For Your Meatless Fridays: Coconut-breaded, Blackened Catfish
In my home country, the Philippines, it is estimated that about 85% of its current population of almost 100 million, is Catholic. Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent are Days of Abstinence for many practicing Catholics. On these days, many refrain from eating meat and turn to fish for their protein sustenance. My Meatless Fridays growing up in the Philippines were, to say the least, quite boring, but as a good Catholic boy, I made the ultimate sacrifice to fulfill my obligation to the established rules!
I have such penchant for breaded fish fillet, but I thought of making a dish that’s a little more exciting and appetizing . So I experimented with coconut-breaded fish fillet, fried and semi-blackened. In addition, instead of the usual tartar sauce, I thought of using creamy hummus salad dressing (obtained from Trader Joe’s) to add a little vinegary taste to my fish. Now, going forward, I know what will be on the menu for my Meatless Fridays!
1 lb catfish fillets
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tbsps olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup hummus salad dressing
Wash the catfish fillets and pat them dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a shallow bowl, beat 2 eggs. On a large plate, mix the bread crumbs and coconut. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Dip each fillet in the eggs then roll them in the bread crumbs and coconut mixture, making sure both sides of the fish are well coated. Fry each fillet (turning over once or twice) until golden brown and until the coconut breading starts to blacken. Serve warm with the hummus dressing as your sauce.