Here’s a fantastic way to use tilapia. Chop it up and mix it with some panko, peanuts, ginger, and other delicious ingredients to form a tilapia cake. Top it with a coconut pineapple sauce, and you’ve got a winning seafood dish! The original version of this recipe used curry and mango, but since I’m not a fan of curry, and I love the combination of coconut and pineapple, I developed this recipe… enjoy!
1 1/3 cups light coconut milk
1/2 cup canned chopped pineapple, drained
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. salt
Juice from 1 lime
1 lb. tilapia, finely chopped
1 1/3 cup panko break crumbs, divided
1/3 cup dry-roasted finely chopped peanuts, divided
4 tbsp. scallions, finely chopped
4 tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 ½ tbsp. fish sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp. peeled, minced fresh ginger
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
½ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
Step 1: Make the sauce! Combine coconut milk, pineapple, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and soy sauce in a food processor. Blend until smooth and combined. Pour into a pot and stir over medium heat until mixture has reduced by half, about 20-30 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Keep warm.
Step 2: In a large bowl, combine tilapia, 2/3 cup panko, ¼ cup peanuts, scallions, cilantro, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, eggs, crushed red pepper, and salt.
Step 3: Form tilapia mixture into balls and press to flatten a bit. Place remaining panko in a shallow dish and coat tilapia cakes with panko on both sides. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up.
Step 4: Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the tilapia cakes about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until browned. Serve with sauce. Garnish with the rest of the peanuts and parsley.