Coconut-Crusted Fish or Tofu with Pineapple Salsa

Ananda Headshot Ananda Kaplan

Our coconut-crusted fish (or tofu) served with pineapple salsa brings together the deliciously vibrant flavors of the tropics right to your table.

The crunchy coconut and almond crust pairs beautifully with the tender, juicy, mild flavors of the fish. Adding the sweet and tangy pineapple salsa provides a refreshing contrast to the savory fish. This dish is not only extremely tasty but also provides an abundance of nutrients. The fish is an excellent source of protein (and tofu, if selected, is a great source of plant-based protein), and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation.

The salsa ingredients—pineapple, onions, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime—are all packed full of anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and gut-supporting properties. The pineapple also contains an enzyme called bromelain, which assists in the digestion of protein, allowing the body to easily absorb all of the available nutrients from the tasty fish (or tofu). This healthy and easy dish bursts with tasty flavors and satisfying textures to bring a little tropical vacation feel to any day.

Coconut Crusted Fish or Tofu with Pineapple Salsa

Serves 4


Fish or Tofu

  • 4 6 oz fish filets (I like to use halibut), with or without skin; or 2 blocks of firm tofu (approximately 28 ounces)
  • 1 can of coconut milk for marinade (make sure to get BPA free)
  • ⅔ cup flaked or shredded unsweetened coconut (I like the flaked with the fish and shredded with the tofu. If using flaked, make sure to break it up a little bit)
  • ½ cup almond flour or oat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika

Pineapple Salsa

  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, diced
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • ½-1 jalapeno, diced (depending on how spicy you would like it)
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped (if you do not like cilantro you can replace it with parsley)
  • 1 large lime or 2 smaller limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ tsp salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and prepare a sheet pan with a thin coating of high-heat oil (such as avocado or coconut)
  2. If using tofu, press the block between a towel to remove some of the excess water and then cut the block the long way into four equally sized pieces.
  3. Pour the coconut milk into a large bowl and marinate the fish (or tofu) in the coconut milk for 10-20 minutes, turning fish (or tofu) halfway through to ensure all surface area is marinated.
  4. Mix together the almond flour, shredded coconut, salt, black pepper, and paprika on a plate or baking dish.
  5. After marinating, remove one piece of fish or tofu from coconut milk and gently shake off excess.
  6. Breading:
    • If using fish with skin, place the fish flesh side down in the coconut mixture and cover the sides, leaving the skin bare. Then, place the fish skin side down on the prepared sheet pan.
    • If using tofu or fish without skin: place in coconut mixture and roll to ensure all sides are covered with coconut mixture. Then place on the prepared sheet pan.
  7. Repeat with the remaining fish of tofu and drizzle a little oil on top of each piece to help with browning.
  8. Bake in oven:
    • For fish, baking time will depend on the thickness of your piece. For thinner pieces, bake around 15-20 minutes; for thicker pieces, bake around 25-30 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and inside tender and juicy.
    • For tofu, bake for 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
  9. While the fish or tofu is baking, mix together all of the pineapple salsa ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  10. Serve crispy golden fish or tofu with pineapple salsa and a lime wedge with roasted or grilled veggies or a salad, and enjoy!

Nutrient Highlights

Fish (Halibut): Halibut is a highly nutritious fish, revered for its rich omega-3 fatty acid content, which is crucial for maintaining heart health and reducing inflammation throughout the body. Omega-3s also play a vital role in brain function and may reduce the risk of depression. Halibut is an excellent source of high-quality protein, necessary for healing and muscle maintenance, and it’s loaded with vitamins D and B12, selenium, and potassium. These nutrients support bone health, protect against cancer, and boost immune function. The presence of astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant in Atlantic halibut, helps fight oxidative stress, aging, and may even improve skin health.

TofuOne of the few plant-based protein options that is considered a complete protein (contains sufficient amounts of all essential amino acids). Tofu has anti-inflammatory compounds and beneficial isoflavones that can protect the heart, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce the risk of breast, digestive system and prostate cancers.

Coconut: Coconut provides a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), fats that are metabolized differently than other types of fats, offering quick energy and potentially aiding in weight management. Coconut is also high in fiber, supporting digestive health, and contains antioxidants that protect cells from oxidative damage. It’s a good source of minerals like manganese, which is essential for bone health and metabolic functions, and copper and iron, which help form red blood cells. Additionally, coconut contains lauric acid, which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Almonds: Packed with healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E, almonds are a heart-healthy snack that can aid in lowering bad LDL cholesterol levels. They also help in blood sugar control and are beneficial for managing weight. Almonds are known to provide antioxidants that can protect against oxidative stress, which contributes to aging and diseases like cancer.

Pineapple: Pineapples are a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals that help improve and support our immune system. They also contain an enzyme called bromelain that helps break down protein and aid in digestion. The high amounts of flavonoids, bromelain, beta carotene, vitamin A, and antioxidants can help in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Garlic & Onion: Garlic and onions are celebrated for their culinary and medicinal properties, primarily due to its active compound allicin, which has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. It has potent antibacterial and antiviral properties, helping to fight infections. They also contain antioxidants that protect against cell damage and aging. It may improve bone health by increasing estrogen levels in females and supports detoxification processes in the liver.

Herbs: Culinary herbs, such as basil, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, and thyme, are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, offering various health benefits. They contain volatile oils and polyphenol compounds that have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antiviral properties. Herbs can support heart health, improve digestion, and may protect against chronic diseases, including cancer. They are also a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K, essential for vision, immune function, and blood clotting, respectively.

Limes: Limes are a citrus fruit known for their high vitamin C content, vital for immune system function and skin health. They contain flavonoids with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Limes also provide a modest amount of potassium, enhancing heart health, and fiber, particularly pectin, which can improve digestive health and help control blood sugar levels. The citric acid in limes aids in iron absorption from plant foods, combating anemia.

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