Roast Turbot Marinated in Spicy Lime & Coconut on Cucumber & Coriander Salad

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Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

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This recipe is perfect with a fish like turbot, but it also works well with chicken suprêmes and lamb loins. In the marinade fresh lime peel can be used in place of the lime leaves and salt or tamari instead of the fish sauce. If you like things hot, include the seeds and pith of the chilli.


  • 4 large pieces of turbot fillet, around 200g (7oz) each, skinned
  • Cooking oil


  • 400ml (14fl oz) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 8 lime leaves
  • 1 whole lime, cut into eighths
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger


  • 1 large cucumber
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh coriander leaves


Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Purée the ingredients for the marinade in a blender for 1 minute. Pour over the fish in a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, turning a few times. Peel the cucumber into ribbons (or slice it finely), discarding the seeds. Mix with the remaining ingredients – except the coriander – and keep in the fridge in a non-reactive bowl.

In the oven heat a shallow ovenproof dish in which you’ve put a few tablespoons of cooking oil. Once it’s hot, carefully place the fish and the marinade in it, avoiding any splatters, and return to the oven; cook for 4—8 minutes (the exact time will depend on the thickness of the fillet). While it’s cooking, drain most of the liquid from the cucumber, mix the coriander through it and serve under the fish. Plain boiled rice is an excellent accompaniment if you want a more filling meal.

Apart from the obvious visual attraction of its combination of colours, this dish offers some exquisite tastes. The rice is slightly tangy, the curry sweet and spicy and the sauce fresh and clean. Monkfish is a good fish to use as it remains firm and retains its shape, but you could replace it with most other fish or even chicken. The amount of chilli used here will make a really fiery curry, so moderate it if you feel cautious!