Caribbean Coconut Fish Bowls

Maybe it was the Marley documentary, or the new Jamaican restaurant in town, or a few rainy days, but something has me dreaming of the Caribbean lately.caribbeanThat turquoise water and warm sand might not be on my horizon right now, but I’m channeling the Caribbean in my kitchen.  I’ve made black beans spiked with Pickapeppa, caramelized plantains, and some crispy coconut snapper.  Once I’m on a kick like this, I end up with so many dishes that go well together.  caribbeanslawThat’s really what these Caribbean bowls are all about.  All my favorites get piled on top of rice.  I top it with a quick spicy citrus slaw for color and crunch, plus a few slices of avocado. caribbeanDon’t be overwhelmed by all the ingredients.  Most of these things can be made ahead, and  none of them are time-consuming.  The coconut-crusted fish is the only thing that has to be made right before serving, and that only takes a few minutes to pan-fry in coconut oil. coconutfishI love sitting down to a big bowl of healthy, vibrant food with so many different flavors.  It brings good vibes to a dreary day.  caribbeanbowlsStir it up, little darlin’.  

Caribbean Coconut Fish Bowls
  1. 2 cups cooked rice (or quinoa)
For the Black Beans
  1. 1 1/3 cup cooked black beans*
  2. 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  3. 1 vidalia onion, diced
  4. 1 bell pepper, diced
  5. 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  6. a few bay leaves
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  8. 1/2 to 1 cup broth or water, as needed
  9. 1 tablespoon Pickapeppa sauce**
  10. 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  11. salt, to taste
For the Plantains
  1. 1 plantain
  2. 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  3. pinch of salt
For the Spicy Citrus Slaw
  1. 6 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  2. 2/3 cup cilantro leaves
  3. 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  4. 1 tablespoon sweet citrus (orange, grapefruit, tangerine)
  5. 1 tablespoon sour citrus (calamondin, lemon, lime)
  6. 1 jalapeno, diced (seeds removed if you want less heat)
  7. 1 clove garlic, minced
  8. pinch of salt
  9. 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Fish
  1. 1 pound snapper, grouper, or other white fish
  2. 2/3 cup flour
  3. 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  4. 1 egg
  5. 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  6. 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  7. 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  8. calamondin halves or lime wedges, for serving
To Make the Black Beans
  1. Heat the coconut oil over medium. Saute the onion until it begins to soften. Stir in the bell pepper. Once the peppers begin to soften, add the garlic, bay leaves, and cumin and stir for a minute. Stir in the beans and simmer over medium low to low for about 20 minutes (add water or broth if more liquid is needed). Once they start to thicken, add the Pickapeppa, sherry vinegar, and salt to taste.
To Make the Plantains
  1. Heat the oven to 375.
  2. Peel and slice the plantains on the diagonal about 3/4" thick. Toss them with the coconut oil on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Take them out and stir them around, add a pinch of salt, then bake for an additional 15 minutes or so, or until they're deeply brown and caramelized.
To Make the Spicy Citrus Slaw
  1. In a large bowl, mix the cabbage, cilantro, and green onions. In a small bowl, whisk together the citrus juices, garlic, jalapeño, and salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Pour over the cabbage and toss to combine.
To Make the Fish
  1. Pat the fish dry and slice it in 1 1/2" pieces.
  2. Arrange 3 shallow dishes: 1. flour with seasoned salt 2. 1 egg, beaten 3. shredded coconut.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a cast-iron skillet a little under medium. Dip each piece of fish in flour, then egg, then dredge through the coconut. Fry them over medium, lowering the heat if the coconut starts to burn. Flip them after a minute or so, then continue cooking until a fork or skewer slips through easily. Transfer to a plate lined with parchment or paper towels.
Assemble the bowls
  1. Start with 1/2 cup of rice in each bowl. Top with 1/3 cup black beans, a couple plantain slices, a couple pieces of fish, lots of spicy citrus slaw, and a few slices of avocado. Serve with calamondin or lime to squeeze over the top.
  1. *Soak dry beans overnight and cook, simmer them in a crockpot, or skip right to canned beans.
  2. **You can find Pickapeppa sauce at most grocery stores near the hot sauces, or substitute Worcestershire sauce.
Suwannee Rose
Caribbean Coconut Fish Bowls: Tropical flavors and vibrant hues for dinner on your favorite island.

6 Comments Caribbean Coconut Fish Bowls

  1. Coley February 18, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Woah. This is exactly what I want in my belly right now… at 10:30am! I love the flavors of the caribbean too, but don’t find myself cooking them very often. Lack of inspiration, I suppose? Never heard of pickapeppa sauce, but now I’m super intrigued. I also want to watch the Marley doc! A caribbean themed weekend is in order.

    1. suwanneerose February 18, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Ha! I would eat this for breakfast for sure. Pickapeppa is similar to Worcestershire but thicker and spicier, kinda like A1. They came out with a spicier mango one that I loooove.

  2. Nicole February 18, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Come on, Danielle. How could you make something look and sound So delicious?!? I especially love that spicy slaw recipe. I’m definitely trying this one with some of the snapper hiding in my freezer 🙂 A nice way to use up some of my precious calamondins, too. P.S. this post makes me want to go to the Caribbean!

    1. suwanneerose February 18, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      That’s exactly where this snapper was hiding, Nicole! I can’t wait for it to warm up so we can catch more. Soon enough…

  3. Kathy Little Brinson January 21, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Love the name Suwanee Rose!! You’ve inspired me to chang mine! Well i tried your recipe and it was a HIT! I’m vegan so i ate it minus the snapper but i did put lots of toasted coconut on mine!! I stumbled onto your page by accident while looking for something that would help me use the Ton of Starfruit (Carambola) falling from my tree! Sadly a lot gets wasted on the ground-it goes into my compost. The majority of it i donate to a homeless center, food banks and a place that serves meals to the hungry & homeless. So i was Delighted you mentioned Dehydrating!’ I am also going to try your Paloma and the cinammon starfruit toast. Please, MORE RECIPES for those of us who tree garden- i’d love more ideas for ways to use and SAVE my papayas, mangoes, avocadoes and bananas! Pls keep in mind that i am vegan!This Florida gal thanks you! BTW, can we grow persimmons in S. FL? I would love to hear what friit trees you have planted & are using. Many Thanks!!

    1. suwanneerose January 22, 2019 at 9:51 am

      Hey Kathy, Glad you stumbled upon Suwannee Rose! Toasted coconut topper sounds lovely. I’m always working on more recipes for all our favorite backyard fruits. I’ve got vegan family members, so you will definitely find lots of vegan options throughout the site, and more to come! And yes, we can grow persimmons in Florida. I’ve got something special coming up very soon from the persimmon family. It’s not vegan as I’ve written it, but I bet you can swap in a flax egg and it will be good to go. I’ll have a garden update in this month’s “in bloom” post, and maybe a virtual garden tour soon. Thank you for being here!

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