Do you know how I really want to tell you about this recipe?

Toasted Coconut Tilapia with Pomegranate Salsa I

Probably not. I mean, the mere thought of what I want to do is practically extinct, let alone the actual method – which is most definitely obsolete.

But ideally, right this instant, I want to record it on a tape… a, cassette tape? and send it to you in the mail. Not on my iPhone. Not on a tape recorder that’s smaller that my eyeball. Not through that weird app that lets you send voice messages to each other that I think is awesome but apparently am not cool enough to use. We are talking a real life cassette tape. That would be fun, right? Everyone loves to get mail.

Toasted Coconut Tilapia with Pomegranate Salsa I

Really, I’m just deep in the throes of a heated Felicity marathon. If you couldn’t tell. The fact is that I seriously have no idea how I am ever going to get anything in my life accomplished ever, well… ever again. At least until I make it through the whole series again. And maybe… again? Why I’m so fascinated with what I find to be one of the best shows to ever grace any television in the last 20 years, a show that is essentially about a girl following a boy across the country and reading waaaay too much into his dumb sentences and over analyzing the inflection of his voice… I don’t know. I just love it.

This is approximately the 12th blog post where I talk about just how MUCH I love it.

Toasted Coconut Tilapia with Pomegranate Salsa I

Okay, maybe I won’t subject you to that. BUT. Let’s at least talk about the perfection that is baby-faced Scott Foley (who, when appeared on True Blood, still could find me shouting at the TV “omg there’s Noel! I love Noel! his name will forever be Noel!”) or the fact that Felicity often uses a PAY PHONE (a what?) or even that there are SO many people, like reverse future cameos, that you never knew actually had a part in the show. Like the pink power ranger.

Too much?

Toasted Coconut Tilapia with Pomegranate Salsa I

Fine fine. If you’re essentially unaware of those blissful four years that began in 1998 and brought us wonders such as Jennifer Garner, we can talk about this coconut tilapia.

It’s too simple to really be called a recipe; after all it’s just cooked in coconut oil (my favorite way ever) and covered in toasted coconut which blankets the top just enough to be crust-worthy without all of the work. But it goes without saying that any type of fruit salsa is always the part I love in a recipe, and given my fascination with pomegranates… it was only a matter of time.

I will eat almost anything covered in fruit salsa. Almost. Not looking at you, broccoli.

Toasted Coconut Tilapia with Pomegranate Salsa I


Toasted Coconut Tilapia with Pomegranate Salsa

Yield: serves 2-4

Total Time: 30 minutes


4 tilapia filets
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 lemon, cut in half
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tomato, chopped
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
the juice of 1/2 lime
the juice of 1/2 orange
1/4 teaspoon salt


To toast coconut, add to a saucepan over low-medium heat and stir, cooking for about 4-5 minutes. As soon as mine starts to turn golden, I use a wooden spoon and toss continuously until it's evenly toasted. Set aside.

Season tilapia on both sides with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add coconut oil. Once the oil is completely melted, add tilapia and cook until the edges are opaque, about 3-4 minutes. Using a spatula, gently flip the fish. Immediately cover in half of the toasted coconut mixture, and as the fish cooks the coconut will somewhat "adhere" to it. Once the tilapia is easily flaked with a fork, remove it from the skillet and top with the remaining toasted coconut if desired. Serve with pomegranate salsa on top!

Combine all ingredients together and mix! Can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Toasted Coconut Tilapia with Pomegranate Salsa I

Now back to work. And by work I mean season 3 when things reeeeeeally heat up.

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181 Responses to “Toasted Coconut Tilapia with Pomegranate Salsa.”

  1. #
    Heather @ SugarDish(Me) — January 9, 2013 @ 8:05 am

    Ohhhh I am so making this. I am a super picky fish eater, but I made your BBQ salmon with pineapple salsa awhile back and it was SO STUPID GOOD. I am excited!
    P.S. I wish I could fully explain how hard it was for me to part with my tape deck/mix tapes. It was seriously rough.


  2. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — January 9, 2013 @ 8:07 am

    I started Felicity but then didn’t finish it. Too many good shows on there! I did get through a lot of S1 though and I think Felicity and Noel’s first kiss is one of the cutest ones.


    • Jessica — January 9th, 2013 @ 10:50 am

      ahhhh if you can finish it… you should. though it might just be a total nostalgia thing for me. the seasons get better and better!


  3. #
    Kim in MD — January 9, 2013 @ 8:12 am

    This looks so delicious! I love every flavor in the dish!


  4. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — January 9, 2013 @ 8:13 am

    i LOVE your fish recipes Jessica – they are always so creative. The BBQ salmon is a household favorite here – seriously. OBSESSED. And now this?? toasted coconut is my weakness and i can only imagine how incredible it is with tender tilapia and juicy pomegranate arils. i can’t wait to try this!


  5. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — January 9, 2013 @ 8:17 am

    Now this is a fish dish I can get into! I am LOVING the salsa!!! Yummy!!!!!!!!!


  6. #
    Shaina — January 9, 2013 @ 8:18 am

    Oooo I am always looking for good new ways to cook fish, especially tilapia! It’s pretty bland so it’s so important to pair it with bold flavors. Cooking in coconut oil is such a good idea! And pomegranates! YUM! Yeah, this is totally getting made soon.


  7. #
    Sommer J — January 9, 2013 @ 8:20 am

    I never watched felicity while it was on air but caught it and loved in syndication (right here in Germany- she’s loved worldwide!) and I must say its quite addictive. The same with Gilmore Girls. I always seem to watch shows a bazillion years after it’s really been popular, same with books and movies.
    This tilapia sounds so good. Def on my list to cook when I go back to school quick, my daughter will think it’s fancy chicken as she does with all white fish, and it just seems like the flavor will be doing the ‘kid n play’ dance in my mouth (kicking! Yes I am super corny)! Thanks for sharing. This blog post made my afternoon! You’re so funny and talented :-)


  8. #
    Elysha — January 9, 2013 @ 8:20 am

    If only my silly husband liked coconut…and Felicity. Then I would have the dream.


  9. #
    Amanda @ The Dormestic Goddess — January 9, 2013 @ 8:35 am

    The only downside to Felicity – when she gets that haircut. Eek! The only downside to fruit salsa – oh, wait, there isn’t one!


  10. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — January 9, 2013 @ 8:39 am

    Ben Forever. The end,


  11. #
    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — January 9, 2013 @ 8:46 am

    Gorgeous fish, Jessica.


  12. #
    DessertForTwo — January 9, 2013 @ 8:57 am

    Looks scrumptious! Love pomegranates :)


  13. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — January 9, 2013 @ 8:58 am

    LOL on the payphone! Do they even have those in public places any more??
    There just so happens to be a pomegranate in my fridge and tilapia in my freezer. Coincidence? I think not.


  14. #
    thyme (sarah) — January 9, 2013 @ 9:00 am

    This made me laugh out loud. One of my only T.V. addictions in college was “Felicity”. I loved it and would always look for her face in NYC thinking I could spot all of those curls!


  15. #
    Stephanie — January 9, 2013 @ 9:19 am

    I’d like to try cooking this, but I don’t think tilapia is readily available in Europe. Would you suggest a particular other kind of fish to use in this recipe: cod, halibut, john dory, wolf-fish? Thanks!


    • Jessica — January 9th, 2013 @ 10:49 am

      yep, any other kind of flakey white fish would be fine!


  16. #
    Genie — January 9, 2013 @ 9:34 am

    I think I’ve died and gone to tilapia heaven. <3 This looks so good!


  17. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — January 9, 2013 @ 9:36 am

    If this doesn’t appear 2 inches in front of my face within 25 seconds SOMEONE WILL PAY.


  18. #
    Amber — January 9, 2013 @ 9:41 am

    Scott Speedman filmed a movie in my neighbourhood last year. He’s as scrumptious as ever! Sorta like that fish looks to be…


    • Jessica — January 9th, 2013 @ 10:49 am

      I would die. and probably be arrested for stalking.


  19. #
    lisag — January 9, 2013 @ 9:58 am

    This is beautiful! I’m making this week with some Mahi I have. Temperatures here for this week are going to be in the 70’s and 80’s, perfect.


  20. #
    Anastasia — January 9, 2013 @ 9:58 am

    Have you ever used the frozen tilapia from Trader Joe’s for this? or do you have to get fresh? Sounds so good, but I’m nervous to cook fish!


    • Jessica — January 9th, 2013 @ 10:48 am

      being that I live where I do, I’m pretty sure that all “fresh” tilapia I buy is previously frozen unfortunately – you can definitely use frozen, just make sure it is completely thawed and dry!


      • Anastasia — January 9th, 2013 @ 10:52 am

        True! I was wondering if I should go to Wholeys or not, but I guess you’re right, that was probably frozen at some point before getting here.

        • Jessica — January 9th, 2013 @ 10:59 am

          that may be your best bet to find it 100% fresh, but it’s definitely not necessary – I tend to save it for special occasions since we eat so much fish.

  21. #
    Natasha @ The Cake Merchant — January 9, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    I never get tired of Felicity, and now that its streaming on Netflix, I watch the whole series every few months. Team Noel!


  22. #
    Maria — January 9, 2013 @ 10:35 am

    I posted a Pom recipe today too! Love your salsa!


  23. #
    Katie — January 9, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    FELICITY!!! I just re-watched the ENTIRE series for probably the 4th time. It is seriously one of the best shows ever created. Welcome to Netflix, friend. Welcome.


  24. #
    Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} — January 9, 2013 @ 10:47 am

    Beautiful! I was just eyeing the pomegranate on my counter the other day, wondering if it would work for a fruit salsa. I decided against it, but you obviously have me rethinking that! Planning on making a mango salsa tonight instead :)


  25. #
    Ashley — January 9, 2013 @ 10:51 am

    I LOVE FELICITY!!!! But, Noel???? It’s Ben ALL THE WAY!!! Wait, was there food in this post?? I’m not thinking clearly now.


    • Jessica — January 9th, 2013 @ 10:58 am

      oh I’m definitely Team Ben, but I just love Scott Foley as an actor!


      • Jenny D. — January 9th, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

        I would just like to say that I was purely getting on to post that I needed to know if you were Team Ben or Team Noel! And I am so very glad to hear you’re Team Ben – I mean, really… why is it when I get other people to watch with me for the first time (yeah, I’m that girl), they are Team Noel?! I just don’t get it. I love the guy, but no. no. no.

  26. #
    Alysa (InspiredRD) — January 9, 2013 @ 10:53 am

    Girl, you are totally speaking my language. Felicity, Noel, coconut oil? I think we’re meant to be friends.


  27. #
    Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen — January 9, 2013 @ 11:12 am

    Everytime I see a Dean and Deluca when I’m in NY it takes me back to Felcity –probably one of the best shows ever created, I mean, besides Dawson’s Creek!
    Also, LOVE this fish and the salsa!


  28. #
    Little Kitchie — January 9, 2013 @ 11:22 am

    This is such a beautiful dish!!! Making this the next time we have people over for dinner for sure – it’s a beaut.

    Aaaaand you’re making so insanely jealous talking about your Felicity marathon… it’s disgustingly rainy here today and all I want to do is go home from work and watch Felicity alllll day/night long. Wah.


  29. #
    Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — January 9, 2013 @ 11:23 am

    The problem when I see a recipe like this is that I desperately want it and I doubt my skills to execute it. So I’m basically left staring at computer while I heat up my Lean Cusine. Wah wah.


    • Jessica — January 9th, 2013 @ 11:32 am

      omg stop it. this is so easy – you could absolutely do it!


  30. #
    Caroline — January 9, 2013 @ 11:43 am

    Oh Felicity…it’s so good. I went to NYC in high school and made my parents go to Dean and Deluca…and bought a t-shirt. I may have to watch some of it this weekend. ‘Ben…we need to talk’


  31. #
    Caroline — January 9, 2013 @ 11:44 am

    Did you take ‘Cupcakes and Cashmere’ off of your ‘love love love’ list? I hope so, you are better than that. She’s obnoxious.


  32. #
    Stephanie — January 9, 2013 @ 11:45 am

    I love how we have the same television show interests. =)


  33. #
    Bethany — January 9, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

    Ahhhhh…. Just finished Felicity a few weeks ago… Perfection! My husband even got into it:). Miss those days with my college roommates watching this show together and making eachother cassettes of our favorite songs and words about our lives… Need to dig those out and listen to them! If I can find a tape player:)
    And can’t wait to try your pomegranate salsa!


  34. #
    Brie @ Entrée the Giant — January 9, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

    I love coconut, pomegranate and tilapia…I just never would have been so ingenious to put all these ingredients together! You’re such a smarty pants…


  35. #
    dervla @ The Curator — January 9, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

    oh my, one of my favorite shows ever. It makes fall in love with NYC all over again, even though it’s 10 years old at this point (or older?) it still encapsulates the new york experience and love so so well. I think i’m making this tilapia tonight!


  36. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — January 9, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

    Coconut and pom and OJ and lime are a match made in heaven! I could eat that salsa on just about anything! Love how bright and cheery it is, too!


  37. #
    Aikko @ Bake Happy — January 9, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

    Here in the Philippines,we usually just enjoy tilapia either fried or stewed in vinegar, garlic and ginger (what we call paksiw :) ) I love your new fresh take, would love to try it soon :)


  38. #
    Rachel — January 9, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

    Now we know what I’m going to be having for dinner the next time I come back from the store!


  39. #
    Julie — January 9, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

    Wow. My husband made coconut-crusted tilapia for dinner the other night, and it was amazing…but this salsa would bring it to an entirely different level. So excited to show him!


  40. #
    sasha york — January 9, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

    Is there a particular reason for using a wooden spoon?


  41. #
    A farmer in the dell — January 9, 2013 @ 5:08 pm

    Love the salsa! I Rode the subway with Felicity about 8 years ago! Love her hair!


  42. #
    Emma — January 9, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

    this is so much easier than trying to get a breadcrumb crust stick to both sides of a piece of fish. and i’ve never cooked anything in coconut oil, i’ll have to try it!


  43. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — January 9, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

    I love pomegranates. I also love cooking with coconut oil!


  44. #
    Joanne — January 9, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

    I had to write something just for the fact you mentioned “Felicity”. I was in my last two years of school (in Australia) when it came out and it was the only show I watched on TV. It was on at about 11 o’clock at night so would go to sleep early and set my alarm to wake up and watch it Then I’d have nightmares that I was going to sleep through my exams. I lived my life by that show and it was a huge influence on me. Still rate it as my favourite TV show, but haven’t watched it in years. I think I might. Keri Russell is still one of the most beautiful women in the world to me. And a little something about your actual blog, your food always looks amazing. I have no idea how you do it, I wish I had the cooking gene, and if I ate all the stuff that you make and show and say you eat, I’d be the size of a house. That is all.


  45. #
    Noble Pig - Cathy — January 9, 2013 @ 6:52 pm

    Love that topping!


  46. #
    Eileen — January 9, 2013 @ 7:04 pm

    Fish mixtape!! EEEE! OK, clearly I grew up in the age of the mixtape. :) Anyway, this looks great!I love the idea of a crispy coconut crust on a filet of juicy fish.


  47. #
    Carolyn — January 9, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

    OMG love Felicity! I started rewatching it before the holidays but couldn’t continue when I realized that at 30, I’m closer in age to her mom than Felicity herself.


  48. #
    Lauren — January 9, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

    I love felicity! I watched it last spring and was so addicted that I’d listen to episodes while running , in the car, etc. I followed that up with Dawson’s Creek and I’m thinking that Friends might be next!!


  49. #
    Heather at Kitchen Concoctions — January 9, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

    I am currently on a Dawson’s Creek marathon via Netflix (on season 5) and Felicity is up next for #thetvshowsIneedtowatchoverandoveragian!


  50. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — January 9, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

    I can’t believe I haven’t thought of pomegranate salsa! Looks like someone’s grabbing a pomegranate at the store on her way home….



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