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Fijian Coconut Fish with Tomato, Spinach and Rice

Australia VS Fiji, France VS Argentina and of course… the highlight of the day…. South Africa VS New Zealand!  What a day that is awaiting us tomorrow.  Of course the Biltong is bought for the Bokke game, but what about lunch??  My suggestion… Fijian Coconut Fish with Tomato, Spinach and Rice.  This dish is as beautiful as the country itself, which is definitely on my bucket list of dream destinations… (hint, hint @TheYellowcap)

Fijian Coconut Fish with Tomato, Spinach and Rice

Serves: 4


Coconut fish

  • lemongrass 1 stalk
  • red chilli 1 (optional)
  • red onion ½
  • tomatoes 4 ripe (or 1 can crushed tomatoes)
  • coconut milk 1 can
  • lemon juice 2-3 tablespoons
  • fish sauce 2 tablespoons
  • sugar 1 teaspoon
  • basil leaves ¼ cup roughly chopped
  • white fish fillets 600g (e.g. hake, cod, snapper etc – buying some fresh fish is the best for this dish, try not to use frozen fish.)

To serve

  • baby spinach 300g
  • basil leaves ¼ cup roughly chopped
  • steamed rice


  1. Remove outer leaf and finely chop lemongrass, slice chilli lengthways, scrape out seeds then finely chop(seeds are going to make it super hot, so be careful not to add the seeds),  thinly slice onion,  roughly chop tomatoes.
  2. Heat a large frying-pan on medium heat. Add ¼ cup of the coconut milk, lemongrass and chilli and fry until liquid evaporates and lemongrass is tender, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in remaining coconut milk, onion, tomatoes (fresh or canned), lemon juice, fish sauce, sugar and basil leaves. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Pat fish dry with paper towell and remove any remaining scales or bones. (if you buy fresh fish you can ask them to cut them into nice clean portions)
  5.  Season with salt and pepper. Place whole fish fillets in the coconut sauce, and simmer for 4 minutes, turn fillets over and cook for a further 1 minute or until just cooked. Fish cooks very fast so remember not to overcook the fish.
  6. Steam or lightly shallow fry spinach until just wilted (just cooked).

To serve, spoon some rice, fish and coconut sauce, and spinach onto each plate. Garnish with basil leaves.



Married to my soulmate & mother of two, professional chef/hospitality lecturer & foodie writer for this website.

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