Macadamia-Crusted Corvina with Coconut Saffron Sauce and Mango Compote

Not only does this fresh, healthy entree make use of local fish, mango and lemongrass, it’s also gluten-free. From chef Julie Frans of Essensia Restaurant & Lounge at The Palms Hotel & Spa, who serves this with Thai forbidden rice, which is high in antioxidants and dietary fiber, and gingered carrots.
July 09, 2016


Heat oven to 375°F. Season fish filets lightly with kosher salt. Dredge in rice flour and shake off excess. Dip fish into egg to coat, shake off excess. Place macadamia nuts on a plate, and press lightly onto surface of fish to crust completely.

Heat a layer of oil in a skillet. When oil is very hot but not yet smoking, place fish in skillet to cook, being careful not to crowd the fish. 1-2 at a time is fine. Cook a few minutes, reducing heat if it starts to smoke, pop or burn the macadamia nuts. You want a nice even golden brown.

After 3-4 minutes, flip the fish. Reduce the heat to medium if you have not already. Cook another 3-4 minutes. Remove the fish to a baking sheet and when all filets are seared and placed on baking sheet, place in oven to finish cooking, about 8 more minutes. Test one to make sure it is cooked completely through the center before serving.

Make Coconut Saffron Sauce:

Simmer coconut milk, stock, lemongrass, ginger, star anise and saffron together for about 30 minutes on low heat. Remove from heat and add lime juice and fish sauce. Season to taste. Strain.

To make compote, combine red onion, mango, jalapeno, bell pepper, minced garlic, mint, cilantro, olive oil, rice vinegar, kosher salt and fresh pepper.



  • 4 5-oz. filets of fresh, locally caught corvina
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 cups macadamia nuts, ground in food processor
  • Mild olive oil or coconut oil for cooking
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1 .5-1-oz. piece lemongrass, broken
  • 1 1-oz. piece of ginger
  • 1 star anise pod
  • Pinch saffron
  • Dash lime juice ½ tablespoon fish sauce
  • ½ tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)
  • Brown sugar to taste
  • ¼ red onion, minced and soaked in lime juice
  • 1 medium mango, small dice
  • ½ to 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • ½ large red bell pepper, seeded and small dice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Chopped mint
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Dash of olive oil
  • Dash of rice vinegar
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Fresh pepper to taste
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