Coconut Fish Soup with Red Palm Oil


This gorgeous fish soup is quick and easy to make, rich in flavor, and filled with healthy fats. It’s also really delicious; a weeknight meal you’ll want to make over and over again But the real reason to check out this recipe is that it’s a perfect example of how (and why) you should cook with unrefined red palm oil.

Unrefined red palm oil is incredibly dense with antioxidants and vitamins. Full-spectrum Vitamin E, co-enzyme Q10, betacarotenes, vitamin A, and vitamin K…they’re all there in abundance. There’s no secret to cooking with red palm oil, just use it in the same way that you use coconut oil, butter or olive oil. Sauté anything in red palm oil (meat, seafood, veggies, eggs), use palm oil to roast vegetables, or add it to soups or stews.

In this recipe, red palm oil is added at the end to give the soup broth an incredibly rich, velvety texture. But what about the flavor, you ask? It’s true that the strong flavor of unrefined red palm oil can take some getting use to. If you find it off-putting, then look for brands like Nutiva (our favorite) that put the oil through a cold-filtration process that mellows the flavor considerably. Nutiva’s unrefined red palm oil has such a mild flavor that it’s barely even noticeable.


Whichever brand you buy make sure it’s unrefined red palm oil, which delivers the most nutrients. To insure that your purchase of palm oil is not harmful to wildlife and does not contribute to deforestation or habitat destruction, look for brands that are orangutan-safe and habitat friendly.

This coconut fish soup with red palm oil is really great when made with firm-fleshed white fish (like halibut), but can also be made with salmon, shrimp or mussels.

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 45 minutes


  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless fish, cut into 2-inch pieces (680 g/5 cm)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (2.5 ml)
  • Juice from 2 limes (about ¼ cup) (60 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (30 ml)
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup fish or chicken stock (240 ml)
  • 1 13.5 fl oz can full-fat coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined red palm oil (30 ml)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro (60 ml)


In a large bowl, season the fish with salt and pour the lime juice on top. Set aside.

Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a deep pot or Dutch oven. Add garlic and onion. Sauté until onion is soft, 5 minutes.

Add bell pepper and tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, then add the stock, coconut milk and palm oil. Bring to a boil, then add the fish and lime juice.

Simmer until fish is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Add salt to taste and top with cilantro.


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