Fruits of the Sea: Basil & Coconut Crusted Fish with Tom Yum Sauce & Crunchy Mange Tout Salad

As I crossed 100 posts on my blog a few weeks ago, I sat down one day to look through the fruits of my labor. Going through the posts and the encouraging comments, one thing struck me as quite odd; there was no fish recipe on my blog. For seafood epicures there were prawn and calamari recipes, but other than a guest post, I had neither posted nor cooked anything remotely related to fish. To end this drought, I made my way to the supermarket to pick up fish so I could decide what to do with it later. With all the choices available, I picked up de-boned fillets of John Dory, a moist, flat white fish known for its creamy texture and nutritional qualities.

Basil & Coconut Crusted Fish with Tom Yum Sauce & Crunchy Mange Tout Salad

Health studies recently conducted suggest that fish should be a regular part of our diet, with two portions to be consumed in a week, albeit the non-fatty ones. Similarly, the cooking method should be healthy too, steaming or poaching is preferred to deep-frying. It may taste really good, but the problem with deep-frying white fish, like the Dory, Sole or Halibut, is that it loses its moisture and texture. Having wanting to crumb the fish with coconut and basil, for added flavors, I opted to lightly pan fry the fish but in order to maintain the moisture, you will have to slice the fish into thin fillets. This way the fish cooks at the same pace as its outer coating.

Basil & Coconut Crusted Fish with Tom Yum Sauce & Crunchy Mange Tout Salad

Ingredients

For the Fish:

  • 1 kg fish fillets (Dory, Halibut or Sole), sliced thinly
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the Tom Yum Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp tom yum paste
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup milk

For the Mange Tout Salad:

  • 1 pkt mange touts
  • 1 cup fresh beansprouts
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation

For the Fish:

  • Slice the fish fillets horizontally, till they reach about 1 inch thickness
  • In a bowl, mix together the coconut, breadcrumbs, chopped basil, salt and pepper
  • Whip the egg in a separate bowl and place the flour in a separate plate
  • One by one soak the fish fillet in the egg, coat it with the flour shaking off the

    Basil and Coconut Mixture

    excess and finally completely cover with the coconut mixture

  • Set aside and repeat with the rest of the fillets
  • Coat a large, shallow sauce pan with olive oil, removing any excess oil, and heat
  • Once the pan has become hot, add the fish fillets and lower the heat
  • Cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes, or till golden brown, turning over just once (this minimizes the risk of the fish fillets breaking, as they are very soft)
  • Once crisp, place the fillets on a kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil
For the Tom Yum Salad:
  • Melt the butter in a pan and add the salt and flour
  • Cook for a minute till fragrant
  • Add the milk slowly, mixing well, till it reaches your desired consistency and no lumps remain
  • Turn off the heat and add the tom yum paste
  • Mix well till the paste is combined with the sauce. Taste to adjust the spices according to your needs

For the Mange Tout Salad:

  • Blanche the mange tout and beansprouts in ice cold water for 3-4 minutes. Remove and let them dry completely
  • Toss together with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper
  • Add the basil leaves right before serving

Basil & Coconut Crusted Fish with Tom Yum Sauce & Crunchy Mange Tout Salad

A light and healthy meal full of flavors, perfect for a quick weekday supper or a night out. If cooked well, the fish should be crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. With one bite the fish should just melt in your mouth. It’s creamy texture combined with the flavors of the coconut and basil takes the concept of fried fish to another level. Dipped in the sauce and eaten with the earthy salad, my foray into cooking with fish turned out to be quite a success.

Basil & Coconut Crusted Fish with Tom Yum Sauce & Crunchy Mange Tout Salad

 

  • Anicca

    What an excellent recipe! Sounds delicious and low on the calories!! What veggies can I use for the salad in Karachi since some ingredients may not be available?

    • http://chatteringkitchen.com chatteringkitchen

      Low on calories only if u fry in very little oil :). You can get snow peas and beansprouts in the market, if not then just go for veggies that are crunchy.