I used a fish I have never prepared before called Basa - a type of catfish that originated in Viet Nam. But don't let the whole catfish thing scare you (I know, they're not the prettiest) - because Basa, I have discovered, is very, very good.
In texture it really didn't resemble catfish at all - in fact, it reminded me of the halibut we have here on the west coast - beautiful mild and white with no bones.
But what to do with it?
As I drove home from the fish market, I let my palette do the talking and realized I was craving something crispy with some kind of a sauce. Something fruity and maybe asian inspired.
And then I began to wonder how my chicken dish might be reinterpreted with the basa - perhaps with a crispy panko crust intermingling with the sweet orange and ginger flavours?
I decided to give it a go!
I mean, what was the worst that could happen?
So I started by making the sauce.
To make sauce:
- Gently heat 2 cloves minced garlic and 1 tbsp minced ginger in one tbsp butter
- Add 1 tbsp brown sugar and stir well to incorporate.
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (use less if you like your sauce less spicy)
- 1 cup orange juice
- pinch of salt to taste
Cover and keep on low until ready to serve.
Now for the fish!
I began by making a dredge with:
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp good quality salt
- 1/2 tsp salt free lemon pepper
- 1/2 tsp five spice powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Assembly line style, I placed the filets into the dredge of flour, lightly dusted them off, and then dipped each in one beaten egg, followed by the panko bread crumbs until they were well coated on both sides.
Next, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil in large, heavy saucepan over medium heat until a fresh bread cube placed in oil browns in 45 seconds (about 365 degrees Fahrenheit). Place fish a few pieces at a time into the pan and fry until golden brown on each side (about 4-5 minutes per side)
Because my filets were quite thick, I finished them on a baking rack in a 350 oven for fifteen minutes.
Serve warm with orange ginger dipping sauce on the side and enjoy!
This recipe has been Poolboy approved.
For printable recipe click HERE
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