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This Coconut Crusted Cod with Peach and Persimmon Salsa is crispy on the outside, flakey in the middle and seasoned to perfection! It also happens to be gluten-free, grain-free, Paleo and Whole30, but you’d never guess it. Feel free to substitute any white fish you like (halibut, grouper, snapper, mahi mahi) and serve with your side of choice, like some sliced avocado & sautéed broccolini. Whatever you do, don’t skip the salsa. It’s the perfect balance of flavours and textures and pairs beautifully with the fish!

Coconut Crusted Cod with Peach and Persimmon Salsa over Sautéed Broccolini and Avocado

Ingredients You Need for the Coconut Crusted Cod

  • Cod: I like cod because it has a delicate and flakey flesh that contrasts very nicely with the crispiness from the coconut crust. It’s also relatively easy to find wild-caught cod, which I prefer to most farm-raised fish. It can be a bit delicate and fall apart on you if you’re not careful though. My recommendation is to slice the cod filets into 4-ounce portions to make them more manageable and easier to flip in the pan. You can also substitute your favourite white fish here, such as snapper, grouper, mahi mahi, halibut, or haddock. If using frozen filets, let them thaw fully before cooking otherwise the moisture released will cause the coconut crust to fall off.
  • Spices: Chances are you have all, if not most, of the spices listed here. If preferred, substitute your favourite seafood spice or taco seasoning. Just keep in mind that the flavours should work with those in the peach and persimmon salsa.
  • Arrowroot Starch: This naturally gluten-free and grain-free alternative flour is great for the initial dredging and will help the egg wash to stick to the fish. As with all components of the dish, it’s a good idea to lightly season the arrowroot starch with some salt and pepper.
  • Egg: To help thin the egg out and make it less clumpy, try whisking it with a tablespoon of water. This will allow the egg to coat the fish more evenly.
  • Shredded Coconut: Be sure to use unsweetened, shredded coconut here. I personally don’t think it’s necessary because the coconut gets nice and crispy on its own, but if you’re living your Food Freedom and want to indulge a bit, you can try mixing in equal parts Panko breadcrumbs with the shredded coconut for an even crispier finished product.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: I typically recommend shallow frying in a neutral flavoured oil with a high smoke point, such as avocado oil, but I find that using extra-virgin olive oil here adds a very nice golden colour to the coconut crusted cod. To bump up the flavour even more, you can fry the cod in coconut oil instead.
  • Avocado: It’s optional, but I love to serve the Coconut Crusted Cod with some sliced avocado. It’s buttery texture goes really nicely against the crispiness of the fish and acidic notes in the Peach and Persimmon Salsa.
Coconut Crusted Cod before frying

Ingredients You Need for the Peach and Persimmon Salsa

  • Peach: For the best texture, I recommend using a firm peach. It will be less sweet, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in this salsa, but will hold up in texture much better than if you were to use a ripe peach, which would get quite mushy as you toss all the ingredients together.
  • Persimmon: Like the peach, try to use a semi-firm persimmon. This will give you the best texture and mild sweetness. Be sure to remove the persimmon seeds before dicing it and adding it to the bowl.
  • Red Bell Pepper: For crunch, colour and sweetness, use a red bell pepper. You can substitute other varieties of bell pepper or even poblanos, if preferred. Each one will add a slightly different flavour.
  • Red Onion: I like using red onion because of the colour, but white or yellow would also work.
  • Jalapeño: You can remove the seeds for a more mild pineapple salsa, or keep them in if you like things spicy. You can also substitute your favourite spicy chile pepper, such as anaheim, red finger, habanero, or serrano.
  • Fresh Cilantro: If you dislike cilantro, feel free to omit it. Otherwise, a couple tablespoons will do.
  • Lime Zest and Juice: Be sure to add both the zest and juice of the lime to the salsa so that you get the best flavour.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Adding olive oil to a fresh salsa might seem a little out of place, but I recommend giving it a try. For best results, use a high-quality, extra-virgin olive oil – one that is flavourful and fruity with some mild peppery notes. It will add flavour and mouth feel to the salsa.
Peach and Persimmon Salsa Paleo Whole30 Primal Gourmet
Peach and Persimmon Salsa Paleo Whole30 Primal Gourmet

Standard Breading Procedure

Just like when you make schnitzel, this recipe for Coconut Crusted Cod calls for the Standard Breading Procedure.

  1. Season: It’s important to season the cod before dredging. This will ensure the seasoning actually sticks to the protein and will also prevent it from burning in the pan. For best results, I recommend letting the fish marinate with the seasonings at least one hour before cooking so that they have a chance to flavour the centre a bit.
  2. Dredging: The initial dredge is intended to give the egg wash something to stick to. I like to use arrowroot starch to keep things grain-free and gluten-free, but you can substitute rice flour, tapioca starch, corn starch, or all purpose flour, depending on your dietary conditions.
  3. Egg Wash: The second step is to coat the fish in an egg wash. This is intended to give the final layer of “breading” something to cling onto. I like to whisk in a tablespoon of water to help lengthen the egg and thin it out a bit. This will help it to coat the cod more evenly.
  4. Breading: In this case, the “breading” is shredded, unsweetened coconut. However, you could substitute Panko breadcrumbs, regular breadcrumbs, or even almond flour cracker crumbs, which is what I use to make my Grain-Free Chicken Milanese.
Coconut Crusted Cod with Peach and Persimmon Salsa over Sautéed Broccolini and Avocado

Can You Prepare the Peach and Persimmon Salsa In Advance?

Yes, you can prepare the Peach and Persimmon Salsa ahead of time and up to 5 days in advance if storing it in the fridge. I personally prefer to enjoy it as soon as possible because the texture of the ingredients starts to soften as time passes.

Serving Suggestions

The Coconut Crusted Cod goes great with a variety of side dishes, such as steamed jasmine rice, tostones, boiled yuca, or sautéed vegetables. I also like to serve it with some sliced avocado to give the dish a creamy element that balance the crispiness.

The Peach and Persimmon Salsa can also be prepared individually and served with other things, like grilled chicken, steak or even some tortilla chips for a game day spread.

Specialty Equipment You’ll Need

The only special tool you’ll need to this recipe is a rasp grater to zest the lime. You can’t go wrong with this Microplane model.

Coconut Crusted Cod with Peach and Persimmon Salsa over Sautéed Broccolini and Avocado
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Coconut Crusted Cod with Peach and Persimmon Salsa – Paleo, Whole30

This Coconut Crusted Cod with Peach and Persimmon Salsa is crispy on the outside, flakey in the middle and bursting with flavour!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 31 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

For the Peach and Persimmon Salsa:

  • 1 peach, pitted and diced
  • 1 persimmon, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste

For the Coconut Crusted Cod:

  • 4 4- ounce wild cod filets
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper, plus extra
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup arrowroot starch
  • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced, for serving

Instructions 

For the Peach and Persimmon Salsa:

  • In a bowl, combine the peach, persimmon, red pepper, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice and olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and toss to combine. Let the salsa sit for 5 minutes before tasting for seasoning and adjusting with salt, pepper or lime juice, as desired. Cover and set aside at room temperature until ready to serve. Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 5 days.

For the Coconut Crusted Cod:

  • In a bowl, combine the cod, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chile powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Toss everything to coat, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours.
  • Add the arrowroot starch to a bowl and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to incorporate. In a separate bowl, combine the egg with 1 tablespoon cold water and whisk until smooth and no longer clumpy. In a third bowl, combine the shredded coconut with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper and stir to incorporate.
  • Dredge both sides of each cod filet in the arrowroot starch and dust off any excess. Transfer the dredged cod to the egg wash and coat both sides, allowing any excess to drip off. Finally, add the cod to the shredded coconut and coat both sides, pressing lightly all over so the fish is fully coated.
  • Add the olive oil to 10” frying pan and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 360F. Carefully add the cod and cook until golden and crispy, around 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until golden and crispy and the thickest part of the fish is opaque and flakey, around 3 more minutes. Transfer the cod to a sheet pan lined with a wire rack to allow excess oil to drip off. Serve immediately with the Peach and Persimmon Salsa and sliced avocado.

Nutrition

Calories: 520kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 36g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 22g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 87mg, Sodium: 591mg, Potassium: 773mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1260IU, Vitamin C: 55mg, Calcium: 188mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Leave a comment below!

About the Author

Hi, i’m Ronny! In 2013, after a lifetime of struggling with my weight and body issues, I rehabilitated my relationship with food, lost over 40 pounds and completely changed my life.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you for the recipe. I will be making it tomorrow with halibut. (This is why I haven’t given it any stars yet.). I know it will be delicious!