactly like something my husband would love!

  8. Sheena @ Hot Eats and Cool Reads

    I love catfish and this recipe sounds so delicious! I like that you served it over pasta! Great meal!

  9. I love the use of bok choy with this. I’ve never had catfish but I’m very curious about it’s flavor. Beautiful dish all around.

  10. Tonia from TheGunnySack

    I am soooo looking forward to spring and this winter hasn’t even been that bad! This recipe looks delicious and I love anything with cilantro and lime!

  11. Not a big fish fan but I do like catfish. Being in Texas I’ve mostly had it fried. This sounds amazing! It is funny how culture changes over the years – when I was in school they served fish on fridays in the school cafeteria because many people fasted each friday. I’ll be honest — I miss those days. It seemed easer in many ways. Anyway… thanks for sharing!

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