skip to Main Content

Coconut Fish Chowder with Lime and Cilantro

One of my students recently asked me what I like to make for dinner. I didn’t know what to say, as it is always changing with the availability of fresh food and my own desires and whims. This however, was the recipe I did share with her – it has been a favorite this summer during corn season. It has a lovely balance of flavors, being sweet, creamy, spicy, sour and the cilantro gives it a rich freshness!

I first made this soup at Partner Earth Education Center, it was the meal served following a day long fasting vision quest. It rained during the later part of the day and the participants returned cold, wet and very hungry. One woman said, “it felt both earthy and heavenly as it spiraled into [her] body and soul!” Satisfying and nourishing following a day of hard work!

1 lb. white fish (I usually use wild caught cod)
2 cups sweet corn cut off the cob (fresh or frozen and defrosted)
1 large white onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (remove the seeds if you do not want it to be too spicy!)
12 oz. coconut milk
1/2 of a lime, juiced
1/2 cup of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (plus some for garnish)
salt & pepper

Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add jalapeno and a bit of salt and pepper and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the corn and enough water to comfortably cover all ingredients. Try not to add too much water, the corn may float on top which can make it easy to add too much water! Let this come to a easy boil and simmer until the corn is half way cooked, about 5 minutes. At this point add the cod filet. You do not need to cut the fish at all, it will flake apart into perfectly bite-sized pieces as it cooks. The fish will begin to cook immediately in the hot water, stir often as the soup returns to a low simmer. As you stir the fish filet will begin to break down, indicating that it is cooking through. As the fish cooks the color will change from translucent and clear to white and opaque. This may take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes depending on the size of your fish filet. When the fish is just cooked through, add the coconut milk, lime juice and cilantro. Stir continually until the flavors are blended and the coconut milk has heated up. Taste for salt and serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro.

Note: Jalapenos are a hot pepper. The seeds are the hottest part, so if you remove them the pepper will be more flavorful than spicy. If you are particularly sensitive to spicy foods, remove the seeds and start by using 1/2 of a jalapeno, or leave it out entirely. Wash your hands well after handling the pepper as the juices may cause irritation. Do not touch your eyes or other mucus membranes after cutting hot peppers, it will burn!

Back To Top