Recipe: Jamaican Fish in Coconut-Mango Sauce



Tired of fried fish? Don’t want to stink up your house? This easy recipe infuses Jamaican flavors for a tender, poached sea fish. Another one-pan recipe (my favorite kind) that takes just a half hour to prepare.

I adapted this recipe from the one Robin Asbell taught at a cooking class I attended last winter. Credit where it’s due; Ms Asbell is a wonderful teacher.



Coconut milk is the essence of this dish



  • 1 lime
  • 1-2 lbs mahi-mahi or snapper filets
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper (optional)
  • 1 small bunch of green onions
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (NOT ‘light’)
  • 2 cups peeled, ripe mango
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • salt and pepper




  1. Bring fish to room temperature. Cut into 4-5 pieces.
  2. Juice the lime. Strain juice and set aside.
  3. Rub lime wedges over the fish.
  4. Lightly toast coconut flakes (CAREFUL: it burns easily)
  5. Chop onions into small pieces
  6. Dice jalapeno.
  7. Combine all ingredients into a bowl except for the fish and coconut oil.



The liquids poach the fish


Cook it!

  1. Heat pan on medium-high. Add coconut oil. 
  2. Add the fish to the pan after the coconut oil has melted and started to shimmer.
  3. Sear the fish on one side for ONE MINUTE. Turn over, being careful not to tear the fish.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients into the pan. Cover the fish with the fruit.
  5. Lower the heat to medium. Cover the pan.
  6. Check the fish with a fork or small knife. Poach until the pink color has just left the middle of the pieces, about 7-10 minutes.
  7. Remove the fish pieces to a covered dish.
  8. Remove the pan lid. Boil the fruit, stirring often for another 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  9. Spoon sauce and fruit over fish. Serve right away.


Some Notes:

The type of fish you choose is important. I prefer thick pieces of mahi-mahi because it will hold its shape but come out tender. Red Snapper is better, but it’s expensive, hard to find and skin. Swordfish and tuna don’t poach well. Salmon’s strong flavor ruins the delicate fruit-coconut sauce.

Papaya and mango are great substitutes for each other. Make sure they are ripe before you cook with them for the best flavor.



At Robin Aspell’s class, 2011-February (Chef’s Gallery, Stillwater, MN)




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