Tilapia in coconut curry

    35 min

    This is a simple yet delicious way to prepare fish. Tilapia fillets are simmered in a lightly spiced coconut curry, made with lemongrass, ginger, turmeric and crushed chillies.

    158 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 125ml coconut milk
    • 6 whole almonds
    • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh lemongrass
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 4 (110g) fillets tilapia
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes, or to taste

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:35min 

    1. In a food processor or liquidiser, combine the coconut milk, almonds, onion, ginger, turmeric, lemon grass and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Process until smooth.
    2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper on both sides, then place them skin-side up in the frying pan.
    3. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the puree is thickened and fish flakes easily with a fork.
    4. Pour the pureed sauce over the fish. Use a fish slice to coat the fish evenly with the sauce. Sprinkle with crushed chillies.

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    Reviews in English (132)


    The method of preparation is not clear in when the puree is added to the pan and if read in the sequence suggested would possibly lead to the fish being overcooked. However that is a nice combination of ingredients , so I modified the method to fit my way of cooking. I only used enough coconut milk to make the puree flow smoothly - about 1 tablespoon. I then heated the oil in the pan and quickly fried the fillets to just give them a bit of colour on both sides. I then removed the fillets and kept them warm, whilst preparing the sauce. In the same pan using the same oil I added the puree and cooked over a low heat, until the puree was very fragrent and the oil was seperating back out. Durings this time the puree needs to be stirred frequently and if it is sticking to the bottom of the pan a small amount of water should be added. I then returned the fish to the pan and coated with the puree. Added the rest of the coconut milk, bought to a simmer and cooked until the sauce was thick. I then served. I did not use chilli flakes as I am not convinced that dried chilli flakes should be used as a garnish. I sprinkled with ground cayenne pepper- about 1/2 teaspoon. Alternatively you could use thin slices of fresh red chilli.  -  16 Feb 2013


    Loved it - followed method on allrecipes.com which was less confusing - add fish to pan then add sauce then simmer for 15 minutes. Added lemon zest instead of lemon grass. Will make this again  -  08 Jan 2016


    I'll be honest, in the morning when I first made the sauce and did the old "finger dip taste test", I wasn't crazy about the flavor. But when I made the entire dish that evening, WOW! I made a special trip to a Oriental market for fresh lemongrass and that made a huge impact on the sauce. We had the fish served over rice and a side dish of green beans. Very rich, very Thai. I highly recommend you double the sauce in this recipe. I'm going to try it over chicken as well.  -  22 Jan 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)