Thai Sweet Chili Pike Tail

Thai Sweet Chili Pike Tail

This is a delicious and easy way to cook pike, or any fish for that matter. I used the tail, left over after cutting steaks from the main section of the fish, but you could just as easily roast a whole fish like this, following the same process. Just be sure that the guts and gills are removed and that it gets de-scaled. 

Similarly, any green can be used in place of the spinach, though you may have to cook it for a bit longer if using kale or collard greens. 

There are a lot of different elements to this meal, but you can just use the fish part of the recipe and serve it with whatever you’d like as well! 

  • Prep Time30 min
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time1 hr
  • Yield2 large servings with leftovers, or 4 moderate servings


For the Pike

  • 1 pike tail (approx. 1lb 454g) fins removed and de-scaled
  • 1 bottle store bought Thai sweet chili sauce
  • kosher salt

For the Coconut Rice

  • 1 cup (200g) jasmine rice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flakes
  • Liquid from 1 can full fat coconut milk (***see instructions)

For the Creamed Spinach

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vegetable or coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 bird’s eye chili, or other hot chili, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1/2 lb (225g) fresh spinach
  • Solids from 1 can full fat coconut milk (***see instructions)
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) fish sauce

For the Tomato Salad

  • 2 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into quarters, then half the quarters
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) water
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 small pinch kosher salt
  • 1 small pinch white sugar
  • 1 bird’s eye chili, or other chili, seeded and minced (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro and mint to garnish



Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C, gas mark 5)

Rinse fish under cold running water, then pat dry with a paper towel.

Sprinkle both sides with a moderate amount of kosher salt, then spread sweet chili sauce over the side of the fish facing up. 

Put onto a baking sheet with a rack and set aside for the time being. 

For the Rice


Rinse the rice under cold running water, until it begins to run clearer. Add to a medium pot with a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of the shredded coconut (reserving the other two tablespoons for garnish). 

***Open the can of coconut milk. The solids have likely risen to the top, while the liquids settled on the bottom. Poke a hole through the solid white part and pour the liquid into a measuring up. Set aside the solids for the creamed spinach. If the liquids and solids haven’t separated, just use 1/4 can of the mixed coconut milk. 

Add water to the measuring cup of coconut liquid so that it reaches 1 and 1/3 cups (315ml) total. Add this to the rice and stir to combine everything. 

Bring the pot to a boil, stirring often, then cover and reduce to low. Cook for 15 minutes without opening the lid. 

After 15 minutes, take off of the heat and let sit for another 10 minutes before you open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. 

For the Fish


Put pike in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Take it out, flip it and add chili sauce to the top side, brushing it on as thick as possible.

Put back in for 10 min. Internal temperature of cooked fish should be 145°F (63°C).

If you’d like the glaze to set a little more and the fish to crisp up a bit, you can turn on the broiler setting of your oven for about 5 minutes. Stand there and watch the fish if you do, since it can burn in a matter of seconds. The broiler step is completely optional. 

For the Spinach


Meanwhile, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut flakes into a large skillet, wok, or frying pan over medium heat. 

Toast the coconut, stirring often until it begins to turn golden brown (keep a close eye, as it can burn quickly) about 3-4 minutes, then immediately remove it from the pan and set aside. This will be the garnish for your rice. 

Add the vegetable oil to the pan.

Add garlic, ginger, and chilies, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the spinach, stirring it around, and cook until it’s wilted, about 5 minutes. 

***Add the white solids from the can of coconut milk (or the remaining 3/4 if the can didn’t separate) and stir into the spinach. 

Add the fish sauce, reduce heat to medium-low and braise for about 10 minutes, letting the coconut milk reduce and thicken into a satiny creamy sauce. 


For the Tomato Salad


Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, toss together, and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving. 

To Serve


Serve the fish on top of the creamed spinach and place in the centre of the table for everyone to pick at. Serve with the rice sprinkled with toasted coconut, and the salad on the side. 

Diners scoop up some rice and salad on their individual plates, then attack the fish, scooping up chunks with the creamed spinach. Be very careful to remove all of the bones before popping pieces of fish into your mouth, especially the little ‘Y’ bones found in pike. Enjoy!

Share this recipe:

You might also like: