Grilled Fish with Coconut & Lemongrass Creamed Spinach by Chef Martina Russial

Chef Martina Russial

As the weather warms up, Holistic Chef Program Instructor, Chef Martina Russial fires up the grill with a nutrient dense grilled fish with coconut and lemongrass creamed spinach.

Quality Ingredients Make Wholesome Food

Every Chef I have worked with and admired always seems to have a particular style in the kitchen. This could mean a region of the world they focus on, health practices they follow, or even just a singular feel to their dishes.

When I think of my own personal style, what I’m drawn to most is using fresh and quality ingredients to make wholesome food that is comforting and often a little nostalgic.

What I Make and Eat Revolves with the Season

Cooking has always been such a large part of my life. Both of my parents are wonderful cooks, and they instilled the desire to eat fresh, healthful, and delicious foods from a young age.

What I like to make and eat revolves with the season. In fall, I eat pumpkins, apples and squash by the bushel. In winter, I eat stews and soups that are hearty, warming and full of spices. In the summer, I eat fresh salads and seafood, and in spring, I eat fresh greens and start firing up the grill as soon as the weather allows!

My Grilled Fish with Coconut Creamed Spinach incorporates some beautiful produce and my love of grilling. Instead of the traditional heavy cream and cheese making the spinach creamy, coconut milk is the star along with some wonderful spices and herbs. The lemongrass, turmeric, ginger, and garlic really brighten up this dish, while the spinach and coconut milk melt together to create a lovely base for mild, meaty fish like halibut or salmon.

This dish allows you to work on your mise en place (or preparation), knife skills, and getting those perfect grill lines! All-important skills for a budding chef or home cook to learn!

It’s also important to understand the health benefits of these ingredients and explore a traditional food in a more modern and health supportive way!

This coconut creamed spinach is vegan, gluten free, dairy free and lower in carbohydrates so it can fit into many different diets. It also pairs beautifully with grilled tofu or chicken if fish isn’t a favorite of yours.

Check out the recipe below or learn more about Chef Martina and the rest of the Holistic Chef Team by visiting our faculty page.

Grilled Fish with Coconut & Lemongrass Creamed Spinach

Servings: 4

Grilled Fish with Coconut and Lemongrass Creamed Spinach
Grilled Fish with Coconut & Lemongrass Creamed Spinach


Grilled Fish

  • 2 salmon or halibut steaks (1-inch thick)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)

Coconut & Lemongrass Creamed Spinach

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, small dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 inch ginger, finely minced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, tender part, finely minced or grated
  • 2lbs fresh spinach (or 1lb frozen)
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder or 1 ½ tsp fresh grated turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (or mace) 
  • 1 lemon zested


Grilled Fish

  1. Preheat your grill to a medium high heat.
  2. Prepare the fish by brushing on your high temperature oil (avocado, extra virgin olive oil).
  3. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  4. Place on grill and cook for 2 minutes. Turn 90° and cook another 1-2 minutes. Flip over, cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn 90° and cook for a final 1-2 minutes.
  5. Check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer.
  6. For rare pull off the heat at 120° F, for well-done pull off at 140° F.

Coconut & Lemongrass Creamed Spinach

  1. Sauté onions, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass in olive oil until onions are translucent and tender. Add in the spinach, coconut milk, turmeric, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  2. Allow spinach to wilt and bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Turn off the heat and add in lemon zest.
  4. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed

To Serve Complete Dish

  1. Place 3/4 cup of the coconut creamed spinach in the bottom of a shallow bowl.
  2. Place grilled fish on top and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil.

This dish pairs beautifully with some steamed rice of choice!

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