Fish for Supper?
I hear people say all the time, “we need to eat more fish, but I don’t know how to cook it.” No one wants to eat an overcooked or bland and rubbery fish, but it is actually one of the easiest meats to prepare. It can be a fast and tasty option for dinner on a busy night.
We eat a lot of seafood, and we enjoy a variety of fish dinners. Growing up the most common way to see fish cooked and served was lightly fried with a side of coleslaw and hushpuppies or fries. In the south we used to eat out at what we called fish camps, and this was the standard fare, with of course super sweet tea and pie for dessert. I am getting hungry just writing this.
Last night I had no dinner planned, but around 4:30 I looked in the freezer and found frozen tilapia. I pulled out 5, and placed them under running water while I chopped up a red pepper, green onions and a cucumber. I started the side dishes, put each now thawed fish on a square of tin foil and layered veggies over each one. I poured a tablespoon of soy sauce and sesame oil over each fish, sealed the tin foil and put the packets in the oven. In just a few minutes I served my family baked fish with veggies, cheese grits and green beans. Everyone enjoyed the meal, and I was happy because it had been prepared so quickly on a night I had no dinner planned.
Here is the actual recipe for that Chinese Fish Packet as well as a few others.
Chinese Baked Fish in Foil
4 catfish (flounder or perch will work also, I used tilapia which is thinner)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
¼ cup seeded diced cucumbers
½ cup diced red peppers
1 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a cup mix soy sauce and sesame oil until well combined. Save this mixture. Tear off 4 12 inches squares of tin foil and place 1 fish filet in the middle of each square. Sprinkle each fish evenly with the chopped scallion, diced red pepper, diced cucumber and minced ginger. Next drizzle each fish with the soy sauce mixture.
Fold foil over filets to make packets and seal edges tightly. Place the packets on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
Open the packets at the table, being careful of the hot steam.
Another fish in foil recipe is as follows.
4 white fish fillets such as cod or haddock. (I probably used tilapia)
1 small green pepper chopped
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 clove of garlic crushed
1 large tomato peeled seeded and chopped
2 bay leaves
8 tablespoons dry white wine
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375. Place a fish on a square of tin foil. Mix together the green pepper, onion, garlic and tomato and divide them equally over the fish. On top of each pile of vegetables place ½ of a bay leaf, 2 tablespoons wine and lemon juice. Season well with salt and pepper then fold the edges of the foil together to make baggy parcels.
Cook in the oven 20 – 25 minutes depending on the size of the fish. The fish is done when the flesh flakes easily and is opaque in color.
Fried Fish by my Mother
White fish, ( again I usually have tilapia)
2/3 cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon vinegar
2/3 cup cold water
Mix baking soda and vinegar. Mix flour and salt. Beat in dry mixture and water. Dip fish in batter and deep fat fry 3 minutes turning once, till brown.
This batter is also good for fried onion rings, which make an excellent side dish.
Season fish with lime juice, sugar, salt and chili powder and serve in fish tacos. In the tacos we like coleslaw, black beans and other regular taco toppings.
My absolute favorite way to eat fish is by the campfire. Perhaps my husband and I spent the morning in our boat, or on the side of a lake casting out into the smooth blue water while insects buzz and breezes blow. After several casts there is a tugging on the line and then a battle as we wrestle the fish in. In this daydream we catch plenty, and more importantly, my husband cleans and prepares all the fish. I wrap them in foil and cook over the fire. Everything tastes better cooked outside and eaten by a fire, and the best fish is a freshly caught fish.