Buttered fish with coriander, nuts and spring onions

Buttered fish with coriander, nuts and spring onions served with steamed rice and a slice of lemon

The Dutch are quite freaky with food. Fish, meat and poultry should as much as possible be hardly recognizable from their original state — no heads, tails, bones and fins. To Filipinos (Pinoys) like me who grew up savoring fish with skin, head, tails and all, I find it not so nice to eat the almost white mass that is fish fillet after removing all the parts where all the flavors come from. Here in Holland, fish at supermarkets will be in fillet form and that’s a given. When I really want to eat fish in Pinoy fashion, I go to the open market but have to ask the fish vendor that cleaning the fish for me is just removing the scales and gills but the head and skin have to remain intact.

Anyway, let me share here with you a fish recipe using the flavorless fillet. This one’s a winner as the amazing flavors from coriander, spring onions, butter and nuts sensationally come out and redeem the lost value of any fish fillet.

On this dish, you will need the following:

Fish fillet
Salt and pepper
Coriander leaves
Spring onions
Nuts (hazelnuts or peanuts)

This dish tastes sensational and all you need is steamed rice and a slice of lemon to squeeze over the fish.

I normally get the frozen fish fillet from the grocery. I let that thaw at room temperature but when I am in a hurry such as in this instance, I just let the microwave speed up the job for me. Next to that, I season the fillet on both sides with salt and pepper.

Fish fillet seasoned with salt and pepper

Thinly sliced spring onions, ground peanuts and finely chopped coriander

Let butter softened at room temperature, add all the ingredients (coriander, nuts, spring onions) and make a paste and then coat the fish fillet on both sides.

The paste of butter, herbs and nuts spread on the fish fillet

Place the coated fish in an oven-proof dish and baked at 220 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked and the top is brown. Another option if you have a combi oven/magnetron is to use the grill.

Straight out from the oven oozing with that glorious smell

About Malou
I'm a mom to a five-year old little girl with interest in cooking, baking, traveling and photography. Castles and palaces are special favorites so when weather permits for a good walk on weekends, me, hubby and little girl are always out for a bit of adventure.

136 Responses to Buttered fish with coriander, nuts and spring onions

  1. EllaDee says:

    It looks fantastic. I’d love to be able to smell the aroma.

  2. SFH says:

    Looks delicious. Going to try this!

  3. lisahodson12 says:

    Looks yummy and seems easy to make. :)

  4. Americans are like the Dutch I think regarding meat and seafood. No tails on the shrimp–I like the tails. I will try this. I have an exchange student from Thailand and we eat a lot of fish and seafood.

  5. Wow that looks delicious. I’m definitely going to give it a try. Do the nuts give it a peanut sauce flavor at all? I’ve got several other types of nuts around the house that I might substitute, but if it’s anything like peanut sauce, I’ll probably just stick to the original recipe!

    I would love to hear a Filipino preparation, too. I love that type of cooking, but I’m always too scared to try it – the whole fish is very intimidating to cook, although I’ve eaten it many times and it’s delicious.

    • Malou says:

      No, the nuts do not give it a peanut sauce flavor at all. You also just coarsely chopped or ground the nuts so that the crunchiness is intact.

      The Filipinos eat fish in many ways as soup, fried, steamed, grilled, stewed in coconut milk or vinegar. One thing for sure though is that the fish is never filleted in any of these dishes. ;-)

  6. What nice combination of flavours. I can’t wait to make this in my vegetarian style! When you have the time, do drop by my space. I just made chickpea and cracker-based hors d’œuvre and would love to know what you think :)

  7. Just name the time and place I can taste this! It looks yummy!!!! :)

  8. J M Naszady says:

    It may not look like fish, but it does look tasty!

  9. It looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing…the Dutch side of our family has a history of cooking delicious Indonesian food.

  10. Beautiful recipe. I have it the other way round here (not that I´m complaining) in that most fresh fish comes with all its “bits” but I do sometimes enjoy a change and a dish like this is perfect. Have been away so will now do some catching up with yours posts ;)

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot, Tanya. Oh, I love it there in Spain that the fish is really cooked and served whole. I love to take my time in savoring every bits and pieces. ;-)

  11. I agree that American’s are like the Dutch … not heads or eyes for me please! :) But, I am sure you are right — that is where all the flavor comes from. I am very intimidated by fish! You should come back to Colorado and teach me! :)


    • Malou says:

      I guess the Dutch as kids were just raised on fish sticks while the Filipinos as kids were exposed to the fish in its natural form. ;-)

  12. Just as soon as I get some fresh coriander, I’m gonna cook up a batch !

  13. Your description of fish with its parts or not reminds me of what Mainers call lazy lobster: lobster meat only, with the shell and all the other parts already removed before served. That being said, I’m intimidated by a whole fish. The only fish I’ve cooked with the skin is trout and salmon, and those were sold with only the skin on the fillets. We have fabulous walleye here in the Great Lakes. My grandfather loved to fish, but he always the filleted them for me and being the gramps, it was his choice to be the exclusive fillet-er…I’d love to learn what to do with a whole one!

    • Malou says:

      One of these days, I will post what I do with a whole trout. I love it with a mixture of sauteed spices then wrapped in aluminum foil and baked in the oven. ;-)

  14. I am now craving cilantro! (In this area, coriander means the seeds and cilantro its leaves.) And some buttery fish. Yum!

  15. Melissa says:

    It looks amazing! I actually have a fish in the oven right now. But next time I’m going to have to try this. Coriander is one of my favorite flavors.

  16. Anne-Marie says:

    Oh, this looks delicious! And I’m not used to fish that are intact .. so quite used to the filleted fish that we buy in the supermarket. I’m definitely going to try this recipe!!

  17. Just read this post to my husband and daughter (and showed off your photos!) We definitely want to try this one… and also your beef/ginger recipe. We are quite the foodies here to:)

  18. RDoug says:

    mmmMMMmmm. Making me hungry . . . again!!!

  19. FeyGirl says:

    It’s funny… My brother had similar comments as yours, when he worked in Norway for a long stint (with regards to the food, and the fish in particular). We were raised in the South Pacific, where the preparation was *much* different, as you state, heh!!

  20. Melody says:

    Reblogged this on Global Family Treks and commented:
    I’m going to try it this week! Thanks, Malou!

  21. Looks great! My son-in-law’s mother is Korean and the first time my daughter went to their home home fish she ran to the bathroom and called me, “MOM!! Help! They are trying to feed me the WHOLE fish! I cannot eat it but I also can’t be rude….WHAT DO I DO MOM!!!!” I laughed and reminded her that her husband’s dad was an American from New Jersey and I was pretty sure he didn’t start out eating the whole fish. Needless to say, they had prepared her the American version of the dish they were eating. She still doesn’t like the whole thing but she doesn’t worry about eating at their home either!

    I think I will make this dish soon!

    • Malou says:

      Ha, ha, ha! I never really thought about this cultural differences on eating fish till I came to Holland. I always thought that it was pretty normal to cook the fish whole and what was unusual was to fillet them.

      I’ve seen a documentary where the Koreans even serve the fish half alive. That’s a bit too much for me. ;-)

  22. Reblogged this on and commented:
    It’s always great to find new things to try with white fish. This looks delicious and we’ll have to give it a go. Thanks for sharing.

  23. RichardB1001 says:

    Going to try this recipe real soon!

  24. kenben says:

    Looks very good Malou.

  25. Delicious combination of flavours here. Unlike the Dutch I would cook whole fish. But, I don’t like it served that way. I always have to remove the head; then on the plate I won’t eat the skin!

  26. I like the sound of this but I’m with some of your other readers in that I don’t like the head on either! I will try this one, thanks.

  27. chocophile says:

    I have to agree, it looks quite yummy.

  28. laurenminors says:

    Thanks for the follow! This looks incredible – we have fresh fish all the time, so I will have to try it!

  29. avian101 says:

    I think I’ll try this dish soon, I eat fish often because I don’t eat red meats (Cholesterol problem) However I love fish, usually I eat Tilapia which is fine white meat. Thanks for the recipe Malou! :)

  30. This looks so good! I’m always looking for new ways to serve fish! Can’t wait to try it!
    Thanks for following my blog too!

  31. Jenna says:

    Cool blog. Thanks for the follow!


  32. You made me laugh about the way fish is “disguised” and only presented in filets. As you say the best bits are the skin and bits. Lovely simple recipe

    • Malou says:

      I can’t seem to appreciate the flavors of the fish without the skin and the other parts. There are fish where the nicest part is the stomach because the fat is there but as fillet, I miss it. ;-)

  33. I can’t wait to try this (but I agree with you about the skin, head etc for flavor)…Thanks for sharing and including your great photos.

  34. Lotus Mama says:

    Looks delicious, Malou!

  35. Malou I’m with you! If I’m out with my guy and he’s eating a whole fish (but leaves behind the head, lol) I will always ask if I can eat the fish cheek, it really is the best part!!!

    The fish dish you’ve prepared looks flavour packed though :)

  36. What an interesting and beautiful way to prepare fish. I can just taste how good it must be. I’ll remember this next time we make fish!

  37. Looks delicious and flavorful! :D

  38. This reminds me of a no salt dish my hubby made me when I fist got home from the hospital, he used unsalted pistachios to crust the fish. Will have to fry the coriander with it next time, and maybe the unsalted butter for a more luscious texture.

  39. Brigitte says:

    My husband is the cook in our home and I’m going to give him this recipe! Thank you!

  40. scroungelady says:

    I like how you present the recipe. No fussing over 1/4 teaspoon this and that. Good work!

  41. It’s so wonderful that this is so simple and looks delicious! I love my rice, so a good fish dish to go with some rice is a perfect weekday dinner imo:]

  42. May Dayao says:

    Can’t wait to try this Malou! Looks yummy! Thanks for sharing!

    I’d like to share one of our favourite fried fish recipe – for batter, we use 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. We also roast potatoes tossed in 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper, 1/4 tsp turmeric and 2 cloves minced garlic. Let me know if you decide to give it a try.

    • Malou says:

      Thanks for sharing your fried fish recipe, May. I’ll definitely give that a try.

      • May Dayao says:

        Hope you like it. It’s super easy to prepare. One of those less than 30 minute dishes. We also substitute rice for potatoes and blanched spinach for our side. But then, I always substitute rice whenever I can. Love my rice – lol! :)

  43. sugaredpecan says:

    Malou, this looks so incredible!!!

  44. tanyamhudson says:

    My mouth is watering….

  45. My mom is Cantonese, so fish fillets are weird for me too! How are you supposed to know if it’s fresh? What about the cheeks?!

    But this dish looks marvelous! You did an amazing job with those “flavorless fillets,” and I feel like I can smell them from here!

    • Malou says:

      Oh, don’t we love the fish served whole and yes, the cheeks are nice and so is the stomach part where the fat is. I always feel like its sacrilege when the fish is filleted. ;-)

  46. MICHAEL says:

    Sehr lecker Frühlings-Gerichte ! Dank für die Anregungen :-)

  47. Bill Davis says:

    Delicious-looking recipe. Interesting, too, to hear the Pinay view on seafood. As an American who has lived in the Philippines for over 30 years, I can say that love seafood… we always have, but so we appreciate its abundance and low price here. But because of our culture, we are turned off by heads, tails, etc., whether in the cooking process or the serving presentation. So it was informative to get inside the Filipino mind a bit and hear you express how/why you feel about it.

    I know that Filipinos are very tactile eaters… loving to eat with the fingers, getting meat off of bones, peeling shrimp at the table, etc. But one thing we Westerners can never figure out which you might be able to explain is this: For batter-fried shrimp or coconut shrimp, etc., why is the coating put on top of the shell? Since you must remove the shell to eat the shrimp (or at least we do), the coating is then wasted. I’m sure there is some reasoning and preference behind this of which we are not aware =)

    • Malou says:

      You described it so well…how we love eating with our fingers and getting the meat off the bones. For that fried shrimp, we normally have the smaller ones crispy fried so we can eat them whole, shell and all. Crunchy and yum! ;-)

      • Bill Davis says:

        Thanks, Malou. I had wondered if the shells were to be eaten. But many restaurants here use that technique on large shrimp and it doesn’t work so well! =)

  48. Madhu says:

    Sounds awesome! Just the kind of quick and esy recipe I like!

  49. Adrian says:

    This is so delicious.

  50. Looks like a great recipe… I’ll have to try it! Got a chuckle out of your culture shock with fish fillets. I had the reverse when I moved to Italy and got used to eating the whole fish (head and all). But you’re right – it tastes so much better that the fillets.

  51. looks amazing! i want to try this recipe soon.

  52. Viveka says:

    This is perfect for me – the lonely diner … and the few ingredients – so full of flavors. This will go straight on file. Thank you so much.

  53. Michi says:

    This looks soooo delicious! D-Man always says we need to eat more fish (I know we probably do, but I’m just not a fan of cooking it). I’ll make sure to give this recipe a go, it looks so mouth-watering.
    Much like in Holland, I grew up eating meat that looked nothing like the animal it once was. That all changed once I moved to Spain, but now I enjoy eating fish on the seaside, with the head and tail intact, and taking my time picking out the bones and slowly eating the juicy meat. It makes the dining experience go slower and, in my opinion, makes it a bit more enjoyable.

    • Malou says:

      Spanish people love seafood. That’s one reason why I always enjoy holidays in Spain. I can go on eating all those lovely fish, gambas, pulpo, etc. and they are always in their natural form.

      My daughter seems to got the Dutch attitude towards fish and meat. She also freaks out if she can still recognize them. I have to work harder to bring out the Filipino side of her. ;-)

  54. Razel Rull-Navarro says:

    I have to try this! Looks so delicious and I like all the ingredients in it. My son would LOVE this as well. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  55. wolfsrosebud says:

    certainly all in perspective… lovely dish

  56. mumchic says:

    That looks really delicious !

  57. wellnfit says:

    This dish looks absolutely fabulous! I agree – hard to make fish flavorful! Giving this one a try for sure. Be Well. Be Fit. Be Healthy.

  58. hugr5 says:

    Do you live in Holland?

    I like the fact that you used coriander in this recipe. I also find it interesting that the Dutch cook fish one way, the Filipinos another. I teach English as a Second Language and am absolutely thrilled with learning how things differ from culture to culture! Thanks for sharing these differences. You do a great job [in your descriptions].

  59. I remember as a little girl, going fishing with my father. He would bring this old beat up pan and when we caught the fish, he would clean them, make a fire & we would have the freshest meal right there by the water. Talk about fresh fish! And yes, often the head was on. My favorite which you really don’t see in the markets was trout. Have you ever tried it? Very tasty.

    • Malou says:

      Wow, what happy memories you’ve got there, Diane! Priceless! I do love trout and we can get them in the market here. I would normally sautee garlic, onions, ginger, leeks and paprika in butter and season that with soy sauce and freshly ground pepper. I would then stuff that in the trout and then wrapped it in aluminum foil and then baked in the oven. Trout is just so lovely this way. ;-)

  60. That looks soooo yummy! I love the combination you have there with the nuts and the onions and the corriander. I really love corriander, it adds such great flavor to dishes and gives off a lovely aroma!

  61. yogijen73 says:

    Mmmm…I am always looking for a simple, yet delicious recipe for any type of white fish. Thanks for sharing!

  62. Gracie says:

    Yummm…I can almost smell that delicious aroma. Don’t mind if I try to make this at home too :)

  63. This sounds delicious!

  64. Purely.. Kay says:

    I am simply in love. This buttered fish looks absolutely magical.. and the seasoning.. wonderful. I can make this on any day and be very happy

  65. Kammie says:

    This looks yummy!

  66. This dish looks amazing! I just found your blog and I love it. I am a second generation Dutch immigrant living in Canada. Although I feel very Dutch, my knowledge of it is through the eyes of immigrants. I look forward to learning a different perspective from your blog. Thanks again.

  67. Hi, I nominate you for the VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD! Check out my blog for ‘the rules’ if you want to accept it. Bye

  68. Wow, I’m coming to your house for dinner. This looks amazing.

  69. I’ve nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Click this link to see what to do now that you’ve received the award. http://tonyakerrigan.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/thank-you-thank-you-for-the-kreativ-blogger-award/

  70. Hi….couldn’t respond right away….your pictures are quite lovely. We never cook aside from coffee….so I’m very envious of anyone with kitchen privileges. Living in BKK it’s too hot. You might check out our latest antics on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/user/patriciaolson9

  71. Wow, and I can’t imagine what amazing dishes you would make with the entire fish?! This one is so pretty, I kept scrolling up and down over it, looking at the list of ingredients and admiring how delicious it looks!

    • Malou says:

      There are many ways to cook an entire fish, Smidge. In Philippines, we fry, steam, stew in coconut milk or soy sauce, make soup, etc. ;-)

  72. Meenakshi says:

    Hey Malou! I have some blog wards waiting for you back at my page. Click and you shall see!

  73. Yumm, this looks quite flavorful :) i love coriander with fish.

  74. Going off an above post: smelling/scent-internet would be a great idea – at first!

  75. You are a lady close to my heart. I agree that fish should be in its entire form as so much flavor is lost without the bones etc. My sons from a very young age realized that that is how fish was served in our house and they had to watch out for the bones. This is definitely a recipe i will be trying as it looks absolutely delicious. Thank you

    • Malou says:

      Oh, I’m so glad to know that we have the same preference for fish. Those who go for fillets don’t know what they are missing. ;-)

  76. zurisullivan says:

    This dish looks amaazing! and not to complicated! Thanks so much for checking out my blog! I’ll keep you posted if I decide to try this recipe

  77. Nice!…love the ingredients…will definitely try this one…thanks!

  78. lily2u1 says:

    Oh my goodness, this fish looks delish!

    My Friday dinner is planned. Thank you!

    ~ Lily

  79. I think you have a Hit on your hands, as we say here in the US. I used true cod, but will use rockfish or ling cod when I can get them in the summer. I bought cilantro, which is what we call fresh coriander, at our local food co- op, and used hazelnuts. In the summer I can grow cilantro, so I’m looking forward to both deep cold fresh fish & cilantro from our garden. (BTW, 39 F here,even before the sun sets.) I served your recipe with boiled barley & local kale leaves, seasoned with dried tarragon, black pepper & dried pineapple oregano from my last summer’s herb bed. The side dish was asparagus sautéed in olive oil with garlic slivers! Enough of all left over for chowder! Yummmmmm! Thank you very much for, your inspirational recipe!

  80. I never knew that leaving the head and tail on the fish contributes so much to flavor… I’ll need to find a fish market so I can try out the difference.

  81. cloudoflace says:

    Yumm!! I definitely wil try this recipe, seems easy & yet very suitable for ‘pampering time.’


  82. Thank you!! I have been trying to find a new recipe for fish and this looks amazing!!

  83. Cheryl Merrill says:

    PS. Any leftovers can be made into an incredibly awesome chowder!

  84. thanks for following me! your recipes are wonderful ~ there are many that i look forward to trying ~ beautiful photos, too

  85. inherchucks says:

    This looks delish! Thanks for sharing…and thanks for the like and the follow :)

  86. aaaahhh!!! I cooked some flat fillets yesterday. Was not good! I told myself I will never cook flat fillets again….if only I had seen this post yesterday. It looks yummy. Okay…may be another try of flat fish with this recipe. :)

  87. MarlisB says:

    OMG, pass the fork I want to dig in. This looks delicious.

  88. The fish looks delicious! It’s funny what you say about the Dutch preferring fish minus the skin, tail and head. I am from South Africa, where our take on fish is similar to the Dutch. When I first moved to East Asia, I was so intimidated by the whole fish (head tail and the works) served at restaurants. I would make a point of never ordering fish when we were out for this reason. That is, until a friend insisted I tried it out, and well, the rest is history. Also, when the fish is whole (at supermarkets and restaurants), you’re able to better tell how fresh it is. I will probably miss the whole fish (except the hard work that goes with descaling it) when and if I return home.

  89. phunnyphilly says:

    This looks scrumptious. We can get wild-caught Alaskan fish here in Philly from a small eco-minded company (which actually tastes good despite being headless fillets). I’m often at a loss for new ways to cook it, but this looks easy and really tasty. We were in Amsterdam last year and had a great time. I suspect it’s a wonderful city to live in — beautiful with sensible civic values. Thanks to you as well for liking my blog!

  90. This looks delicious! Can’t wait to try!

  91. sybaritica says:

    That looks terrific. I wonder how it would be served on a very hot iron platter?

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