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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.