Life. Love. Food

Garlic Grilled Tilapia Fillet in Lime Coconut Milk Sauce

After a long day, I just had to make one more run and dash to City Market and buy some fish fillet. It was a pretty hot afternoon, and I just wanted to get home, but I knew what I prepare for dinner make would make the short trip worth while. I got to city market and was pleased to see that they had plenty of freshly filleted fish. I slowly weaved my way through the small market, quietly but very intensely surveying each stock. The sellers, ever eager to earn an extra coin, would try woo anyone that walks through in. “Sister wacha nikifungie fresh” (Sister let me pack some fresh ones for you)  “Mrembo kwani leo hununui kwangu?” (Are you not buying from me today?) “Brenda si leo nikufungie wings” (Let me pack some wings from you, Brenda.) My name is not Brenda by the way, they were literally guessing LOL! I finally settled on one vendor I passed just at the entrance and got myself a juicy cut of tilapia fillet. I rushed home, rested a little bit and embarked on making my dinner. I wanted something delicious, so I had to deliver on all the flavors. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed and totally blown away!! I made this again this past Sunday when we had guests over and it was a hit! And today, I share the recipe to my garlic grilled tilapia fillet with lime coconut milk sauce.



200g Tilapia fillet

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

Pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon of Kez Organics Habanero chili

7 cloves of garlic

1 cup of coconut milk

2 tablespoons of finely chopped coriander stalks

1/2 of white onion finely chopped

1/2 a teaspoon of lime zest

1/2 a lime, juiced

1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme



Place your fish fillet in a bowl. To it add the soy sauce, 4 minced garlic, 1/2 of a juiced lime, some salt and the habanero chili (you can use regular chili but make sure you crush it so that all flavors sink in). Slather it all over and let it marinate for about 30 minutes to an hour. You can use lemons too. While marinating fish with a citrus fruit, keep the time not more than an hour. If you do, the acidity will break down the protein and your fish will literally turn to shreds.

Once the time has lapsed, proceed to fry your fillet on a non-stick pan until cooked through. This will take about 8 minutes. Once charred on both sides, slice and set aside.

For the coconut milk sauce which i LOOOOOOOOOOVE!!!! Place your onion, coriander stalks (by stalks I mean the stem of dhania, yaani ile mti soft ya green dania leaves hutokea..), chili, garlic and thyme in a pan. Coriander stalks are so under rated as a kitchen ingredient 🙁 but id you cook with them you will see the difference. Check out this thread I made about coriander stalks. I used white onion since they have a milder flavor but red onion would be ok too. Thyme goes so so well with fish as I said on twitter and this time was no exception. I used dried thyme, which I bought in the supermarket at about 150 bob a can. Everything is in our spice isles! Take your time as you walk through and explore different things. <3

Let it simmer on medium low heat until the onions have softened and the garlic is fragrant. Squeeze in your lime juice, zest & give it a mix then add your coconut milk. I have been a die-hard fan of Kara coconut milk but I recently found a brand I find better by Thai Pride. That is what I used and everything was so balanced out!

You can also use lemon for this recipe, but limes are best since they will give you the acidity you want but not too harshly and have a subtle sweetness which goes well with the coconut milk.

Let this simmer for about 10 minutes for everything to come together. The sauce would also go well with chicken. Place the sauce on your plate, place the fish over it, garnish with fresh coriander and serve. Feel free to lick your screen…

The fish was so tender, so juicy an the marinade sunk in so well. All this was so well complimented with the coconut milk sauce, whose thyme, garlic and lime flavors tied everything together. You can never go wrong with coconut milk and fish!!! Another thing I loved about this dish is that no spices were used, just lots of herbs and other fresh ingredients to really bring out the flavors! and it was ridiculously delicious!!

You can check out my other fish recipes here: my rosemary garlic fish fingers, my chili coconut milk tilapia masala, my tilapia peri peri . But first, let’s take a bite! #S.L.U.R.P

To more great food!


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  1. Emmah

    coconut is bae. it should be called the magic food.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Definitely the magic food!!! It effortlessly transforms EVERYTHING!!!!

  2. ASCAH

    Wow,look yummy and of course delicious… will try and prepare the lime coconut milk sauce.Thanks for the recipe.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      You will love it! <3

  3. Mart

    that fish just looks amazing, nice recipe

    • kaluhiskitchen

      One of my all time favorite recipes! Hope you try it out soon! :))

  4. John

    It just looks very good and healthy

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Healthy can for sure be mind-shatteringly delicious too! <3 And this is the perfect example!

  5. stella

    my cooking is never complete without coconut. i love this tilapia in coconut

    • kaluhiskitchen

      You can say that again!

  6. Brenda

    Hey.. Got to try this…. Which kind of soy sauce…. There are quite a few in the market

    • kaluhiskitchen

      The one I use is written in chinese so I dont know what it’s called. Any soy sauce is totally ok, do not read too much into it. Dark mushroom soy sauce.

  7. Wambui Thimba

    Just cooked this for dinner and had roasted pumpkin as the accompaniment, best meal ever!!!
    Thank you 🙂

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Glad you got to experience exactly what I was saying when I said this is the best fish recipe ever!!!!! To many many more!

  8. Hilda

    Made this today 😍it’s perfect. Thank you.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Glad you enjoyed Hilda!!!

  9. Janet

    Followed your recipe and it was amazing! The whole family loved it.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      So so good to know! <3

  10. Lynette

    Hey, totally love your recipes!!!! When pan frying fish, how do you know when to turn it to avoid sticking?

    • kaluhiskitchen

      You only flip it afterthe fish moves on it’s own when nudged. Also, buy a good quality pan

  11. Terry

    Salivating 😋

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Hope you try this out!

  12. Mll

    Hi can you use any habanero chili powder? Can’t find the one you listed. Do you have other options ?

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Yes. It would still be chilli, wouldn’t it?

  13. Rosalind

    I love this, will definitely try it! I always fry my tilapia only so this will be a new twist I’d love to try for my husband 🙂

    • kaluhiskitchen

      You will love it!!

  14. Casey

    I just made this and WOW – it was so delicious!

    I ended up coating my tilapia with a little cornstarch and did a light fry in some ghee. It was perfect with the silky sauce. Served on top of some vermicelli noodles to soak it all up. Will try again and add some more heat.

    • Kaluhi

      Yum! Love your twist and happy you enjoyed this!

  15. Amit Phansalkar

    Hi Kaluhi,

    This looks really tempting. Planning to try it tonight. For the sauce, the onions, coriander stalks etc are to be dry roasted in the pan? Also wondering if adding a bit of stock in this would work?


    • Kaluhi

      Cook in oil

  16. Amy E Creek

    Any substitute for the coriander stalks. Neither our grocery store and Walmart have any.

    • Kaluhi

      Coriander AKA Cilantro. But your cilantro, use the stems

  17. Gillian

    It was absolutely DEE-LICIOUS!! I’ve never used these kind of ingredients but it truly was good and light. My husband did indeed licked the plate!

    • Kaluhi

      Love to see it!!! I am so happy you enjoyed!

  18. Laura

    This is AMAZING!!!! I’ve made it severa times and it’s just perfect. I’d like to get the coconut milk consistency a little thicker. Has anyone tried that and what do you use to make it thicker?

    • Kaluhi

      Glad you enjoyed! You can use coconut cream instead next time

  19. Beth

    Loved loved this

    • Kaluhi

      Glad you did! It is a beautiful classic!

  20. Mo

    If I want to make 5 servings of this do I multiply everything by 5 ?

    • Kaluhi

      not necessarily

  21. Sarah Hough

    Yummy! Added shrimp and both were very good. Made it with zucchini noodles and the sauce was excellent on all three. Thank you!

    • Kaluhi

      Fantastic! Loooooove that you served it with zoodles, sounds super yum!

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