Coconut-Crusted Fish Steak with Mango Salsa

fishPeople have asked me: how do I decide what recipes to prepare and post on my blog?  I start with a craving, which usually results from food items I see in magazines or posted on the Internet, encountered in a restaurant, or triggered by a memory or place I have visited. Then I scan my refrigerator for ingredients I already have and list those I need to pick up from the grocery store.  As I make my shopping list, I start thinking of ways to make the recipe different to suit my taste.  For example, I think about ways to make a spicy dish milder, a salty dish sweeter, or substitute ingredients with healthier alternatives.  As much as I try to prepare everything from scratch, oftentimes it just makes it easier to use previously-prepared ingredients, like hummus, sauces, dressings, or canned foods.  Since many of my readers are non-chefs like me, or are too busy to go through the rigorous routines of cooking or baking, I thought I might get a little appreciation for demystifying the culinary arts.  Cooking can be quick and simple!  After all, this is My Bay Kitchen, not My Bay Restaurant.

So why this recipe?  I had a craving for fried fish steaks, which was the way my mom always  prepared fish when I was growing up — bone in, not fillets.  I wanted breaded fish but I wanted to add a little sweet crunch to it, so I added shredded sweetened coconut to my breading. And to complete the tweak, I thought I’d pair the fish with some salsa.  Not just ordinary salsa, but mango salsa.  I hope you will agree that the mango salsa is a perfect complement to the coconut-crusted fish steaks.  I like swai fish because they do not have as much bones as other fish varieties.  But the fish steak to use is all yours to pick.  It can be catfish, salmon, halibut or whatever your meat grocer has for the catch of the day.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb catfish or swai steaks

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1/2 cup 100% white whole wheat flour

1 egg, beaten

1 cup ripe mango, sliced into small cubes

1/2 cup fresh tomato, sliced into small cubes

1/3 cup onions, chopped

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 small Serrano pepper, thinly sliced

2 tbsps lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsps Olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Season fish steaks with salt and pepper. Place 1/4 cup flour, shredded coconut and beaten egg in three separate plates. Dip fish steaks in egg, then in the flour, then in shredded coconut.  Heat Olive oil on a medium frying pan.  Fry fish steaks until brown on all sides, about 3-5 minutes, then set aside. In a medium bowl, combine mango, tomato, onions, cilantro, Serrano pepper and lemon juice.  Mix well. Place fish steaks on a serving plate and garnish with the mango salsa.

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