Many of you has asked me time and again, why there are few fish recipes in my blog, being a Bong , I admit this is almost a crime. So this week we will feature two fish recipes – a tilapia and a red snapper.
I have told you before how and why Bengali becomes fanatically obsessed with fish, not any fish, only Bengali fish. And above all, a Bong should know thousand different ways to cook the same fish. It is not matter of pride but quest for survival. The survival in the foreign land is often measured as index of adaptability to alien fishes for a Bong, who can not live without fish, just like fish can not live without water.
When we moved to US, we were largely dependent upon this frozen, vacuum sealed fillet of tilapia sold in the big grocery stores, and we survived our initial days of stay, which were dotted with numerous fish hunting adventures. Tilapia is not alien to Indians, but Indian tilapia is different from the US ones, in terms of size, taste and skin color. Well, am not an expert in fish – o – logy and however it might seem strange to many that Indian tilapia are oft-repeated with only mustard sauce. There is some unwritten rule for tilapia that they can not be paired with anything other than the mustard sauce.
These soft but firm tilapia tells however different stories, crave for range of sauces and certainly not confined to only pan-seared cooking, but can be baked, poached, grilled, batter fried, anything you love and their adaptability perhaps makes them most important fish in aquaculture after carps.
The idea of using cilantro sauce in the recipe has been inspired from Indian cilantro chutney often made with another important herb called mint, little tangy and spicy. This time I decided to go solo with cilantro and have added few chopped walnuts to give a nutty taste to the sauce.
Just few ingredients, one spice dish. A quick weeknight dinner, very innovative and if you love cilantro, am sure you will love this too. This dish taste best when it is made with farm raised fresh tilapia, use that for taste, flavour and also for sustainability.
We enjoyed it with lightly toasted broccoli and almond rice.
- Tilapia fish fillet : 4
- Egg : one (lightly beaten)
- Bread crumbs (seasoned): ½ cup
- Cilantro leaves : one bunch
- Walnut (chopped) : ½ cup
- Green chillies : 3-4 minced
- Red onion - 1 chopped
- Ginger (minced) : 1 tsp
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for shallow frying
- Lemon juice : 1 tsp
- Wash the fish fillet and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
- Dip the fillet in the beaten egg and then coated it with the breadcrumbs.
- Heat some oil in the pan and fry the fish fillet till they become lightly browned.
- Remove the fillet from the pan and keep it aside.
- Wash the cilantro, roughly chopped it along with the stems, and pureed in the mixer with the chopped walnut and minced green chillies.
- Heat some more oil in the pan, fry the chopped onions and the ginger.
- Once they become soft, add the cilantro walnut puree, saute on medium heat for few minutes, till the water evaporates and the sauce thickens a bit.
- Check the seasonings, few squeezes of lemon juice, and serve it over the crispy fried tilapia.
- Serve the tilapia in cilantro sauce with broccoli and almond rice.
Have a great week ahead !