Basa fillets with a crunchy breadcrumb topping gives the very healthy baked version of crispy fish fry.
Who said crunchy fish has to be deep fried? Who said only way who can enjoy crispy fish is by having fish and chips? What if I tell you we’ll add the much loved crunch in the fish without deep frying – or any frying at all! Does that sound nice? I bet it does. So here’s my take on the baked basa fillet in the crispy crunchy way.
A few weeks back some of our relatives were visiting us and I wanted to serve up a nice dinner with fish, meat, desserts and all. I got some really fresh basa fillets from the local super market and was thinking what do I make with it – crumb fried fish or baked fish? Then I thought why not combine both!
Now I have made many versions of fried fish, fish and chips and baked fish, but this is something that I was doing for the first time. I was pretty happy how it came out. It was over in minutes. I wanted the basa to be soft, creamy in the inside and crispy on the outside – just little crispy, not like the hard batter fried ones. When you have fried fish it’s the batter that becomes crispy and crunchy and there’s seriously a lot of things mixed in the batter to get that crunch.
No Fuss Baked Fish
This recipe has just 3 main ingredients other than the fish and breadcrumbs! And it will be ready under 30 minutes. So if you want to make a quick dinner after a long day at work or have guests at home then this should be your go to recipe.
The key ingredient here is mayonnaise. It is so flavorful that you almost don’t need anything else in this recipe. We are going to marinade the fish with mayonnaise which in turn will give us this creamy, satin texture in the fish. I am using plain old mayo. If you wish you could use your favorite variety of mayo.
One more thing – if you are not in India or you are having problem in sourcing basa – you could use a cod, bekti, even tilapia fillets. I would use a little more lime juice for tilapia actually.
Let’s get started
Once you have washed your fish dry the fillets by dabbing a dry cloth. By the way I have cut the fillets in thick strips so that you get more servings in one batch.
In a separate bowl mix mayonnaise, garlic paste, little onion paste, lime juice and seasoning. We are going to spread this mayo mix on top of the fish fillets generously. Let the fish soak all the creaminess of the mayo for 2-3 minutes.
Make your own crumb
Now let’s get some breadcrumbs. I don’t use store bought breadcrumbs. I make my own. I toast bread slices lightly and then put them in a food processor and grind them in a coarse crumb. The difference in a store bought one and homemade one is the latter has coarser crumb, un even crumbs which gives a beautiful texture and you can almost see the flakes! I find the store bought ones too fine. You can use any variety of bread, I even use the sides – why waste anything. You can store the breadcrumbs for 2-3 days. Any more than that you will see molds on them. So I prefer making fresh.
Back to the fish
Sprinkle a generous amount of breadcrumb on top of the mayo covered fish. See to it that no mayo is visible.
Drizzle some melted butter over breadcrumbs. The butter will make the breadcrumbs golden, beautiful and crispy.
Bake it in a pre-heated oven at 220D/425F for 20 minutes or until the fish flakes when a fork is inserted.
Serve it with some steamed vegetables and rice and your dinner is ready! You don’t even need any cheese!
How easy was that?
Pro Tip: Don’t overcook the fish. Overcooked fish tastes like rubber, you want to be delicate with the basa. You could bake it for 15 minutes and check and then bake again for five minutes. Why I am saying this is because, fish cooking time depends on the thickness of the fillets. It’s better to be cautious.
I found this fish crispy and creamy, it’s going to be made in my kitchen many more times I am sure. So you let me know about your fish tale. Do give this a try and let me know.
- Basa fillet (or any white fish fillet) - 600g cut in thick strips
- Lime Juice - 1 tablespoon
- Light Mayonnaise - 1 tablespoon
- Onion Paste - 1 teaspoon
- Garlic Paste - 1 teaspoon
- Salt & Pepper - to taste
- Fresh Breadcrumb - 1/2 cup
- Melted butter - 1 and 1/2 tablespoon
- Pre-heat oven to 220D/425F
- Grease a baking dish with butter or cooking spray
- Mix mayonnaise, lime juice, onion and garlic paste and seasoning in a separate bowl
- Coat the fish fillets with this mayo mix nicely
- Let the fish soak it for 2-3 minutes
- Sprinkle breadcrumb well
- Pour melted butter over bread crumbs
- Bake for 20 mins or till fish becomes flaky when inserted with a fork/knife
- Serve warm with steamed vegetables and steamed rice
- Do not overcook the fish