Delicious Dominican Cuisine

A Buen Tiempo... Buen Provecho! ;)

Fish in Coconut Sauce (Dominican style)/Pescado con Coco Dominicano


The typical fish used by Dominicans in this dish is usually red snapper or mere (mero).  Red snapper can be found in special fish markets around here but can be very expensive.  I made this recipe with fresh haddock one day (really common fish around here and really inexpensive to buy) and have been using it since! Although haddock is a bland fish, this recipe packs alot of flavor and the sauce just makes the fish heavenly and tasty!

What I love about using haddock fillets is that they are usually boneless, therefore, it’s safer to eat than fish with the bone in.  I remember when I was a little girl, my Grandpa and my mom never let me eat fish without a thorough inspection (which usually left the fish mushy) for bones.

If you like fish and coconuts, you can’t go wrong with this recipe! :)

To make this dish, you will need the following ingredients:

2 lbs Fresh Haddock (skinless, may substitute for another kind of light or red fish)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 Lime
3 tbsp Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves
1 small Red Onion
1 Small Red Bell Pepper (1/2 of a large one)
1 Small Green Bell Pepper (1/2 of a large one)
1 Can of Coconut Milk (approx 13.5 oz)
1 cup fresh cilantro
2 tbsp tomato paste

First, rinse the fish with some cold water, then place on a cutting board.  I usually buy the fillets and cut them myself, but some markets sell them cut already.

Cut each fillet into 3 pieces (4 if you want smaller pieces).

Place the fillets into a wide bowl to start seasoning it.  First, add HALF (1/2 tsp) of the salt,

Then add HALF (about 1/4 tsp) of the black pepper,

Then sprinkle HALF of the oregano (1/2 tsp) over the fish,

Then sprinkle HALF of the coriander (1/2 tsp) over the fish,

Now FLIP the fish, and sprinkle the other half of the spices (1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp of oregano and 1/2 tsp coriander) onto the unseasoned side of the fish.

Once both sides are nice and seasoned, squeeze the lime juice over the fillets.

Very gently flip the fish to soak the fillets with the lemon juice and incorporate the seasoning better.

Now let the fish rest for atleast 15 – 20 minutes.  It is not necessary to marinate overnight, I usually just let it hang out for an hour at most.

To cook the fish, add the oil to a large pan (I usually use olive oil because it’s better for you, but you may use vegetable oil if you prefer).  Put the heat on high temperature and let it get nice and hot, then add the fillets in to sear them.  (Save the marinade in the bowl for later use)

Let them cook for about 4 or 5 minutes.  While the fish is cooking, start prepping the vegetables for the sauce.  Slice the onion (I like to use red onions for this dish, but white onions work fine too),

Slice the peppers as well, I prefer to slice them as opposed to finely chopping them.  Presentation wise, I think it looks much better!

After about 5 minutes, flip the fish.  We are not looking to thoroughly cook the fish, this is just to get a nice sear on the fillets and develop some flavor for the base of the sauce.

Once all of the fillets have been flipped, let them cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove the fish from the skillet (put them on a nice wide plate) and set them aside

Lower the heat on the pan to a medium temperature, then add the chopped garlic.

Then add the onions to the pan,

Let the onions and garlic cook for a couple of minutes, if the pan seems dry, add a splash of water (about 2 tbsp) to help them cook faster.  After a couple of minutes, add the peppers and the left over marinade to the pan.

Let the vegetables cook for a couple of minutes, then add the tomato paste and stir.

Then add the coconut milk (make sure to shake the can well), you  may use fresh coconut milk if you find fresh coconuts and have the time to make it yourself. :)

Stir well, until everything is well incorporated, let it cook for about 5 minutes.

Chop the cilantro, then add it to the pan (leave the cilantro for last because it will turn black if you cook it for a really long time).

After adding the cilantro, stir well and add the fish to the sauce.

Once the fish is the sauce DO NOT stir so they don’t break, with a spoon, take the sauce and spoon it over the fish and cover them.  You may shake the pan as well.

Once the fish is covered with sauce, cover the pan and lower the heat to medium low and let the fish simmer in the sauce for about 15 minutes.  Then uncover, and do a taste test.  Add more salt if you feel it’s necessary.

Serve with a nice side of rice and pigeon peas (or whatever you prefer)! Yum!


Buen Provecho! ;)

18 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Marina Jimenez

     /  May 5, 2011

    OMG! This fish looks sooooo good!! Cant wait to try this recipe!! Congratulations on ur blog!! Its AWESOME!! :)

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  May 21, 2011

      Marina, I hope you try this recipe, it’s very tasty and so easy to make! Let me know how you make out. :)
      -Janet

      Reply
  2. Yulimar

     /  May 21, 2011

    I have never tried anything in coconut sauce but this looks delicious..:) I can’t wait to try it…ty

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  May 21, 2011

      Yulimar, I hope you like it, let me know how you make out! :)
      -Janet

      Reply
  3. This tastes exactly like how they make it in the DR! I was just looking for a recipe for the mero fillets that I bought, I’m so glad that I found your blog! I’m going to make your recipe for Moro also. Thanks!

    Reply
  4. Kelly

     /  November 18, 2011

    Can u use salmon with this recipe as well?? My husband is dominican and we have alot of salmon in our freezer :)

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  November 18, 2011

      Kelly,
      I never tried making it with salmon but I’m sure it will taste just fine in that sauce. If you make it with salmon, let me know how it goes! :)
      Janet

      Reply
  5. Natasha

     /  November 19, 2011

    Thank you so much for this blog! I am from the islands and have not been home since 2002, missing much of these wonderful dishes. I am so excited to try this dish. My husband loves coconut milk and he loves fish. I am hoping this will be a winner for Thanks giving. :)

    Reply
  6. Kelly

     /  November 21, 2011

    I wanted to let u know that the dish came out very good…my kids r so picky and don’t like fish…so I told them it was chicken just made a new way and they loved it!!! Lol

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  November 21, 2011

      Kelly,
      It’s good to know that it came out good with salmon! I will try it like that one day to try it out. :)
      Janet

      Reply
  7. Annie

     /  February 16, 2012

    I made this dish it was great :)

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  February 18, 2012

      Annie,
      I’m glad you liked it! It’s such an easier way to make it since the fish is boneless. :)
      Janet

      Reply
  8. Lucy

     /  April 10, 2012

    I’m going to try this my new boyfriend is from Samana, Dominican replublic and i want to supprice him wish me luck.

    Reply
  9. thalia

     /  October 24, 2012

    what time of fish is that?
    how much of goya coconut can do we need . just one?
    do you think i can add tostones instead of pegeon pees? so i can dip the tostones on the coco

    Reply
  10. Gladys Fuentes

     /  January 6, 2013

    Ofrescome te kedo mortal, i did this recipe hoy para el dia d reyes y kedo brutal, i use to make it pero un poco diferente pero el sabor con el coriander le da un toquesito mas sigue alante moii k eres una matatana en la cocina gracias.

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  March 28, 2013

      Gladys,
      Muchas gracias, me alegro que te gusto la receta! :)
      - Janet

      Reply
  11. jenai C

     /  March 27, 2013

    OMG! I am a college student and I love your recipes. I am puerto rican but my family is unfortunately very distant from my hispanic heritage but when I made this for my friends they all said “oh yeah I forgot that you were spanish”. Point is… these are the best dishes ever and everyone thinks that I am a chef because of you. Thanks

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  March 28, 2013

      Jenai,
      Thank you so much for the wonderful compliment! I am glad that you are getting good use out of the blog and are enjoying the recipes! :)
      -Janet

      Reply

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