From Pole to Poached: A Fish Story

      Our first thought for this title was Pole to Table but a lover of rhymes I had to go with an alliteration.  Plus it describes how our pole caught fish’s tale was cooked, a lovely poach.  I don’t believe if I have ever poached fish.  Simply, poaching means to gently simmer food in a liquid.  It is usually milk, stock or wine and is often used to cook delicate dishes that may otherwise become dry.  It was a lovely way to prepare the fish.  It was tender, flakey, moist, and poached to perfection, cooking it this way was pure genius.  This was my younger brother’s idea and I am giving him all the credit.  He invited us over for dinner (a few months ago now) and did most of the cooking himself (we offered a little help with prep work in the kitchen).  Plus for a less experienced cook it is always nice to have old pros around for those endless questions one may have.

     To start this fish story we must go back in time to September. The first week of September 2012 our family took the customary vacation to OBX.  Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, Parents, Cousins and Siblings all arranged their schedules to go for one glorious week.  We have been going to the Outer banks of North Carolina like this nearly every year for over 25 years.  My family loves it there.  It has some kind of magical feeling for us all. Chock it up to nostalgia, the good memories we have always made there as a family, but it draws us to that thin stretch of islands year after year.  I am thankful because Eric feels the same way about going there as I do.  He and I both grew up vacationing in the Outer Banks with our parents.  In fact, it is kind of strange but I have this kind of Mad about You memory of the place.  In season 2 Jamie and Paul as children meet each other at the Natural History Museum.  I have this distant memory too that Eric and I as children were at the Outer Banks at the same time and met.  Maybe I dreamt it but to me it seems so real and magical. 

     I digress, back to the story at hand our fish dinner.  Our vacation in September involved a special treat for all the men folk, my two cousins chartered a deep sea fishing trip and invited everyman to go as their guests.  Over all it was a great success, male bonding, adventure on the open ocean, sunrises, catching beautiful wahoo & mahi-mahi with a good supply of fish to take home.

     Recently my brother poached the mahi-mahi in a beautiful poaching liquid of coconut milk, lime, ginger, garlic and chives.  It was all served over forbidden rice, with extra ginger, chopped serrano chilies, lime zest, chopped and torn herbs, (chives, cilantro, and basil) to spice up each individual diner’s plate as desired.  The whole dish was light, spicy, and satisfying.  For those that enjoy fish as much as we do, try it poached!

Coconut Poached Mahi Mahi

Recipe by Caleb


  • 2 limes
  • 1-13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 serrano peppers thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 lb mahi mahi filets
  • 6 cups bok choy torn
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chives chopped
  • fresh ginger minced
  • salt to taste


  1. Prepare fish cutting into desired size filets. Pat dry and season with salt.
  2. Zest limes, setting zest aside. Juice limes.
  3. In large skillet over medium heat, combine lime juice, coconut milk, one serrano chili, garlic, ginger to taste, chives and sugar.
  4. Place fish in coconut milk mixture. Simmer cooking fish covered for about 5 minutes.
  5. Gently stir in bok choy.
  6. Cook for approximately 5 minutes more until fish flakes easily with a fork, and bok choy is wilted.
  7. Ladle fish with cooking liquid into bowl over rice. Top with lime zest and if desired additional ginger, serrano chili, and fresh herbs such as torn basil, cilantro or chives.
Looking forward to another journey to OBX! ~ Life is Good
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