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Fish & Seafood

Spicy Tilapia With Coconut Cream



Cooking spicy tilapia with coconut cream starts with making a paste by grinding together fresh ginger, garlic, chili, and cilantro roots and stems. The tilapia fillets are braised gently in the mixture, coconut cream and seasoning is added, voila! You have a fabulous meal in less than 15 minutes.

Spicy Tilapia With Coconut Cream |

You want to cut down the cooking time to less than 10 minutes? Make the paste in a blender or food processor.

I love how tilapia fillets now come in individually vacuum sealed packages which make it so easy to thaw them. Just fill the sink with some tap water, dump the vacuum packed tilapia fillets and, five minutes later, they’re throughly thawed. Cut the packs open and your tilapia is ready to cook.

And while they thaw? In those five minutes, you can prepare the paste for this dish. Another five minutes and your spicy tilapia with coconut cream is ready.

Spicy Tilapia With Coconut Cream

Spicy Tilapia With Coconut Cream

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Connie Veneracion


  • 2 tilapia fillets
  • 3 to 4 bird’s eye chili
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch cilantro roots and stems (save the leaves for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup coconut cream see how to extract coconut cream
  • patis (fish sauce) or salt, to taste
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  • Rinse the cilantro roots to remove any soil. Peel the garlic and ginger. Cut off the tips of the chili. Set aside the cilantro leaves. Roughly chop everything.
  • Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind until you have a paste. Alternatively, use a food processor.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a pan. Add the paste. Heat gently until fragrant.
  • Spicy Tilapia With Coconut Cream
  • Add the tilapia fillets to the pan. Cook for about a minute then carefully turn over and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the coconut cream. Season with fish sauce or salt. Stir gently. Cook just until the sauce simmers.
  • To serve, place the tilapia fillet over hot rice. Spoon some of the sauce around it.
  • Spicy Tilapia With Coconut Cream
  • Chop the reserved cilantro leaves and sprinkle over the tilapia. If you want extra spice, thinly slice a chili and sprinkle over the fish along with the cilantro leaves.
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