Coconut Crusted Fish

Slofoodgroup Team December 08, 2021

Nauru's National Dish: Coconut Fish

Coconut fish is the national dish of Nauru, the third smallest country in the world. With a land of just 81. square miles, Nauru is abundant in fish, seafood, and coconuts. Most of the food ingredients are imported, except for fish and coconut, which have become national food symbols for Nauruan cuisine.

Coconut crusted fish is a widely popular dish, typically consisting of white fish fillets marinated in lime juice, salt, and pepper. In order to prepare it, the fillets are rolled in flour, eggs, and grated coconut before being fried until the coconut becomes crusted. Although the traditional recipe uses freshly grated coconut, we used store-bought coconut flakes, for convenience reasons.

Coconut fish is traditionally served warm with a couple of lime slices on the side.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 10‘

Cooking Time: 10’

Additional Time: 5’ 

Coconut Fish Marinated in Lime Juice, Breaded, and Fried

  • 2 pounds/900 grams white fish fillets such as cod or tilapia 
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 1 small coconut grated or 2 cups coconut flakes
  • Flake sea salt
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  1. Add the limes juice, salt, and pepper to a shallow bowl and mix well; add the fish fillets to the marinade and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. In the meanwhile, prepare a shallow bowl with flour and another one with grated coconut or coconut flakes; set aside.
  3. To a third shallow bowl, whisk the eggs; set aside.
  4. Preheat a frying pan over medium heat with enough canola or vegetable oil.
  5. Remove a fillet from the marinade and dip it into the flour, making sure it is coated on all sides.
  6. Dip the fillet into the eggs, then into the coconut flakes, making sure to press lightly so the coconut adheres to the fish.
  7. Fry over medium heat until both sides are golden brown.
  8. Remove from the pan to a paper towel to absorb any excess fat.
  9. Sprinkle flake sea salt on top and serve warm next to lime wedges.



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