Tropical Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa and Coconut Rice – Easy & Special!

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This is one of those dinners that tastes special, like you’ve gone to extra trouble.

Good news!  This dish is quick to fix.  I had it finished in about 30 minutes and that included time to line up ingredients, take photos and jot down my recipe.  Not bad.

I did start with another recipe as inspiration.  I wasn’t sure what should go into the Pineapple Salsa, so I searched Tasty Kitchen and came up with a recipe for Tropical Chicken and Coconut Rice Bowl.  It’s from Katie at The College Culinarian.

I wanted fish instead of chicken, so I turned the marinade into a sauce for the tilapia.  And I tweaked her salsa recipe a bit too.  The result was delicious!

Here’s what you’ll need: 

Tropical Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa and Coconut Rice – Easy & Special!

Serves: 6-8 servings

For the coconut rice
  • 1 can Coconut milk
  • Water to bring liquid to 3 cups
  • 2 cups White rice
For the salsa
  • 8 oz. Pineapple tidbits, lightly drained
  • 1 Tbs. Red onion, minced
  • ⅓ – ½ cup Red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ jalepeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 tsp. Cilantro, minced
  • Salt, to taste
For the fish
  • 6-8 Tilapia fillets
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Tbs. Brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. Soy sauce
  • 3 Tbs. Lime juice
  • pinch dried Ginger
For the coconut rice
  1. Pour the coconut milk in a measuring cup. Add water to bring the level to 3 cups.
  2. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the rice, turn the heat to low and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
For the salsa
  1. Combine all the ingredients for the salsa in a small bowl. Set aside while you fix the fish. This can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge, if you like.
For the fish
  1. Stir the brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger and lime juice together in a small bowl.
  2. Salt and pepper the tilapia fillets.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and the crushed garlic.
  4. Place the tilapia in the skillet (work in batches, if necessary).
  5. Cook a few minutes, then flip. Cook another couple of minutes.
  6. Pour the sauce over the fish in the skillet.
  7. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the sauce is reduced a bit and the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  8. Serve fish on bed of Coconut Rice, topped with Pineapple Salsa.
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  1. The title of this dish got my attention, then my kids’ attention when I read it out loud. When I said coconut milk, their mouths started watering. Grace’s wheels are spinning now, trying to figure out how to make a dessert with the rice and milk.

    We have tilapia in the freezer. I think I’ll try this recipe next week. Thanks!

  2. Can’t wait to try this! I’m always looking for new things to do with fish, which is kind of a hard sell around here.

  3. Can’t wait to make this weekend! How many servings? I couldn’t figure out if it was four with 1/2 rice per piece and 2 filets or 6-8 with one filet a piece!


  4. I made this last night and it was wonderful. I wonder how it would be with chicken.

  5. Sounds good


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