Coconut Curry Snapper Fish is one of my favorite sea food. Coconut curry sauce is simple to make and is creamy and delicious. There are a ton of veggies in this dish that not only flavor the sauce but makes this dish super healthy. This recipe is flavorful and spicy and I prefer to eat it with white rice and veggies. You can definitely have this with roti, rice and peas, dumplings and boiled provisions. The best part of this meal is that prepping and cooking is 30 minutes or less. The key to getting through this cook quickly is to prepare all the vegetables ahead of cooking so once you start, it’s easy to go step by step. You can cook the rice while the fish is going and you will have yourself a quick and delicious dinner any day of the week. This will feed your entire family and everyone will be satisfied.
Here are some things to consider:
Type of Fish
My favorite fish to cook this meal with is King Fish slices/steaks. If you can’t find that, you can use snapper, butter fish, sea bass or lionfish. Any white fleshy fish should do the trick. I prefer to do fish slices as I think they cook up nicer than whole fish. Because this is a saucy dish, pick a cut of fish with the center bone-in and the skin on so that the fish will hold up during cooking and not fall apart. For this recipe I bought a large snapper and asked for it to be sliced into steaks.
Curry is my favorite spice. I prefer to use Jamaican curry in most of my dishes but I will experiment with a few different curries on the blog. The truth about curry is that a little goes a long way. You do not need a lot of curry to make this dish and it serves you better to measure the amount of curry you are using. Too much curry can turn dark and taste bitter or too strong. You want to still be able to taste all of the other ingredients in the dish so don’t overpower it with a heavy hand of curry.
Coconut milk is now on the market in a variety of options. You can use coconut milk from a can, coconut milk cubes, coconut milk powder, etc. The best option for this dish is freshly squeezed coconut milk. If you are short on time or you don’t have that on hand, use a milk substitute. It will be good but just not as good as fresh coconut milk.
Okra is a delicious veggie that is really good on fish. In this sauce, okra will enhance the flavor but it will also work to thicken the sauce and help it stay creamy. Don’t skip the okra in this dish unless it is something you absolutely hate.
For Coconut Curry Snapper Fish you will need:
- Large skillet
- Large bowl
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Wooden spoon
- 1 disposable glove
- 2 lbs sliced fish (steaks)
- 3 scallions (chopped)
- Handful of thyme
- 1 small onion (sliced)
- ½ green bell pepper (julienned)
- 2 small carrots (julienned)
- ½ a scotch bonnet pepper (sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic (sliced)
- 1 tbsp maggi fish season-up + ½ tsp for sauce
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp Betapac curry powder
- 10 okra (sliced on a bias)
- 1 ½ tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ cup water
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 bouillon cube
- 8 pimento berries
- Place cleaned fish in a large bowl. To the fish add fish season-up, paprika, black pepper and 1 tsp of curry powder. Cover your hands with disposable gloves and rub the spices onto the fish. Set fish aside. Curry will stain your nails, your skin and any surfaces it touches. Be gentle with the mixing process and protect your hands. You could also use a spoon but I don't think it works better than your hands to evenly coat the meat in seasonings.
- Chop scallions, slice onions, julienne peppers, carrots and okra, slice garlic cloves, rinse thyme under cold water and slice scotch bonnet pepper. Set veggies aside.
- Measure coconut milk and set aside.
- Add coconut oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Once the oil melts and gets hot, add garlic slices and 1 tsp of curry powder. Allow the garlic and curry to cook until the garlic begins to slightly brown and become fragrant. Do NOT let the curry or the garlic burn. If it burns, the dish will be completely bitter and inedible.
- Once the curry and garlic begin to brown, add onions to the pan and saute them for about 1 minute.
- Once the onions become slightly translucent, add scallions and toss them in the curry oil until they are coated. Add in thyme and coat it in the oil until it becomes fragrant. Add in scotch bonnet slices and bell peppers and cook for another minute and a half.
- Add in measured coconut milk to the pan and stir the veggies around in the milk. Add in ½ tsp fish-season up and black pepper to taste. Give the pan a good stir. Cook for about 2 minutes until the milk comes up to a boil. The curry sauce will look very pale at this point. Do not worry about that. There is curry powder on the fish itself which will cook into the sauce once you add the fish. The color will develop and become bolder once the fish is added to the pan.
- As the milk begins to come up to a boil, add pimento berries and ½ cup of water.
- Add in the okra and carrots next. Give the pan a good stir and cover it. Cook the veggies covered on medium heat for about 1 minute.
- After two minutes, add each piece of fish to the sauce. Cover the pan and let the fish cook on 1 side for about 5 minutes. The fish will not be completely covered in the sauce. That is okay. Keep the sauce at the consistency it is and do not add any more water. The sauce will become too runny and adding more water will break the flavor. While the fish is cooking it will release more water to the pan.
- After 5 minutes, uncover the pan and use the spoon to turn each piece of fish to the other side. Cover the pan and allow the fish to cook for an additional 5 minutes on the other side.
- After 5 mins, taste the sauce for salt. Add in the bouillon cube, ½ tsp salt and more black pepper to taste. To help the salt and bouillon along, use the spoon to stir the sauce around the fish in order to not break the fish apart. Cook for roughly another 5 minutes to allow the salt and bouillon to dissolve. The sauce will also begin to thicken and reduce more.
- Once the sauce is reduced, serve the fish hot with your choice of sides.