Thai Coconut Noodles with Pan Seared Tilapia: Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you; this dinner comes together pretty quickly. Searing the tilapia takes only a couple of minutes, and it’s so tasty. Of course, you can use shrimp, halibut, cod, or any other white fish you want. You could even use chicken breasts if you choose.
If you want the dish to be vegan, leave the fish out altogether, there’s more than enough flavor without any added protein.
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- 1 package uncooked rice noodles 6.75-ounce
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Thai chile halved and seeded, optional
- 1 garlic clove peeled
- 2 shallots peeled
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 1 cup homemade or low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 ½ tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 can light coconut milk 14-ounce
- 1 ½ cups thinly sliced green onions
- 1 cup frozen green peas thawed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 fillets tilapia thawed if frozen
- salt and pepper
Cook noodles in boiling water according to package directions; drain. Rinse under cold water; drain and place in a large bowl.
Combine cilantro and next 3 ingredients (through shallots) in a food processor; process until very finely chopped.
Heat a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat; add the oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add cilantro puree to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in broth, sugar, soy sauce, salt, and coconut milk.
Add green onions to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas, and cook 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in cooked noodles. Set aside.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan, and heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Meanwhile, sprinkle tilapia fillets with salt and pepper. Place fillets in the pan, being careful not to crowd the pan or the fish will steam rather than sear (this step may be done in two batches depending on the size of your pan). Cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and is golden brown on each side. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with any remaining fillets.
Spoon coconut noodles into large serving bowls and place a fillet on top of each serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired. Enjoy immediately.