Crispy Fried Basa
Basa is a member of the catfish family, farm raised in fresh water. It has a delicate flavored white flesh, which does not taste or smell fishy at all (unlike other catfish). I tried it when one our our local grocery stores had a promotion on it, and I was hooked! Now, I always wait until they put the large packages of frozen basa on their 2 for 1 specials, and stock up. You could use this method with any white fish filets. It’s a quick-fry method that keeps all the flavour and doesn’t dry out the fish.
The fish is seasoned with either store-bought or homemade cajun spice, and coated with cornmeal. Then it is fried in a non-stick pan with some cooking spray. You will be amazed what a crispy crust this produces without any oil! It won’t provoke an attack for those of us with IBS because it is so low in fat, but even those in your family who don’t have to be careful will ask for it. Try it, and you will be hooked too! Steve likes his with tartar sauce, I like mine with ketchup, or just plain.
This recipe is adapted from one in the book “Eating for IBS” by Heather Van Vorous.
You will be amazed what a crispy crust this produces without any oil. Basa has a mild flavor and a delicate texture, with no “fishy” taste or smell. Use this method with any mild flavored white fish fillets if you cannot find basa.
Serves 2 people
- 1 fillet basa (about 12 ounces)
- Old Bay seasoning
- Cajun seasoning
- 2 Tbsp cornmeal
- Lemon juice or lemon wedges
- Cooking oil spray
1) Start to pre-heat a large non-stick fry pan on medium-high heat. Spray with cooking oil spray.
2) Lay fish onto plate and pat dry with paper towel.
3) Squeeze lemon wedge or sprinkle lemon juice over fish. Sprinkle with Old Bay and Cajun seasoning. Sprinkle one Tbsp cornmeal over, and press lightly to make it stick. Turn fish fillet over, and do the same to the other side.
4) Once your pan just starts to smoke, put the fish in. Cook fish until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Spray the top of the fish with cooking oil just before turning it over. You will know if the heat is right as it should sizzle when you turn it over. Cook on second side until golden brown and crispy, and cooked through in the center, about another 3 to 4 minutes.
- 3 Tbsp paprika
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper (if you have white pepper, you can use half white and half black)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp basil, crushed
- 1 tsp thyme, crushed
- ½ tsp rosemary, crushed
Mix all ingredients together well. Store in airtight container. Makes about 1/3 cup.