Recipe: Coconut Crusted Fish

I like to do what makes sense. And in Nauru fish is the natural meal, considering beautiful, fresh fish can be found just two steps outside of most people’s doors. People love to eat it any which way – particularly on the grill, deep fried and pan fried. Today we’re doing a crispy coconut crusted rockfish – a fish native to the Pacific waters as a nod to our Nauruan friends. This fish is light, flaky and has a wonderful mild flavor, rather like cod.

After gentle panfrying, squeeze on fresh lime juice and welcome to happy town.

Ava can show you how it’s done.

She was…

… a fan!


6 fillets of Pacific Rockfish, or other fish of choice
salt & pepper

For the breading:

1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 egg

coconut oil, for pan frying (about 1/4 cup for an 1o inch pan)
1-2 limes, sliced


First, stir together soft mountains of breadcrumbs and snowy coconut.

Next, whisk together an egg. Look at this pretty shell. This egg comes from a pasture-raised egg… 

… and is has the most glorious orange yolk. Yay for happy chickens!

Now, you have a breading setup, including the fish, the breadcrumb mixture and the egg.

(P.S. Don’t forget to salt and pepper the fish.)

Dip both sides of the fish in the egg and then coat with a happy smattering of coconut bread crumbs. I like to spoon them over and give them a little pat to make sure they are pressed on there well.

Shake off any excess coating and fry the fillets over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side, depending on the size of the fillet. I only had room to cook two at a time so, as they were done, I kept them warm in a 200F oven until they were all ready.

Serve with plenty of fresh limes.

Just beautiful.

Welcome to a fresh summer afternoon in Nauru.

Coral reef on the beach in Nauru. Photo by D-Online

We’d eat this any day of the week.

Enjoy, my friends!

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  1. I know I would love this … unfortunately, my husband doesn’t care for coconut at all. I’ll have to try it with someone else I guess!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Yes, definitely give it a try with a fellow coconut lover – although you might make it and serve it to him without comment and see what he thinks. I love doing that to Keith. He’s constantly surprised by what he likes when he doesn’t have any preconceived notions. ;)

  2. That sounds wonderful, I love coconut and have never had fish done like this before. Really looking forward to giving it a try and suprising hubby with a new meal!

  3. Do you think this could be baked or does it need to be fried to get crispy?

    • Sasha Martin says:

      I haven’t personally done it, but I’d say go ahead and try – maybe spritz the fish down with a little oil mister if you have one to help it along in terms of color.

  4. I have just finished frying sole fish fillets, your way
    it was great The………. mistake I had always ( I learned by today )
    is to fry in between 200F-250F it toke more tome but
    I liked it very much Thank You

  5. kshenanigan says:

    I made this tonight using haddock, subbing almond meal for breadcrumbs. The combination of the toasted coconut with the almond was delicious! I will definitely be making this again, although I want to use a firmer white fish next time. Excellent recipe, thanks for posting!


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