Spicy Coconut Fried Fish!

23 Jan

Spicy Coconut Fried Fish

If you want a finger lickin’ dish that has an irresistibly crunchy and moorish coating and a hot, firm fishy fillet in the middle then look no further. These fishy forkfuls with a squeeze of fresh lime or sandwiched between white bread with some coriander and mayo will make your toes open and close, make your eyes roll back in your head and make you thank your lucky stars that I invented this dish! This is perfect hangover food, so put your Zinga burger in the bin where it belongs, have a hair of the dog to give you the will to carry on and to cook this!

Here it is – most of the ingredients are probably in your pantry…

You’ll need…

2 firm, white fish fillets (Snapper, Reef Cod are great)

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup cornflour

1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (‘Panko’ Korean or Japanese are best)

1/2 cup dessicated coconut

1 tsp cayenne pepper, chilli flakes or finely chopped chillies

1/2 lime or lemon rind, finely grated

1/2 teaspoon salt

oil for shallow frying

Slice the fish!

1. With a very sharp knife (not serrated edge) slice the fish widthways into pieces around 3 cm’s wide. If the fillet is really thick, slice on a diagonal about 2 cm’s apart. Set aside.

Prepare the assembly line!

1. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl.

2. Place the cornflour on a side plate.

3. Mix the breadcrumbs, coconut, lime/lemon zest, salt and chilli in a bowl and mix well.

Coat the fish!

1. One piece of fish at a time, coat it very lightly in cornflour and shake off any excess, then dip it into the egg and finally into the crumb mixture. Make sure each piece is well coated with the crumb mixture. Set it aside on a plate.


1. Pour about 3-4 cms of vegetable oil in a fry pan and heat until hot. *See tips below about shallow frying*

2. Fry 3-4 pieces of fish at a time until lightly coloured (only one-2 minutes). Lower each piece gently into the oil, don’t plop it in. It should start to bubble like crazy straight away. Turn the piece over once. Remove and set aside on paper towel and keep warm in the oven until all pieces are done.

Serving tips!

Of course it’s perfect with a salad of crispy asian greens, bean sprouts, some lychees or green apple sticks and a tangy Thai style dressing. Make a sandwich or bread roll with white bread, mayo, sweet chilli sauce, coriander, mint and crisp lettuce. OR Try dipping in…

1. A little lime juice or sweet chilli sauce mixed into some mayo.

2. A tablespoon each of dark soy sauce, lime juice, water, palm sugar, a shake of sesame oil and a little crushed ginger!

Shallow frying tips!

Q: Which oil?

A: Peanut, canola, blended vegetable or sunflower.

Be very gentle when turning or moving the fish in the hot oil and when removing it. If you pick it up with tongues, the coating may flake off – you’re better off to use a slotted spoon or egg flip. Chopsticks are good for gentle handling.

You know the oil is hot enough for cooking when a wooden chopstick or a wooden/bamboo skewer starts to sizzle in the oil. You will also notice that the oil around the edges of the pan looks really clear and light in colour once it’s hot.

Food keeps cooking after it has been removed from hot oil. So coatings will darken in colour once removed. Don’t wait for the fish in this recipe to be too golden brown. You can always return it to the oil if you think the coating’s not dark enough. Experiment with one piece of fish before cooking all – chef’s treat!

If you use a fry pan with a heavy base, it will be easier to maintain even heat. If the oil gets too hot, slide it off the heat for a minute or two before continuing cooking.

Always drain fried food on paper towel or a cake rack. I find a cake cooling rack best and keeps the food crispier than paper towel.


4 Responses to “Spicy Coconut Fried Fish!”

  1. Jane Bromell January 27, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Hi Claire,
    In case you are wondering who I am I work with Pamela and instead of doing any work we are ‘drooling’ over your lovely recipes. I am in the process of establishing a herb garden and my husband has just planted a vegetable garden, have huge pumpkin plants but no pumpkins will have to tell him to get out there and start cross polinating. Thanks for all the tips and will continue to follow your site with great interest. I feel like I know you all as Pamela is always talking about her family.
    Happy cooking!

    • Claire January 27, 2011 at 11:35 am #

      Thanks Jane! The female pumpkin flowers are at their most ‘open’ very early in the morning, usually! Good luck.

  2. Kitty kat February 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Fishy, fishy, fish – and coconut! Yum. We loved this recipe Claire. It was just delicious. We made extra fish so we ran out of sauce. I’ll have to remember this for next time. (But also, I’m a bit of a sauce junkie- lol.) The next day, I just quickly pan-fried the left overs and they were delicious too. Thanks- Made my tongue slap my brains out.

    • Claire February 15, 2011 at 8:41 am #

      Yay Kitty! This IS a compliment coming from you! X

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