Easy Fried Basa Fish Fillet Recipe

If you'd like to know of a healthy dinner recipe you can prepare in less than 20 minutes, we have the perfect dish for you — one that's yummy and easy to whip together. Recipe developer Jennine Bryant of The Marshside Pantry is here to introduce you to the wonders of basa fish, a Southeast Asian catfish with a mild, sweet flavor. "Basa fish is a really underrated and misrepresented fish," Bryant says. "It has a soft white meat, a delicate flavor, and it's wonderfully versatile, which makes it great for this dish." Not only does it taste great, but it makes a nice presentation when served.

Bryant points out that some people steer clear of basa, because they believe that its farm ponds often become contaminated. While that has happened — for example, in some Vietnam exports, per Heathline — Bryant points out that it's possible to source good basa fish. "If you have concerns then just check the label to see where it has come from," she says. "I always like to know where my food has come from anyway — it's good to make informed choices about what we put in our bodies." 

Some stores in the U.S. don't carry fresh basa, but you can try Asian markets to find it. "I like preparing this recipe because it's really tasty ... and it's quite light, so it doesn't sit heavy in your stomach," Bryant says. It's a great meal to make and serve with a side of rice and some veggies.

Gather your ingredients to prepare this fried basa fish fillet recipe

Besides obtaining the basa fish fillets, finding the remaining ingredients shouldn't be challenging. All you need is butter, chicken stock, heavy cream, the juice from half of a lemon, some lemon zest, mustard, olive oil, salt, pepper, and more butter. You probably have most of these items already at home.

If you are in a rush, you can actually make the dish in less than 10 minutes by skipping the sauce. The seasoned fillets will still please your palate ... and you'll save those calories. For vegetarians, you can swap the stock base from chicken to vegetable stock, it won't change the flavor that much, according to Bryant. A fish stock cube could also be used.

Be sure to get a good variety of veggies as well. The possibilities are endless. As we mentioned earlier, rice, asparagus, and spinach are great options. But you can concoct anything from potatoes to roast cherry tomatoes to broccoli to rev up the health factor when you plate the fish. You can switch it up each time you prepare this recipe to make it more exciting.

Mixing up the sauce

Now that you have your ingredients together, you'll create the sauce for the fillets. Remember, if you are rushed, you can skip this step altogether and go right to frying the fish. But if you want to add the sauce, then take 1 tablespoon of butter, ½ cup of chicken stock, ½ cup of heavy cream, juice from ½ lemon, ½ teaspoon of lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of mustard, salt, and pepper, and add to a saucepan. 

Allow all the ingredients to simmer together at a low heat for a few minutes. Make sure to keep the heat low, because if the sauce begins to boil, it will split. Take the pan off the heat, and allow it to sit and cool slightly off to the side.

Season and sear the fish

It's time to fry up the basa fish. First, you'll want to season the fillets with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the fillets evenly on both sides.

Then, heat a frying pan to a medium-high heat, adding the olive oil once it becomes hot. Place the basa fillets into the hot pan, and fry for roughly three minutes on one side.

After three minutes, and when the fish starts coloring slightly underneath, flip both the fillets over, and add some butter to the pan, maybe about a tablespoon. Tilt the pan, and use the melted butter and juices to baste the fish. Fry for another two to three minutes until the fish is no longer translucent.

Add the lemon cream sauce, and eat

You're almost done with this preparation. Take the fillets out of the pan, and allow them to rest for a few minutes before topping with your lemon cream sauce. Adorn the dish with an assortment of vegetables, and dig in!

Bryant recommends cooking the fish fresh "because it's just so much nicer," but the sauce can be prepared beforehand and may stay in the fridge for up to three days. "It is possible to cook the fish and refrigerate it, just make sure it's properly heated through before consuming," she adds. "I would make sure to try to eat the cooked fish as soon as possible, [within] three days." 

This is sure to be a weekly favorite, since it's quick to prepare and delicious to eat.

Easy Fried Basa Fish Fillet Recipe
5 from 17 ratings
This fried basa fish fillet recipe is a great meal to make and serve with a side of rice and some veggies.
Prep Time
2
minutes
Cook Time
10
minutes
Servings
2
Servings
basa fish filet with veggies
Total time: 12 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 basa fish fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Directions
  1. Add the butter, chicken stock, heavy cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, salt, and pepper to a saucepan, and allow everything to simmer at a low heat for a few minutes. Make sure to keep it low — if the sauce begins to boil, it will split. Take the pan off the heat, and allow it to sit and cool slightly.
  2. Season the basa fish fillets with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a frying pan to a medium-high heat, then add the olive oil once it becomes hot.
  4. Place the basa fillets into the hot pan, and fry for roughly 3 minutes on one side.
  5. After 3 minutes and when the fish are coloring slightly underneath, flip both the fish fillets over, and add the butter to the pan. Tilt the pan, and use the melted butter and juices to baste the fish. Fry for another 2 to 3 minutes until the fish is no longer translucent.
  6. Take the fish out of the pan, and allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving with the lemon cream sauce.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 589
Total Fat 50.8 g
Saturated Fat 24.2 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 201.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Total Sugars 3.1 g
Sodium 751.6 mg
Protein 27.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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