13 June 2015

(Serves 4)

I have always been a seafood lover but growing up in a house where the chef is less than fond of sea creatures my taste buds never ventured far from the normal staple of salmon and tilapia when it came to fish. So on my recent outing to the store I saw a strange name staring back at me from behind the seafood counter; Swai fillet. What is Swai? It looks just like a catfish fillet; thin, off-white/pink and on the soft side of firm.

After some research, I’ve discovered that Swai is from the catfish family indigenous to Southeast Asia. As of now, Swai is only sold to the US in the form of frozen fillets mainly from Vietnam. It has a milder taste with a sweet flavor and flaky texture once cooked. I understand that there are lots of controversy going around in regards to this fish in particular so if you want to stay away from debate then this fish can easily be substituted with tilapia.



Never having cooked Swai, I first used it in my Fish Congee or “Chaó Cá” which was approved by my little Evie. So today I decided to go bolder and attempt an Italian-esk flavor profile. I think this recipe can lend itself well to any type of mild flavor white fish such as tilapia or cod. Plus it only takes a few minutes to prep.                              

4 Swai fillet or any white fish

1. Wash fillets in salt-vinegar- water mix to remove any fishy odor and pat dry with a paper towel.

2. Salt and pepper the fillets and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup panko

3. Preheat the oven to 425F.

4. In a small bowl mix panko and tarragon together.

2 tbsps tarragon, chopped

1 tbsp spicy brown mustard or Dijon

4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix until well incorporated. If the crumb mixture seems a little dry, add more olive oil to the mix to ensure all the panko is wet and clumps begin to form.

5. Divide the crumb mixture evenly amongst the fillets.

6. Press the crumb mixture onto the fillets to form an even crust.

7. On the middle rack, bake for about 20 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the crust is golden brown. Once the fish is cooked but you desire a more golden crust, turn the broiler on high and move the rack to the top baking for about 4 minutes until the crust is your desired color.

1/4 cup lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

1 tbsp olive oil

Lemon wedges

8. Plate and sprinkle with a little lemon juice prior to serving

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