Monday, January 18, 2010

Spicy Pan-Fried Tilapia

I actually made this dish by accident. I was trying to make fish by cooking it in the oven, but it didn't turn out like I wanted it to. Instead of wasting the fish, I ended up frying the fish and it turned out pretty good. I've been making my fish this way ever since. By covering the fish in foil and then cooking it in the oven helped the fish soak up all flavors from the marinade. Pan frying it gave it that nice, crispy and fatty taste that I like in fried fish.

Serves 4


2/3 cup of cilantro, chopped
2/3 cup of green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp of chopped Thai chili peppers
Juice from 1 large lime, about 1/4 cup
1/3 cup of fish sauce

4 tilapia filets
Oil for frying
Optional: Panko bread crumbs

Chili peppers chopped:

1. Preheat oven to 365 degrees.
2. Combine all the marinade ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
3. Line a cookie sheet with enough foil to cover 4 fish filets. Place filets on foil and pour marinade over fish. Be sure to turn fish over so both sides are covered with marinade. Cover fish with foil into a pouch.

4. Bake fish in oven at 365 for about 25 minutes.
5. After fish is cooked in oven, remove fish from foil and place on wire rack so juices run off. [Note: If you would like this fish to be even more crispy, skip step #5 and simply dip the filets in Panko bread crumbs and then pan fry them. I just avoided this step to avoid extra calories ;) ]

6. Prepare a plate with paper towels to use when fish is done frying.
7. Heat about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in frying pan on medium-high heat. When pan is hot, place two filets in the pan and fry each side for about 2-3 mins or until browned. When fish is browned on both sides, transfer the fish to the plate of paper towels and finish cooking the rest of the filets. Add a little more oil if needed. The fish should not be too oily. The marinade mix that is fried with the fish should be crispy.

My favorite part about this fish is actually what's left on the pan! :P

I served this dish with a side of garlic and ginger baby bok choy. Here is the recipe for that:

1 1/2 pounds very baby (dwarf) bok choy, each one halved lengthwise

Flavoring sauce:
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
11/2 teaspoons canola oil or sesame oil
2 teaspoons water

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
11/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the bok choy. When the water returns to a boil, let the vegetables cook for another minute, until just tender. Drain, flush with cold water and set aside.

2. Combine the flavoring sauce ingredients. Taste and make any adjustments needed. You want a savory-briny-sweet taste. Set aside.

3. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, ginger and garlic. Cook for about 30 to 45 seconds until aromatic. Add the bok choy, give things a stir and cook for about 2 minutes, until heated through. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the flavoring sauce and keep cooking for another minute or so, stirring, to coat the vegetables well. The bok choy will weep a bit of water.

4. Give the cornstarch a stir before adding it to the vegetables. Cook for another 30 seconds, or until thickened, and glossy. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. I am white and my husband is Hmong. Just made this recipe and my husband said it is better than the fish his mom makes!!!!! I am on my way to becoming a Hmong wife!