John Dory poached in Tomato and Chili Broth

I love John Dory.

Not the person…I don’t know anyone by that name.  No, I love the fish.  That’s right, I am in love with a fish named John Dory and I seriously can’t believe I’ve gone this far in my life without trying it until this year.   One taste of its sweet and delicate fleshy meat and I was hooked.  Where has it been all of my life???  Certainly not in my kitchen nor on my plate.


John Dory fish fillet poached in tomato chili broth on plate with fresh cilantro

How I like to cook John Dory

The taste of this fish reminds me of shrimp which led me to wonder if John Dory would be equally delicious as a substitute to the crustacean in other dishes.  I’ve pan-fried it and served it atop garlic and white wine pasta. I’ve even tried my hand at making fish cakes with it.  BUT, the way I liked it was poaching it in a salty, spicy broth.


John Dory fish fillet poached in tomato chili broth on plate with fresh cilantro


You make do with the chilies you got

Inspired by one of my favorite Mexican dishes, Camarones a la diablo (spicy seafood), I decided to poach the delicate fish in a similar mixture of white wine, garlic and chili peppers. However, being here in Malaysia and so far away from Mexico, it can be difficult to get habaneros, poblanos and all the other delicious chilis so plentiful in Mexico.  So, what did I settle with?  A hodge-podge of local red chilies that happily did the trick.

If you can find those special Mexican peppers, feel free to use them but if not, no worries.  You can always make do without.  I am happy to say that my chili pepper short-comings worked out nicely. The end result is a slightly spicy sauce tomato and white wine broth that doesn’t overpower but instead compliments the delicate meat of the dory.  Add the citrus elements of the fresh cilantro and lemon juice and it’s one tasty dish!





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Dory fillet poached in white wine and chile sauce

John Dory poached in Tomato and Chili Broth

  • Author: Spicepaw
  • Total Time: 40
  • Yield: 2-3 fillets 1x


Fillets of John Dory poached in a slightly spicy tomato, chili and white wine broth then topped with fresh cilantro and a drizzle of lemon. #fish #healthyrecipes #dinner 



23 John Dory fillets (boneless)

34 medium red chilies (whichever is available and is your favorite)

23 medium-sized tomatoes

6 garlic cloves

2 cups water (a little under 500 ml)

½ cup white wine (120 ml)

2 tbsp butter (melted)



fresh cilantro



  1. Roughly cut up the tomatoes, garlic cloves and red chilies (with the stems removed).
  2. Drizzle tomatoes, garlic and chilies with 2 tbsp melted butter and roast in the oven at 220C/450F for about 20 min.
  3. Once cooled, blend the roasted chilies, tomatoes and garlic together in a food processor or blender with 2 cups of water.
  4. Transfer to a large saucepan and heat over medium-high heat.
  5. Bring to a boil, then add 1/2 cup white wine.  Continue cooking until the alcohol has cooked off and mixture has reduced by half.
  6. Once reduced, season with salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste.
  7. Add dory fillets and spoon sauce over the fish until completely submerged.
  8. Poach on a medium simmer in the sauce for 8-10 minutes or until fish is firm and flaky.  Top with chopped cilantro and drizzle fresh lemon juice on top.
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Category: Fish
  • Method: Roasting/Poaching
  • Cuisine: Western

Keywords: John Dory, fish, spicy, Mexican, chili. wine, tomatoes, tomato broth, tomato chili broth

More spiced up fish recipes:

Indian Spiced Fish Cakes with Yogurt Mint Sauce

Seafood Stir-Fried in Thai Chili Paste (Nam Prik Pao)

Hoki poached in Thai yellow curry w/peppers & potatoes


Author: Natasha

I'm just a busy expat mom who has a psychological need to feed people. I enjoy learning about new cultures, (especially the food) and enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and spices

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