Food Review

Coconut Spice-Coated Fish with Cilantro-Yogurt Aioli


As many fish lovers know, some of the best dishes are very simple. This dish is just that: it takes very little time yet is filled with flavor. Many varieties of flat white fish can be used. You might even try it on flattened chicken breasts. The cilantro-aioli is a contemporary, less fattening version of the beloved sauce.

See other related recipes in Turmeric—A Golden Opportunity 

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes

Shelf life: fish 1 day; aioli: at least 1 week under refrigeration



2 ounces cilantro

½ ounce garlic cloves

4 ounces plain Greek yogurt, preferably not nonfat

2 ounces coconut oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

⅛ to ¼ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon salt


4 ounces finely shredded unsweetened coconut

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground mustard

⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

Pinch cayenne

4 (5- to 6-ounce) flounder, or other flat white fish fillets, blotted dry

1 large egg

Coconut oil


  1. Make the aioli: In a food processor or electric blender, combine the cilantro, garlic, and yogurt and purée until smooth. Add the coconut oil, mustard, and salt and blend. Scrape into a squeeze container and set aside until needed.
  2. For the fish: In a flat dish, stir together the coconut, paprika, cumin, turmeric, salt, mustard, pepper, and cayenne until well blended. 
  3. Beat the egg in a flat dish. Dip each fillet into the egg, letting the excess fall back into the dish. Transfer to the coconut-spice mixture and coat well.  
  4. Melt the coconut oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until hot and rippling. Add the fish fillets and cook until golden brown, turn and cook the second side until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove, drizzle on the aioli, and serve. Alternatively, spoon the aioli alongside the fillets.

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