Danielle Alvarez's pescado encocado (Cuban-style fish with coconut)

Danielle Alvarez's Cuban-style fish with coconut.
Danielle Alvarez's Cuban-style fish with coconut. Photo: William Meppem

This is one of my family recipes, and I'm so excited to share it with you. The citrus-marinated fish is cooked in a gorgeous coconut sauce that has a traditional Caribbean-style soffrito base, with some crispy plantain fritters on the side. Make sure you make lots of tostones – everyone will want them.

INGREDIENTS

  • 800g boneless, skinless meaty white fish, cut into large pieces (blue eye trevalla or hapuka works well)
  • 1½ tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • handful of chopped coriander
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green capsicum, diced
  • 1 red capsicum, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger (I used a Microplane)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 400g can coconut milk
  • fish sauce to season, optional

To serve

  • steamed white rice
  • green plantains and olive oil to make tostones (recipe below)

METHOD

  1. Season the fish with salt. Marinate the fish in the lime and orange juice and chopped coriander. Allow that to sit while you prepare and cook the sauce.
  2. In a medium-large sautee pan set over medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic, ginger, onion, tomato and capsicums with a pinch of salt and saute for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Next, add the tomato paste, spices and chilli flakes. Cook for a further 3-5 minutes until this mixture is really concentrated. Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
  3. When simmering, add the fish, including all the citrus juices and coriander from the marinade, and simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Taste the sauce and add a little splash of fish sauce if it needs a little more salt.
  4. Serve with steamed white rice and tostones (twice-fried smashed plantains, recipe below).

Serves 4

To make the tostones

  1. Trim the top and bottom from the plantains, then run a paring knife down the length of the fruit to remove the skin. Cut each plaintain into thirds.
  2. Gently fry in olive oil at a low temperature for 6-7 minutes, then place on a wire rack set over a tray to drain until they are cool enough to handle.
  3. Place a piece of baking paper on a chopping board, stand a piece of plantain in the centre, then place another piece of baking paper on top. Use a small pan or a small round flat-bottomed dish to flatten the plantain. Return to the wire rack and repeat with remaining plantain pieces.
  4. Increase the heat of the oil and fry the fritters until crispy. Drain on the same wire rack and season with salt.

This recipe is from episode five of Good Food's new TV show, Good Food Kitchen, screening on Channel 9 at 1pm on Saturday, November 6, or catch up on 9Now.