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Fish in Coconut Curry Sauce

Fish in Coconut Curry Sauce

Renée Robinson

White Fish, Green Beans, and Pineapple Bathed in a Beautiful Curry-Style Coconut Milk Sauce.

When setting out to make this dish, all I knew was that I wanted fish in a coconut milk sauce. And after thinking about it I came up with a curry that has influences from many cuisines, particularly Indonesian. But I added some ingredients that aren’t normally seen in these types of curries.  

For instance, I used ground annatto seeds, which provided beautiful color and a slight sweetness, along with Kashmiri chili powder and a little smoked paprika. You don’t have to use the annatto. The color of the dish won’t be as vivid, but it will still be delicious. The base is made from sliced onion and chopped tomatoes, along with coconut milk, curry leaves, garlic, a stick of cinnamon, turmeric, and a little fish sauce.

I also wanted it to have a variety of textures and decided to add green beans, chunks of fresh pineapple, and Fresno chilies. Yes, I fully realize this is entire dish is rather unorthodox, but it was so darned delicious.

By the way, there are many types of fish that would be good here. I had some pretty whiting filets that I cut into big chunks and they worked beautifully. Any white fish would be great. I served it with jasmine rice and the Fried Coconut and Chili Flatbreads I posted the other day, which I used to scoop up the luscious sauce.

Fish in Coconut Curry Sauce

Recipe by Renée Robinson



Chunks of white fish, fresh pineapple and green beans are cooked in a coconut curry-type sauce that contains Kashmiri chili powder and curry leaves. Honestly, almost anything you can think of would be great cooked in this luscious sauce.

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  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons annatto seeds, ground

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 10-12 curry leaves

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • Salt

  • 5 Campari tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed

  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce

  • 3 Fresno chilies, 2 sliced, 1 left whole

  • 1/2 pineapple, sliced into 3 rings and cut into chunks

  • 1 1/2 pounds white fish, cut into 2 inch pieces

  • Black pepper

  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  • Heat the oil in a brazier or Dutch oven over medium low heat. Add the spices, garlic, onion, a healthy pinch of salt, and cook for 5 -7 minutes, until the onion is softened, being careful not to brown the onion or burn the spices. Add the chopped tomatoes, cook for several minutes until they start to break down.
  • Add 1/4 cup coconut milk and 1/4 cup water. Let it come to a simmer and add the green beans, 2 teaspoons fish sauce, and the whole chili. Stir and cover. Let cook for about 5 minutes, until the green beans are only partially cooked.
  • Add the remaining 1 cup coconut milk, pineapple and sliced chilies. Bring to a simmer. Add the fish, pushing the fish down into the sauce. Cover and let simmer for 3 -5 minutes. The time needed to cook the fish will completely depend on the thickness of your fish. As soon as the fish turns opaque, remove it from the heat. Taste for seasoning, adding additional fish sauce or salt, if needed, and black pepper. Taste and add 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Serve with rice. Enjoy!


  • Brazier or Dutch Oven

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