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Fish in Coconut Tomato Sauce

fish tomato coconut 10
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Fish in coconut-tomato broth is hands down one of my favorite meals.  My mom used to make this all the time – quickly and in one pot.  As an adult it became the dish I would cook for a man when cooking for him for the first time.  It’s a very traditional Latin dish and so popular that the most basic version has appeared on the back of a Goya coconut milk can.  My mother’s recipe is definitely on another level and includes fresh herbs and bay leaf and gently poaching fish in the rich, flavorful broth, rather than frying the fish first.  I’ve taken it a step further by upgrading the vegetables (halved baby heirloom tomatoes instead of diced Romas and pearl onions instead of sliced Spanish onion) and straining the sauce for a silky smooth consistency.   With or without rice, this is a great one-pot meal and tastes even better the next day.

Ingredients

  • 1 – 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 1  – 15oz can unsweetened coconut milk, low or full fat
  • 1 bag pearl onions, peeled and halved
  • 1 container baby heirloom or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 serrano pepper, sliced with seeds and ribs for kick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 handful fresh thyme
  • zest of one lime and its juice
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Cilantro leaves
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound of any white fleshy fish
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste

In a large pan, on medium-high, heat oil and sauté garlic and Serrano pepper.  When garlic is just golden and fragrant, about 1 minute, add tomato sauce, coconut milk, bay leaves, thyme, lime zest, sugar and some salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover for about 30 minutes.  The sauce should be rich and very fragrant.  Re-season with salt to your liking.  Strain the sauce into a new pan on medium-low heat.  Add onions and cook until slightly soft.  Add tomatoes and cook for about 3 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften.  Sprinkle fish with salt and squeeze of lime and place in sauce.  Let cook for about 5 minutes or more depending on the thickness of fish.   Serve over rice or just eat the sauce with a spoon.

 

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