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Coconut Milk Fish Stew ("Pescado con Coco")

Bring the taste of Northern Dominican Republic into your home with this tropical fish dish! This popular dish brings together two of the island's treasures - fresh fish and coconut milk - into a flavorful, creamy stew. Colorful veggies and herbs contribute vitamins and minerals, as well as chronic disease-fighting antioxidants. Serve hot over brown rice, enriched white rice, and/or on the side of baked plantains.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 4 oz fillet + 1 cup vegetable mixture


1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon ground annatto/achiote or turmeric

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1.5 pound (about six 4-oz fillets) flounder or sole or tilapia or snapper

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 medium bell peppers, thinly sliced

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans (13.5 oz each) lite unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (divided) or more to taste

Juice of 1 lime


  1. In a mise-en-place bowl or small bowl, combine salt, annatto or turmeric, and oregano. Mix until well-blended.

  2. Pat fish dry with a paper towel and assemble fish on a large plate or platter. Rub the fish with the salt, annatto, oregano spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate for about 20-25 minutes while completing steps 3 and 4.

  3. In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook peppers and onions for 10 minutes or until softened and onion is translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally.

  4. Add the 2 cans of coconut milk. Heat to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until coconut milk thickens. Stir in 2 Tbsp cilantro

  5. Add the fish to skillet in a single layer if able. If unable to create a single layer, cook one batch of the fish fully and then cook the other batch after. Spoon liquid over the fish to submerge and heat to a boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5-10 more minutes while spooning liquid over the fish, until fish is cooked through. When fish is cooked through, remove from skillet and transfer fish to clean platter.

  6. Simmer remaining sauce for 5 minutes until thickened. Squeeze all of the juice from the lime into the sauce. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp cilantro. Pour sauce over fish.


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