Coconut-Turmeric Tilapia on a bed of shredded carrots and coconut rice topped with shredded coconut with a stainless steel fork on a round white plate with a white and brown towel behind all on a wooden surface (with logo overlay)

Coconut-Turmeric Tilapia and Rice

Coconut-Turmeric Tilapia is an allergy-friendly meal packed with flavor that can be made with one pan in only 20 minutes.

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Eating healthy isn’t always easy, but we try our best. I also try to make simple meals that don’t create a lot of dirty dishes because no one likes to wash a bunch of dishes after dinner.

When I was younger, I hated coconut. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to really enjoy coconut! It’s so fresh and always makes me think of sitting on the beach. Which is also perfect when we have cooler weather because it just makes me feel warm.

Another thing we’ve been working in our diet is a few more spices and seasonings with health benefits. The newest one is turmeric. Before making this, I’d only used it for some natural egg dye for Easter eggs.

But pair the sweet coconut with the slightly bitter flavor of turmeric and it’s a winning combination.

Step by Step

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 fillets tilapia
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes

Preparation

Mix the turmeric, pepper, and 1/2 tsp of salt in a small mixing bowl.

Turmeric and seasonings in a small stainless steel bowl on a wooden surface

Place the olive oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the tilapia and sprinkle with half of the turmeric mixture. Cook for about 3-5 minutes then gently flip the tilapia. Sprinkle with the remaining turmeric mixture and cook another 3-5 minutes, until the tilapia is cooked through.

Two tilapia fillets seasoned in a skillet on a wooden surface

Remove the fish from the pan and cover to keep warm. Add the rice, coconut milk, sugar, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt to the pan and bring to a simmer.

Rice with coconut milk and other liquids in a skillet on a wooden surface

Cook, stirring often, for about 3-4 minutes until it’s heated through and combined. The rice will start to absorb some of the liquid so it will thicken up as it cooks. Stir in 1/2 of the cilantro and lime juice.

Coconut rice in a skillet on a wooden surface

Divide the rice among serving plates. Top evenly with the carrots and fish. Sprinkle with coconut flakes or shredded coconut and remaining cilantro.

Coconut-Turmeric Tilapia on a bed of shredded carrots and coconut rice topped with shredded coconut with a stainless steel fork on a round white plate with a white and brown towel behind all on a wooden surface (vertical)

Leftovers

If you have leftover coconut-turmeric tilapia, store that in a separate container from the rice. Otherwise, the liquid in the rice mixture will absorb into the tilapia and it will lose its crisp edge. Reheat in an oven or skillet until the fish is warm through. Heat the rice in a saucepan until warmed as well. If it gets thick, add a bit of coconut milk or water to the pan while it heats.

Recipe

Originally Published On: April 19, 2021

Coconut-Turmeric Tilapia on a bed of shredded carrots and coconut rice topped with shredded coconut with a stainless steel fork on a round white plate with a white and brown towel behind all on a wooden surface

Coconut-Turmeric Tilapia and Rice

Coconut-Turmeric Tilapia is an allergy-friendly meal packed with flavor that can be made with one pan in only 20 minutes.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course:
Main Dish
Cuisine:
American
Keyword:
coconut
|
one pan
|
rice
|
tilapia
|
turmeric
Dietary Needs:
Dairy-Free
|
Egg-Free
|
Gluten-Free
|
Nut-Free
Meat:
Seafood
Cooking Method:
One-Pan Meals
Servings: 4
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice (cooked)
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 fillets tilapia
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 cup carrots (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes (or shredded coconut)

Instructions

  • Mix the turmeric, pepper, and 1/2 tsp of salt in a small mixing bowl
  • Place the olive oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat
  • Add the tilapia and sprinkle with half of the turmeric mixture
  • Cook for about 3-5 minutes then gently flip the tilapia
  • Sprinkle with the remaining turmeric mixture and cook another 3-5 minutes, until the tilapia is cooked through
  • Remove the fish from the pan and cover to keep warm
  • Add the rice, coconut milk, sugar, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt to the pan and bring to a simmer
  • Cook, stirring often, for about 3-4 minutes until it’s heated through and combined
  • Stir in 1/2 of the cilantro and lime juice
  • Divide the rice among serving plates
  • Top evenly with the carrots and fish
  • Sprinkle with coconut flakes and remaining cilantro
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Nutrition Facts
Coconut-Turmeric Tilapia and Rice
Amount Per Serving (1 each)
Calories 740 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 16g80%
Cholesterol 85mg28%
Sodium 707mg29%
Potassium 1082mg31%
Carbohydrates 81g27%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 43g86%
Vitamin A 5482IU110%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 77mg8%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Coconut-Turmeric Tilapia FAQs

What does Turmeric taste like?

Turmeric has a slightly bitter taste. It’s in the ginger family, and has a similar flavor to ground ginger root. It has a very “earthy” taste to it.

Is turmeric the same as ginger? Cumin? Saffron? Curry?

Turmeric is in the same plant family as ginger, but it is still a different plant. Cumin and saffron also come from different plants and have different flavors. Turmeric is an ingredient in most curry and is what gives it the yellow color. But there is more to curry than just the turmeric.

What are the health benefits of turmeric?

There are many health benefits to turmeric, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. You can see more HERE.

Where can you buy turmeric?

Most grocery stores will carry it near the other dried spices and herbs.

What’s the difference between shredded and flaked coconut?

They are both parts of the coconut, the difference is in the size and shape. Either will work for this recipe.

What are the health benefits of coconut?

Coconut is a nutrient-rich food and also has anti-inflammatory properties. See more HERE.

I’m allergic to tree nuts, can I have coconut?

Yes! While the name would lead you to think it’s a type of nut, a coconut is actually a fruit. Having a tree nut allergy does not mean you can’t have coconut.

Where can I find coconut flakes or shredded coconut?

You’ll find it usually in the baking aisle. I typically find it near the chocolate chips and other similar baking goods. Coconut milk is usually on the same aisle, with other canned milks such as evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk.

Is coconut milk dairy-free?

Yes it is! Coconut milk does not contain any dairy or lactose so is safe for those with an allergy or intolerance. Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-coconut-milk-dairy#bottom-line

10 thoughts on “Coconut-Turmeric Tilapia and Rice”

  1. I LOVE coconut anything. My grandma would pair fish and coconut all the time. Delicious! Can’t wait to try this.

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