I’ve got Susie from Gourmet Glow to thank for this Coconut and Lime Fish bites recipe. She bought me a bottle of vanilla essence back from a recent trip to Mexico which was amazing, but I had no idea what to do with it. I told her this and the next day she called me giving me these exact instructions. These coconut and lime fish balls are brilliant for baby-led weaning dinners and also for adults too.
Honestly, when Susie phoned me with her recipe idea, I was in the middle of feeding HB and only half listening. It sounded like a lot of work. However, HB is becoming more and more independent with his meals and I had run out of ideas for baby-led weaning. Plus, I thought it sounded tasty.
We’ve got a great fishmonger just over the road from us so that was where I got my fish from. It was a toss-up between hake and cod but the hake was cheaper so price won. They gave me the tail-end of the fillet as it has less bones in. Hake is quite fishy but its strong taste is softened by the coconut milk and lime. The vanilla essence gives a slightly sweet taste which babies and toddlers love.
The polenta around the outside adds a beautiful crunch and texture for little ones. They’re also the perfect size to be independently held and make fantastic picnic food. We also had a couple for dinner and they were so delicious, I’ve made this recipe several times now.
You can also freeze some after you roll them in the polenta. I found that freezing them on a tray before putting them into a freezer bag ensured the balls kept their shape and didn’t stick to each other.
Coconut & Lime Fish Bites
Gluten-free | Dairy-free
Makes approximately 24 bites
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- Approximately 200g white fish
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
- 2 large potatoes or 6 small ones
- Half head of broccoli
- ½ cup of polenta
- Black pepper to season (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200’C
- Slowly poach the fish in a saucepan with the coconut milk, lime zest and juice, and vanilla essence in, until the fish is cooked through.
- Whilst that’s cooking, peel the potatoes and chop into 1-2 inch pieces.
- Chop an inch off the top of the broccoli all over.
- Drain the fish from the coconut milk (keeping the coconut milk) when done, flake and remove any skin, and set aside.
- In the same saucepan, cook the potato for 10 mins in the coconut milk.
- Add the broccoli in to the same pan and cook both potatoes and broccoli together until soft.
- Drain the broccoli and potato, setting aside the coconut milk.
- Add the flaked fish to the potato and broccoli and mashed together. Add a dash of black pepper if required.
- If the mixture is too liquidy, add in a dusting of white flour until it reaches a sticky, but not crumbly consistency. If the mixture is too crumbly, add in a little of the coconut milk. You want the mixture to hold its shape.
- Make 1 – 1 ½ inch balls of the mixture.
- Spread the polenta out onto a shallow bowl or plate and roll each ball until it is lightly but completely covered.
- Lay them on greaseproof paper and bake in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes until golden.
Let them cool until they’re easy to handle, before serving to your little one. Keep them in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container.