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Seafood Stew

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This is my signature dish. Beloved by all the family members, it is frequently selected as the dish of preference for birthdays. It has been served at parties, large and small, formal and informal, to guests from near and far. My dear friend Erika (In Erika’s Kitchen) adopted a version of it into her regular dinner rotation, and I couldn’t be more proud. It meets all of my food requirements. It is flavorful, easy to prepare, can stand alone for dinner if I don’t have energy for side dishes, looks fabulous, and it’s good for you. If you need more than that, you’re asking too much. Do you have a go-to recipe that you use for both parties and weekday dinners? If you do, I’d love to hear about it and try it. Leave me a note about it in the comments – and give this go-to recipe a shot.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 pounds fish cut into one-inch cubes (I use a mix of salmon and halibut, or swordfish – any steaky fish will do)
  • 1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion (one large, one small)
  • 1 orange and 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 can whole unsweetened full-fat coconut milk.
  • 1 cup low fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cooked white or brown rice


  1. Whisk 2 tablespoons of oil and lime juice in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the fish and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat. Let stand 15 minutes. If you leave it any longer than 15 minutes, the lime juice will start to “cook” the fish. You don’t want this to happen, at least not for this particular dish.
  2. Warm the two remaining tbsp. Oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, bell peppers, garlic, crushed red pepper; sauté for seven minutes—mix in tomatoes, coconut milk, half of the cilantro, and half the green onions. The recipe can be done ahead to this point. I often complete these steps just before my guests arrive. The stew can safely sit on the stovetop for an hour or so. Ten minutes before serving, add the fish and lime juice marinade. Simmer until the fish is just opaque in the center, about ten minutes. Don’t stir very vigorously. The fish will break into little tiny unappetizing bits if you go at it too aggressively. Channel your gentle inner child once the fish is cooked through the season with salt and pepper (it takes at least 1 teaspoon salt).
  3. Serve over rice. Make sure you serve the broth. It’s delicious and is an essential part of the dish. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions. You’ll want to set the table with soup spoons as well as forks and knives so that your guests can eat every last drop of the broth.
  4. A great side dish with this meal is mache (also known as lamb’s lettuce) with the Simple Salad Dressing I posted in December.

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