Homemade doesn't have to mean hard work! Coconut Curry Fish is a quick and tasty take on a classic Sri Lankan dish using supermarket basics.

Easy Coconut Curry Fish

By | Chicken, Easy Dinners, Main Dish, One Dish Meals, Seafood | No Comments

Homemade doesn’t have to mean hard work! Coconut Curry Fish is a quick and tasty take on a classic Sri Lankan dish using supermarket basics.

I love this recipe!
It is one of those crave-inducing recipes that is super easy to whip together. Ideal on all fronts. It’s almost so simple I want to keep it a secret; so people think I slaved away on a flavorful, sweet and savory curry all day. You guys! This takes less than half an hour to make!

Easy Coconut Curry Fish

Here’s your coconut curry fish grocery list: a red onion, garlic, grape tomatoes, fish and coconut milk. That is, if you don’t already have those things. The other ingredients are from your spice rack! Pretty sure you’ll already have these spices from other recipes – fennel seeds, turmeric, basil and cayenne. I don’t even count olive oil and salt. You have those.

You saute the onion with the fennel seeds to start off. I do this to coax the flavor out of the fennel seeds. The oils in the seeds heat along with the olive oil and seep into the dish. Then the seeds themselves aren’t crazy potent when you bite into one with everything else.

I add the garlic a few minutes later with the tomatoes and spices, because I don’t want it to cook too long and burn. The spices get their moment to heat up and release their flavor, and meld together.

Easy Coconut Curry Fish

The fish cooks very quickly. I like any kind of white fish here. That can mean tilapia, cod, flounder or even a trout or snapper. Find the kind of fish you like and just cook it until it’s opaque. Thicker fish will take just a few minutes longer to cook through.

I added the coconut milk at the end to just heat up and mix with the spice flavors. It retains it’s sweetness and acts as the perfect sauce to eat with the fish and some rice.

•TIP:  I also make this with chicken or shrimp. I cut the chicken into thin cutlets so it cooks in about the same time as tender fish. Let me know how you like this easy dinner!

Easy Coconut Curry Fish

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 Servings

Calories per serving: 255

Fat per serving: 16.5

Easy Coconut Curry Fish

Coconut milk adds delicious flavor to this Sri Lankan-inspired dish.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (8 oz) grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¾ tsp dried basil
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 (1 lb) frozen fish fillets (tilapia, flounder or cod)
  • 1 cup coconut milk


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fennel seeds and onion and cook 3 min. Add garlic, tomatoes, turmeric, basil, cayenne, salt and ½ cup water and bring to a simmer; cook for 6 to 7 min or until liquid is reduced by half.
  2. Put fish into sauce and reduce heat to medium low, then cook for about 3 min until one side of fish turns opaque. Turn fish over. Add coconut milk, stir sauce gently and bring to a simmer; fish is done when it's opaque. Serve fish with sauce.
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Recipe Tara Bench
Originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal May 2011
Photography Antonis Achilleos
Food Styling Paul Grimes
Prop Styling Paige Hicks

Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup + Lowfat Soup Secrets

By | Easy Dinners, Healthy + Diet, Kid Friendly Dinners, Main Dish, One Dish Meals, Seafood, Soups + Stews + Chili, Tips And Techniques, Uncategorized | No Comments

I love Thai food and flavors. When I was traveling in Thailand, the broths and soups were so delicious I just wanted to drink them, forget the spoon!

With all the many great jarred curry pastes available (typically in the Asian section of your grocery store) these glorious Thai soups are a cinch. This Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup recipe has got to be the easiest one you’ll ever make. It tastes like that warming bowl of coconut and curry broth from your favorite Thai restaurant. It’s also low-fat, low-calorie, and high in protein. A great dinner for DETOX month, after the holidays.
Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup
I was a picky kid, and often had to eat around things I didn’t like. I’m still not a fan of certain foods and my heart goes out for kids all over who may be sitting in front of a bowl of shrimp soup, and can’t stomach shrimp! My mom might disagree, after all she is “not a short-order cook” as she liked to remind me; but I am fine if every once in a while you throw your kid a bone and adjust a recipe so they can enjoy it! LOL! I offered a kid-ifying option for my Chicken Tomato Bisque as well.

I swap the shrimp for chicken or tofu for a change (and to kid-ify this recipe if you need to). Both options cook in just a few minutes and keep this soup prep to under 30 minutes.

If you’re on a soup kick but want to keep the calories in check, take into consideration some of these low-fat soup secrets!

•For creamy soups, replace heavy cream with whole or evaporated milk.
•Try using smashed white beans or mashed potatoes instead of butter and flour as thickeners.
•Choose lean cuts of meat; try turkey bacon or chicken sausage.
•If you need more moisture when you’re cooking vegetables, add fat-free broth in place of butter or oil.
•Use canned low-sodium broth instead of water to add flavor to soup that doesn’t have a lot of time to simmer and cook.

Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 5 cups

Calories per serving: 160

Fat per serving: 6.5 g

Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup

Never tried Thai cooking? This mildly spicy dish will turn you into a huge fan.


  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14-oz can unsweetened light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (nahum plah)
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup (4 oz) green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro for garnish


  1. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, combine chicken broth, coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, ginger, garlic and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Add green beans and cook 2 min. Add shrimp and cook until pink, 5 min. Top soup with scallions and serve with lime.


If you'd like you can swap the shrimp for thinly sliced chicken breast or even diced tofu. To make it completely pescatarian (not vegetarian because of the fish sauce) use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.

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Recipe by Tara Bench
Originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal Feb 2009
Photography: Sang An
Prop Stylist: Tiziana Agnello
Food Stylist: Jee Levin

Moroccan Shrimp With Pomegranate Sauce

By | Appetizers + Nibbles, Buffets, Easy Dinners, Entertaining, Seafood | No Comments

Spiced shrimp and gloriously rich red pomegranate sauce make even the most regular of parties glam! I’m getting ready for a Golden Globes viewing party this weekend and decided I wanted even the food to be celeb-worthy. I’ve decided on a mix of apps, snacks and treats. Stay tuned the next few days for the full menu.

Shrimp as appetizers is kind of the perfect food. It’s usually one to two bites, you can flavor it a million different ways, and it can be served hot or not. With Moroccan spices it pairs well with a lemony, caramely pomegranate sauce.

Moroccan Shrimp With Pomegranate Sauce

Pomegranate molasses is a hidden treasure. In it’s simplest form it is just reduced pomegranate juice. You can purchase it at Middle Eastern markets, but it’s often hard to find, so I like to make my own.

I use it for steak and poultry sauces, vinaigrette, drizzling on roasted vegetables and swizzling into mixed drinks. It adds a bright, tangy and rich sweet flavor. When I make my own I don’t bother juicing my own pomegranates, that’s just messy! I use pomegranate juice from the grocery! I also add a little sugar and lemon to balance the flavors and help my molasses last longer in the fridge.

Moroccan Shrimp With Pomegranate SauceIt ends up being the most extraordinary dipping sauce for my Moroccan shrimp. This is such a classy dish and great for apps while entertaining, but with salad and some crusty bread, makes a great weeknight meal as well. I piled my little apps of shrimp on top of arugula for my party platter, but that’s just a pretty option.

Moroccan Shrimp With Pomegranate Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: Makes 10 servings or 4 servings for main course.

Calories per serving: 45

Fat per serving: 1 g

Moroccan Shrimp With Pomegranate Sauce

This delicately spiced seafood dish works well as a main course or a glam starter.


  • 1 qt pomegranate juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups (4 oz) baby arugula


  1. In a pot over high heat, stir together pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice until sugar dissolves. Boil until liquid thickens and is reduced to 1 cup, about 45 min.
  2. Meanwhile, toss shrimp with cumin, coriander, cinnamon, salt and olive oil and stir to coat.
  3. In a bowl, toss arugula with extra lemon juice and olive oil if desired. Place on a platter.
  4. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook 2 min per side until pink and opaque; place on top of arugula. Pour sauce in a small dish for dipping.
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Recipe Tara Bench & Vanessa Seder
Originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal Apr 2009

Photography Miki Dusterhof
Food Styling Jee Levin
Prop Styling Pamela Duncan Silver