Friday, May 27, 2011

How to Cook Thai Coconut Fish

If you're a fish fan, you'll love Thai Coconut Fish! This dish requires a little extra time for prep, but the actual cooking is very fast and easy. Any type of white-fleshed fish fillet or steak may be used, including halibut, snapper, talapia, basa, cod, sole, etc... The main feature of this dish is the topping, which is authentic Thai at its best. Pair with plain rice and a glass of chilled white wine for a gourmet Thai meal you'll love to serve. ENJOY!

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 31 minutes

Yield: 2-3 fillets


  • 2-3 white-fleshed fillets of fish (halibut, snapper, cod, talapia, etc...)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • fresh coriander or basil + lime wedges for garnish
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. coconut milk
  • 1+1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili (from the spice aisle)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup dry shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 fresh red chili, minced, OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili (add more or less to taste)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 spring (green) onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. grated galangal OR ginger
  • 1 tsp. grated lime zest
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce


  1. Place fish in a flat dish. Stir marinade ingredients together and pour over fish. Turn fillets in the marinade several times, then leave in the refrigerator to marinate while you prepare other ingredients.
  2. Place shredded coconut in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until coconut turns light golden-brown. Tip 3/4 of coconut into a small mixing bowl. Place remaining in another bowl for serving later.
  3. Add all other 'Topping' ingredients to the bowl of toasted coconut. Gently toss to mix everything together. Taste-test the mixture for salt and spice, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough, or more chili if you prefer it spicier. Set aside.
  4. Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl around, then gently place fish in pan. Let fish fry at least 1 minute before turning or moving. Fry 1-3 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Fish is done when flesh turns firm and opaque, and flakes easily.
  5. Place fried fillets on individual plates. Top with a layer of the coconut-chili-lime mixture, then add another layer of the reserved toasted coconut. Sprinkle over some fresh coriander or basil and garnish with a lime wedge (squeeze over before eating). Serve with rice and ENJOY!

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