Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Macadamia & Coconut Crusted Tilapia with ‘Mexican Pesto’

This, my friends, was a WINNER.  I was unsure as to how it would turn out since it was really just a concept in my head that I had never actually made.  I had some Macadamia nuts in the pantry and some shredded coconut in th freezer and I thought, “hey I bet I can just grind it all up in the food processor and make a coating for some fish…”  I crossed my fingers and went for it! And you know what? It totally worked! LOVE when that happens! Trust me, I’ve had PLENTY of ideas in my head that have been total FLOPS when I actually go to make them!

Back to my new favorite fish: Initially, I wanted to make some sort of fruit salsa to top it off (which would be good), but I wasn’t in the mood for all that sweetness.  Instead I went with a little heat (shocker!). We had some sweet (coconut), some salty (macadamia nuts), and now the HEAT!!

I basically made up the finishing sauce as I went: A little cilantro, some jalapeno, lime, salt, and a little olive oil: BAM – a tangy and spicy finishing sauce! Simple and delicious! Mike was super impressed, he dubbed this new sauce, ‘Mexican Pesto’ (it really did look just like pesto!).

Side note: this dinner came together super fast! (about 30-40 minutes start to finish- including the side dishes!!) If you need a new thing to spice up your weeknight meal routine – this is the dish! Try it out!

I served mine with Congri (Rice and Beans that are cooked together), and baked Sweet Plantains (found in the ethnic freezer section). Perfect combo.

Print Print Save Save

Macadamia & Coconut Crusted Tilapia with Mexican 'Pesto'


For the Fish:
1/2 Cup Flour - Seasoned with Seasoning Salt & Pepper
1 Cup Macadamia Nuts
2/3 Cups Shredded Coconut
2 Eggs
1 lb white fish

For the 'Mexican Pesto':
3-4 tsp Lime
1 1/2 Cups Cilantro (a few good fist fulls!)
1 Jalapeno (I remove half of the seeds)
Pinch of salt
Light olive oil (about 1/4 - 1/2 cup)


For the Fish:
You will need 3 shallow baking dishes/pie plates. In one plate (or shallow baking dish), add the flour and mix in a little seasoning salt and pepper (just a few shakes of each). Next, in a food processor, chop the Macadamia nuts into a pretty fine powder. Add the coconut a pulse until just combined. Place this mixture into another pie plate/baking dish. In the last baking dish. Beat 2 eggs.

Preheat oven to 350. Take the fish and dredge each piece in the flour mixture (shake off any excess), dip into the egg wash and coat well (again, shake off any excess), and lastly dip into the macadamia/coconut mixture and coat well. Set aside and coat remaining pieces of fish.

Heat 1-2 TBS canola oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Make sure the skillet is good and pre-heated. Place fish gently into pan and brown on both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side). Place skillet into oven to finish cooking (about 5-10 minutes). It is done as soon as the fish turns opaque (white & not see-through anymore). Be careful not to overcook and dry it out!.

For the 'Mexican Pesto':
While the fish is finishing in the oven, place the lime, cilantro, salt and jalapeno into a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the olive oil until it comes together and becomes a thin pesto-like consistency.

Warning: Remove all of the seeds from the Jalapeno if you don't like too much heat - it's pretty spicy with only half of them removed!

  Pin It

6 Responses to “Macadamia & Coconut Crusted Tilapia with ‘Mexican Pesto’”

  1. 1

    Peggy — March 17, 2011 @ 5:56 am

    This sounds like a flavor explosion! Love all of the things that are happening on this plate! I really must try that ‘Mexican Pesto’ – it sounds amazing!

    • Kristina replied: — March 21st, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

      If you like spice – you will LOVE the Mexican Pesto – such a quick and easy thing too! 🙂

  2. 2

    Alicia @ Aligirl Cooks — March 17, 2011 @ 7:58 am

    This looks great. I’ll only eat fish that is breaded in something so I can’t wait to try this!

  3. 3

    Court — September 16, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

    Making this for dinner tonight 🙂 Can’t wait!

  4. 4

    Macadamia-Coconut Tilapia with Cilantro Pesto | windykitchen — April 29, 2013 @ 7:42 am

    […] MACADAMIA-COCONUT TILAPIA WITH CILANTRO PESTO (recipe from My Life as a Mrs) […]

  5. 5

    g — September 9, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

    I think someone ‘borrowed’ your recipe word-for-word.

Leave a Comment