Fish and peppers in coconut milk

Fish and peppers in coconut milk

This recipe for fish poached in coconut milk with peppers, lime and coriander came from one in the Guardian Cook section. The original is called Moqueca de peixe and is by Brazilian cook Roberta Siao of Mazi Mas. It is remarkably quick and straightforward to make – a perfect way to turn two fish fillets and a couple of peppers into a colourful, flavoursome and very satisfying weeknight supper.

The original recipe includes some palm oil (which I didn’t have) and adds sliced chilli at the end as a garnish, rather than cooking the chilli. I also adapted the quantities to feed two. So this version is not quite authentic, but was still delicious. If making it again, I might cook the onions a little on their own first and cut the peppers into slices rather than rings so that they soften a little more, though the rings do look very pretty.

200g white fish fillets
2 tomatoes
1 green and 1 yellow pepper
1 onion
1 tbsp olive oil
200ml coconut milk
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 handful of coriander leaves
1 red chilli

Cut out the central core of the tomatoes and slice them. Deseed the peppers and slice them thinly in rings. Halve the onion and slice it thinly.

Fish and peppers in coconut milkHeat the olive oil in a large shallow pan that has a lid, over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook gently for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Meanwhile, halve the chilli and deseed it. Chop the coriander roughly.

Arrange the tomatoes on top of the onions and peppers and add the two halves of chilli, coconut milk and most of the chopped coriander (keep back enough to garnish the dish at the end). Season with salt and black pepper. Simmer without stirring for 5 minutes.

Arrange the fish fillets on top of the vegetables, without mixing, and put the lid on the pan. Simmer gently for 5-7 minutes until the fish is opaque and just cooked through. Pour over the lime juice and sprinkle over the remaining coriander. I leave the pieces of chilli whole so you can take it out before serving, when it will have done its work of giving some gentle heat to the sauce, but you can leave it in if you like it hot. You could also add some finely sliced chilli as a garnish if you like.

Serve with rice, and we had green beans too which went with it very well.

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