Marinated Fish in Coconut Cream

  • ½ cup lemon juice (3-5 lemons approx)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 500g (1/2 lb) firm white fish (see note below for good types of fish)
  • approx 100ml (1/2 cup) coconut cream
  • slice of red onion, chopped up finely
  • about ¼ telegraph cucumber, chopped up small
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • mesclun or other lettucy type greens

Start preparation 24 hours before you want to serve. Mix the lemon juice and the salt together in a medium sized bowl. Cut the fish into chunks that are roughly 2 cm (just under 1”) a side, and mix together well. Press the fish down, so that the juice covers it. If the lemon juice doesn’t cover the fish, add a little extra. Marinate in the fridge for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.

Drain the fish well, put into a clean bowl and stir in the coconut cream. I don’t measure it; I just slosh in enough so that the fish has a nice coating. Chop up the salad veges and stir them in. (The amounts given are approximate and will depend on your taste and how you are going to serve it. If you are serving it as a main meal, you’ll want to add more vegetables than if it’s an entrée. You can vary the vegetables as well, eg by using spring onions or capsicum.)


  • As an entree (serves 4-5): Line each serving bowl with lettuce and top with the fish mixture.
  • As a main course (serves 2-3), line a large serving bowl with greens. Top with baked kumara, yams or sweet potato. Finish with spoonfuls of the fish.
  • As kebabs. Leave the fish to sit in the coconut cream for an hour or two. Then thread onto skewers, alternating pieces of fish with your choice of raw salad vegetables – e.g. cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, capsicum, radish or baby turnips. Cold, cooked roast vegetables such as pumpkin or sweet potatoes could also be interesting.

What fish should I use?

Good fish to use:

  • terakihi
  • kawahai (with the brown meat cut off)
  • cod
  • mullet
  • halibut
  • skipjack
  • albacore tuna

Fish to avoid:

  • Gurnard, bluefin or yellowfin tuna
  • If in doubt, ask the fish seller for a recommendation