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    Mixed Fish with Coriander, Lime, Coconut and Chilli

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    Mixed Fish with Coriander, Lime, Coconut and Chilli

    The cooking of the coastal regions of East Africa, from Kenya to Mozambique, is a fantastic mix of Arab, Indian, European and African influences. This recipe draws from all of them.

    • Preparation time: 60 minutes
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes 60 minutes 20 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 500g mixed fish fillets, such as bream, bass, monkfish, lemon sole, or tuna, cut into 2.5cm pieces
    • 500g large raw prawns, heads and shells removed but saved
    • Groundnut oil for frying
    • ½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
    • ¼ tsp ground cumin
    • 150ml coconut milk
    • 2 small onions, finely chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 large fresh chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
    • Grated zest of ½ lime and juice of 2
    • 100g fresh coriander, stalks and leaves finely chopped
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground pepper


    1. Wash all the fish and the prawns and pat them dry. Wash the prawn heads and shells.
    2. Heat 1 tbsp groundnut oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the prawn heads and shells, the coriander seeds and the cumin and cook until the prawn shells have turned orange and are just beginning to colour (about 4 minutes). Add 100ml water and the coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain through a sieve and discard the prawn shells.
    3. Meanwhile, heat 1cm depth oil in a frying pan over a high heat and fry the fish and prawns in batches, for a minute or so each side, or until just cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm on kitchen paper.
    4. Drain off all but 3 tbsp of the oil from the frying pan and add the onions, garlic and chilli. Turn the heat down and fry gently for 10-15 minutes, scraping up any bits of fish stuck to the pan. Add the lime juice and zest and the strained coconut and prawn liquid and bring to the boil. Stir in the fresh coriander and remove from the heat. Season. Arrange the fish in a shallow dish and pour over the sauce. Eat with rice or a simple salad. The dish is also delicious if served tepid as a salad.

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