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Japanese Mayo-Yaki Cooking: The Baked Fish In Foil

Mayo-Yaki Baked Cod In Foil With Lemon Food & Recipes

Baked cod in foil is my favorite dish- an easy, quick, and absolutely delicious way to cook fish like cod, halibut, and salmon.

Baking food in foil is a very popular cooking method in Japanese home cooking. We call it Hoil (which means aluminum foil,) and Yaki (which means grilling).

This recipe is especially recommended for those who are not enthusiastic about cooking.

Fortunately, the fish turns out to be a fancy dinner as well as adding a variety of colorful veggies despite it being super-easy to make without effort.

I make this baked cod in foil at least twice a month since my husband started trying to change his diet.

Why you’ll want to read my recipe is my Japanese cooking tip to remove the fishy taste from the fish.

Indeed, he doesn’t like fishy fish, but he absolutely loves this dish all the time.

Do You Want To Put Mayonnaise? Say YES

MAYOYAKI that I use in my headline refers to the dish grilled/baked top with mayonnaise in Japanese cuisine.

I am not sure that you know this fact but the Japanese are obsessed with mayonnaise.

Therefore, we frequently use mayonnaise for cooking besides as a dipping sauce.

→→→Find out how I use mayo in the dish called TERIMAYO SHRIMP

Originally, in the birthplaces of mayonnaise such as Menorca, Mayonnaise has been widely used not only for salads but also for meat and seafood since ancient times.

The animal protein in seafood and mayonnaise (eggs) goes well together, and also vinegar taste in Mayonnaise helps reduce the greasy taste.

Also, mayonnaise is made by emulsifying, it also can help to reduce the fishy taste while adding a rich creamy flavor.

And no need to worry about your fish tasting like mayonnaise, moreover, it enhances the rich creamy savory flavor of the dish.

So, topping with mayonnaise makes sense in this recipe!

Why Japanese Mayonnaise?

Especially to using Mayonnaise for a seafood dish, I highly recommend using Japanese mayonnaise which uses only egg yolks.

As I said, animal protein in seafood and egg yokes (also animal protein) combines well and brings savory flavor to the dish.

According to Kewpie Corporation, Kewpie mayonnaise is used with about twice as much egg yolk as American mayonnaise, in fact, using only egg yolks gives a creamy and mellow savory taste.

Moreover, the unique cap of the Kewpie Mayonnaise bottle tube is easy to drizzle, without making a mess on the tube or your hand.

If the KEWPIE MAYO is not available in your local grocery store and can’t wait for the AMAZON delivery, I recommend Duke’s mayonnaise as a substitute for Japanese mayonnaise.

How To Remove The Fishy Taste

  • Get fresh fish (freshly packed)
  • Never rinse the store-bought cut fish
  • Sprinkle a pinch of salt on both sides then leave it for 10 minutes
  • Pat dry the moisture thoughtfully

Get fresh fish (freshly packed) which is the important key to avoiding the fishy-flavored fish cut.

I don’t recommend rinsing fresh fish in a sink, as same as, it is not necessary to rinse packaged fish already gutted and scaled.

It is because the savory flavor in the fish will also drain and the fish meat absorbs water.

Indeed, the cut fish will taste more fishy and easily take apart while cooking when you rinse it.

When you get the fresh cod, sprinkle a pinch of salt on the fish fillets. Due to osmotic pressure, the substance that causes the fishy taste will come out.

Let the fillet rest for 10 minutes.

Tap dry all moisture from the fillet with kitchen paper thoughtfully while changing the paper.

The moisture from the fillet is the cause of the fishy taste.

Since the salt also removes the savory flavor in the fish, avoid leaving the cod with salt for over 10 minutes.

*The mild fishy taste fish such as cod, halibut, and mahi-mahi will be salted for 10 minutes, and the fish that have a strong taste such as mackerel, and sardines will be for 20-30 minutes.

The Best Fish For Baking In Foil

This recipe is always our favorite since the cooking time is quick, the cooking process is easy (and kind of fun), and the fish comes out so delicious-moist, tender, and has natural sweetness from vegetables.

You can start adding this foil packet of fish into your weekly routine because it is the complete and EASY oven-baked foil fish dinner on the table in under 30 minutes, and besides, it is less cleaning.

Not only an easy quick recipe, but also, you can arrange this recipe with your favorite fish, veggies, and favorite spices.

For the best kind of fish in this fish recipe, it’s better to choose flaky white fish, such as cod, halibut, cod, sea bass, grouper, haddock, catfish, flounder, mahi mahi, tilapia, or snapper.

Still, I like salmon for this recipe although it’s not my husband’s favorite.

The tip to choose fish for baking in foil is less fishy fish such as white fish as I mentioned.

This recipe is especially with a light seasoning, white fish (or trouts, salmon) balances well with other ingredients, condiments, and seasonings without the fishy taste eliminating savory flavors.

Therefore, it is better to avoid “oily fish” such as sardines, mackerel, and often salmon since these fish smells will often make unpleasant flavors with other ingredients, and sometimes the smell transfer to cooking utensils and an oven.

Accompaniments Items With The Fish In Foil


Thinly sliced ​​onions in foil are essential for the fish in foil.
Tender-sweet sliced onion steamed in foil goes well with the fish while adding the rich savory sauce.

Besides, laying the sliced onions underneath the fish prevents the fish from sticking to the foil.


Mushrooms are also the must-item to go well with the fish in foil. They also had the benefit of supplementing nutrition, so why not add mushrooms as well?


Like Acqua Pazza in Italian cuisine, the whitefish perfectly goes well with tomatoes.

The lycopene contained in tomatoes has an antioxidant effect and can be expected to have an anti-aging effect on the skin, why not dice or slice up tomatoes and throw them in the foil, girls?

Root Vegetables

Since ingredients are steamed in foil, root vegetables will be efficiently cooked increasing savory flavors such as carrots, daikon radishes, lotus roots, turnips, and potatoes.

Slice thinly to cook them up in 20 minutes.

Additional Sauces


This savory sauce packed with rich umami and sweet flavor can dramatically change the fish in foil.

The best authentic restaurant-grade TERIYAKI sauce, with only 4 ingredients, without MIRIN! A sticky sweet and rich umami taste, making it the perfect glaze over yakitori/ teriyaki chicken, salmon, and more. Once you make this easy but absolute-authentic Japanese essential sauce, I guarantee you won’t buy a bottle in a grocery store again like you’re Japanese. (*Recipe)

Japanese Tartar sauce

A rich, savory, unsweet, and super-chunky tartar sauce.

Use the tartar sauce as a substitute for mayonnaise!

This easy homemade Japanese tartar sauce is better than anything (especially if you’re hungry) you can buy at the store. It’s creamy, refreshing, kicking, filling, and perfect for serving next to your favorite deep-fried dishes and sandwiches. Mayonnaise provides the whole balance of flavor in this tartar sauce. For the best tartar sauce, (and this recipe is made with Japanese mayo,) you’ve gotta try Japanese mayonnaise. Pickles add crunch and flavor to the sauce. You can use dill pickles, but I recommend switching to pickled jalapeno instead of common pickles. Japanese ginger pickles also give you a unique sweet flavor. (*RECIPE)

Homemade Natto Sauce

Despite this sauce is for natto beans,it is the full of umami flavor since it contains Hondashi powder.

Sweet and delicous, but, it;s slightly different from any other Japanese sauce.

Natto sauce is the special sauce for Natto. Better than dressing natto using soy sauce only. The Natto sauce tastes exactly the same as the small packet in the natto package. Moreover, you can make authentic natto sauce in just 10 minutes.(*RECIPE)

Sweet Nagoya-Style Miso Sauce

Miso paste is a versatile sauce that goes well with meat, seafood, and vegetables.

The Nagoya-style sweet miso sauce. The most versatile sauce or glaze you can easily at home. It is everything you want when grilling, broiling stir-frying, stewing, for meat, seafood, veggies, mushrooms, tofu. This rich umami sauce brings savory flavor to Japanese food and many other cuisines. (*RECIPE)

Japanese “Layu” Chili Oil

It is not a thick sauce but absolutely add a kick to this light fish dish, oh, spicy.

A store-bough Layu is nice to add and is mild spicy.

My homemade Layu cilli oil is east to make, and super-spicy but flavorful. (*RECIPE)

How To Make The Packet : Step By Step

Make sure to prepare a big size enough to fold all sides to make the packet.

I use 18-inch-long aluminum foil for a 6oz fillet.

1. Place the fish fillet along the short side of the foil.

2. Bring the short sides of the foil together. Be sure keeping the fillet flat.

*Crimp the short sides tightly, but, keep the room above the fillet in the foil.

3. Fold both the bottom and top foil pieces together tightly.

Place the packet on the baking sheet and bake it in the oven for 20 minutes.

Mayo-Yaki Baked Cod In Foil With Lemon

Japanese Mayo-Yaki Cooking: The Baked Fish In Foil

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
Baking the food in foil is a great cooking method to cook ingredients quickly and increase umami flavor while trapping savory flavors. Besides, it's less messy in the kitchen! Japanese mayonnaise brings a savory creamy flavor to this light-seasoned fish dish and helps to reduce the fishy taste. By the way, the fish will be a no-fish taste if read my cooking tip to remove the fishy flavor from the fish. Arrange the items with your favorite herbs & spices. For thicker or heavier pieces of fish, increase cooking time.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 1 serving


  • 1 18-inch-long aluminum foil


  • 1 Cod fillets *about 6 oz each
  • Pinch of salt for the fish prep
  • ¼ Onion, sliced
  • ¼ Bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Lemon slice
  • butter/vegetable oil for spreading aluminum foil

For Seasoning

  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ TSP old bay seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Japanese sake / White wine
  • 1 tbsp Japanese Mayonnaise
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish *your choice of garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F

Prepare Cod Fillets

  • Open a package, to dry the moisture with a paper towel, but don't rinse the fish.
  • Tap the cut fish, and sprinkle a pinch of salt on both sides. Place the fillet on a replaced paper.
    *To remove the fishy taste.
  • Leave the salted fish for 10 minutes. (put it in the fridge if the room is warm). Then, then pat it as thoroughly dry as possible with paper towels.
    *Moisture you can see on the paper is the cause of the fishy taste. Pat dry the fish well while changing the paper towel until removing all moisture from the fish.
  • Season the fish with black pepper and old bay seasoning (or your choice of seasonings).
    *I skip salt for seasoning the fish, add the salt if desired.

Assemble The Fish In Foil

  • Oil the sheet of foil, place sliced onion, and then the fish in the center.
    ! Lay the fish along with the short side of the foil.
  • Put Japanese sake/white wine. (Aim for the sliced onion to prevent the seasoning wash away.)
  • Lay the remaining veggies, mushrooms, and mayo.
    Top with chopped cilantro you can do this after the fish is cooked.
  • Squeeze a sliced lemon and top with it.
  • Bring the two short sides of the foil together and fold them together tightly a few times while making sure it is sealed tight.
    Then, fold both sides of the package to seal it tight. (Fold both the bottom and top foil pieces together tightly.)
    *Try to keep the fish flat.

Bake The Fish

  • Place the packet on a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven until the fish, for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and carefully unwrap the package and serve immediately with the additional sauces.



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Keyword Easy, fish, Mayo
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