Monday, 3 February 2014

Spicy Basa Fillets

While Brad and Boy 1 were camping with their Cub pack and Venture troop a couple of weekends ago I decided to be a little bit evil.  I knew that, while they eat really well at Cub camps, they wouldn't be eating as well as if they were at home.  At my table.  With the love that I cook up on a daily basis.  So I decided to make Brad jealous by making a spicy fish dish with my new favourite fish ... basa.

Boy 2 and Missy Moo ate something easy (they are not lovers of fish nor did I want to get into the 'how much do I have to eat' debate) so I made this delicious fish recipe for myself.  I also made some roasted sweet potatoes and roasted veggies to go along with it but the sweet potatoes won't be making an appearance here because they were pretty blaw.

As my frequent blog readers know, I'm not a lover of hot, spicy 'burn your face off' kind of food.  I love the flavour of spice but don't want to be downing a bunch of water or sour cream to relieve my poor mouth.  This fish was spicy but only left my mouth feeling warm.  The first time I made it (yes, I made it the next night for Brad's return home) I went whole hog on the spice per fillet and it was divine.  When I made it for Brad I used about half of the spice and Brad said he liked it.  I actually preferred a little more oomph to the heat of my fillet which totally surprised me.

The first time I had basa fish was a few months ago at a local restaurant.  I then proceeded, over the next couple of months, to order the same dish three times.  Yes, the blackened basa fish at Turtle Jack's and their lobster mashed potatoes (along with their stupendously amazing basa fish tacos) were amazing.  

For those of you who are wondering what the heck a Basa fish is, it's like a cat fish but it's native to rivers in Thailand and Vietnam.  It's not a fishy tasting fish so lovers of haddock or tilapia should love this.  I have found it at a couple of my local grocery stores in their frozen fish section.  If you can't find Basa fish, try using haddock or tilapia.

Spicy Basa Fillets
Yield: 2 servings
Inspired by: Epicurious' 'Spicy Blackened Catfish'

4 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white sugar
4 basa fish fillets, thawed
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp oil

Combine spices and sugar in a small bowl. 

Pat fish fillets dry with a paper towel and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and sauté for one minute.  Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and discard.

Sprinkle the spice rub over both sides of the fish fillets. 

Add fish to the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes per side (try not to flip the fish too much while cooking).  Fish will be done when it is flakey.  Make sure not to overcook your fish!

Note: This dish can easily be doubled if you have more fish lovers among you.



Anonymous said...

Is it possible to make these in the oven? If so, for how long and at what temperature?

Anonymous said...

too spicy hot

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

You could tone down the cayenne if you found it too spicy. It definitely has some kick. :)

As for oven baking ... other sites have suggested baking at 400F for 8-10 minutes or until it can easily flake with a fork. I've never tried it in the oven because I like a little crispiness with the coating. If you give it a try let me know how it turns out.

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