Coconut Fish Curry

This colorful curry is very mild and creamy. Its simple flavors are highlighted by the pungent and warming curry spices. This dish is perfectly cozy and nourishing during seasonal transitions.  


Makes 4 servings



2 tbsp (30 mL) avocado oil, divided

1/2 large onion, thinly sliced

1 tsp (5 mL) curry powder

2 cups (500 mL) cubed peeled sweet potatoes (1/2 inch (1 cm) cubes)

2 cups (500 mL) coconut milk (see Cooking Tips below) 

1 tsp (5 mL) grated lime zest

1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tsp (5 mL) salt

1 lb (500 g) Swiss chard

1 tsp (5 mL) grated gingerroot

1 lb (500 g) boneless skinless mild fish fillets (such as cod or sole)

1 lime, cut into wedges



  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in curry powder and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  2. Stir in sweet potatoes, coconut milk, lime zest, lime juice and salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or just until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Cut Swiss chard stems off leaves and chop coarsely. Set aside. Chop leaves coarsely and set aside separately.
  4. In a medium skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add chard stems and ginger and cook, stirring, until translucent. Add chard leaves and cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until wilted and tender. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  5. Cut fish into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces. Return curry mixture to medium-high heat and bring to a boil, uncovered. Gently stir in fish and turn off heat. Let stand on burner for 5 minutes or until fish is opaque.
  6. Spoon chard mixture into serving bowls and top with curry. Serve with lime wedges.


Cooking Tips

Pure coconut milk is used in this recipe, not coconut milk beverage. Look for a brand that is preservative-free – it will have better flavor.

An equal amount of another tender green, such as spinach, will work well if you can’t find Swiss chard.

Health Tips

If you tend to feel cold, this curry will warm your body and move stagnant qi without being too drying. Coconut’s warming and lubricating actions on the body counter the pungent and dispersing effect of the curry, which is often made from turmeric, fenugreek, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and pepper – all pungent, aromatic and warming spices. 


Coconut Fish Curry


Source: Nutritional Healing with Chinese Medicine by Ellen Goldsmith, MSOM, LAc, DipCH with Maya Klein, PhD