New on The Kitchibitionist: every week, I’m going to post a Mid-Week Quickie – an easy weeknight dinner I’ve made that doesn’t take too much time or energy after a long day.
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Tonight, I made sesame-crusted tilapia in a soy ginger butter sauce. The ingredients in the name are basically the only ingredients in the dish and it takes under 10 minutes to prepare.
But the really amazing thing about this dish is what happens when the butter and soy come together. All of a sudden, these basic ingredients you already have in the fridge turn into a rich, luxurious sauce that you will want to make all the time. You have now been warned.
This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman’s Bittman Takes On America’s Chefs.
ingredients (serves 2)
2 tilapia filets (or any other white-fleshed fish)
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1. Heat oil over medium-high in a large nonstick frying pan. While it’s heating, dip the fish filets in the sesame seeds (I use a large shallow bowl) and press to coat.
2. When oil sizzles when you drop a sesame seed in, put the filets in the pan. Fry until golden brown and cooked through on both sides. With 1/2 inch-thick tilapia filets, this is only about 2 minutes per side, so be careful not to overcook! When in doubt, err on under-cooking in this step – you can cook them a little more later if you need to.
3. Remove the fish from the pan and wipe out any burnt sesame seeds that may have stuck. Return pan to heat and add butter. Once it melts, add the ginger and garlic, and saute for 30 seconds. Then add the soy. When you stir it all around it should bubble and turn into a glaze-like consistency. If this doesn’t happen, turn up the heat.
4. Return the fish to the pan and turn to coat. If your fish needs a little more cooking time, now’s its chance. Otherwise, serve immediately, with the extra glaze from the pan spooned over the fish.
This fish would be pair really well with an asian-style cucumber salad, or just over udon noodles or rice. OR, if you’re feeling frisky, you could make vegetable lo mein to go with it. Yum.