Monday, March 21, 2011

Pan-Fried Basa with Andouille Succotash

It's time for dinner. Part of this blog was supposed to be motivation to find quick and easy dinner recipes for weeknights. Ideally, I would find fast, yet delicious recipes that I could cook after a long day at work, then share that gold mine with you. But I'm a baker at heart, I suppose, and pies are so much prettier on a computer screen than some things. Then I found this recipe for the tastiest, easiest fish and a side with colors that give buttercream a run for it's money.

Have you heard of basa before? I hadn't either, until I wanted to buy catfish at the store and they were all out. The kind lady behind the counter recommended this fish to me and I've never bought regular catfish since. The texture is slightly firmer and flakier with a sweet, mild flavor. And it's one of the cheapest fish fillets in the case.  After doing a little bit of research, I discovered that it's a variety of freshwater catfish from Southeast Asia. This is a versatile fish that you can use in simple preparations and ones with bold flavors as well. I'm thinking about fish tacos this summer with cilantro-lime slaw.

In the original Bon Appetit recipe, the catfish is paired with a salad of arugula and oranges, which is delicious. I decided to make a succotash for a heartier side and it was perfect with the cornmeal-crusted basa. I can't wait for summer to make this with fresh vegetables, but frozen corn and lima beans taste really, really good after a long winter. With a little flavor-boost from the sausage, it was completely satisfying.

Pan-Fried Basa with Andouille Succotash
adapted from Bon Appetit

Serves 4

1/2 c. cornmeal
1 t. Cajun seasoning
1/2 t. ground pepper
1 1/4 lb. basa fillets
1/3 c. vegetable oil

Combine cornmeal, seasoning and pepper in a shallow dish. Run fish under cold water, shake off excess water and coat with cornmeal on both sides. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish and cook until golden and crisp and fish is opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side. Move to plates and serve.

2 T. butter
1/4 c. minced onion
2 c. frozen baby lima beans, thawed
2 c. frozen sweet corn, thawed
6 oz. andouille, thinly sliced crosswise
2 c. chopped seeded tomatoes (I used a 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, rinsed)
2 T. chopped parsley
2 t. lime juice

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; stir and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add lima beans, corn and sausage; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until heated through, 8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook 3 minutes longer. Add parsley and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


  1. Mmmm, This looks amazing! I was just thinking how I need to try something new with fish!

  2. Having grown up in the South, catfish was a staple, but this is a good backup to have! I never knew about it either!