Spiced Tilapia with Coconut Rice

Two pantry staples—black pepper and turmeric—crew as much as fight infection and add ambitious flavor to this speedy-restore tilapia. Dressing up microwave rice with coconut milk is a smart kitchen hack you’ll turn to again and again.

Spiced Tilapia with Coconut Rice
Spiced Tilapia with Coconut Rice


  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds tilapia fillets
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 (8.8-oz.) pkg. precooked microwavable whole-grain rice (such as Uncle Bens)
  • 1 cup well-shaken and stirred light coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1/4 cup toasted unsweetened flaked coconut

How to Make It

Step 1

Stir together turmeric, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small dish. Sprinkle fish with spice mixture.

Step 2

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add half of the fillets; cook until golden and fish flakes easily, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet; keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining fillets.

Step 3

Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Add rice, coconut milk, sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to skillet; bring to a simmer over high. Cook, stirring often, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup cilantro and lime juice. Divide rice mixture among 4 plates. Top evenly with carrots and fish. Sprinkle with coconut and remaining 1/4 cup cilantro.

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