Gourmet RecipesFillet of John Dory with Coconut and Lime Salad

Fillet of John Dory with Coconut and Lime Salad is the refreshing summer dish.

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes (including refrigeration time)
Cooking time: 10 minutes



  • 1 John Dory weighing about 900g
  • 1 coconut
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • 2 limes
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 bunches of opal basil
  • 30ml light olive oil
  • Salt and pepper



  1. Fillet the John Dory and remove the skin – the fishmonger can do this at time of purchase if you ask. Divide each fillet into nine portions.
  2. Crack the coconut with a mallet or the back of a cleaver, taking care to collect the juice.
  3. Finely grate half the coconut flesh into the juice and add the caster sugar.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for one hour, then press through a muslin cloth to get a fine coconut cream.
  5. If there is no juice or very little in the coconut, add some water.
  6. Using a Japanese vegetable slicer, cut the rest of the coconut and the fennel into very thin slices.
  7. Peel the limes with a paring knife and split them into segments. Thinly slice the spring onions.
  8. Lightly toss the fennel, coconut, spring onions and most of the basil (save some for decoration) with the lime segments, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  9. In a scalding hot, non-stick pan smeared with olive oil, sear the seasoned John Dory on both sides until golden but still “pink” inside.
  10. To assemble the dish, pour some coconut cream on to each plate, add some fennel salad and three pieces of fish.
  11. Top with a little more salad and a basil leaf or two.