Basa is a fish loved by people who don’t like fish. You can get chunky pieces of fish meat without the pesky bones. And it’s not just fish sans the bones; Basa does not have the characteristic fishy smell either.
Basa is also cheap in the market when compared to other meaty fishes like Seer fish (Neymeem) or Sea Bass (Kalanji) or Kingfish (Motha). I was trying to look up the Malayalam name for Basa; I have not eaten this fish in Kerala. And that’s when I came to know that Basa is imported from Vietnam. There is also the controversy that Basa has high levels of harmful elements in it because it is harvested from the polluted water of river Mekong in Vietnam. But the price combined with the lack of fish smell makes this a very attractive fish to buy esp. in a landlocked place like Bangalore and they say it is Indian Basa.
We have eaten Basa at the restaurants in dishes like Fish and Chips and Amritsari Fish Tikka Masala. Given a choice, I still prefer the other fishes listed above to Basa; they are better suited to absorbing the spices and flavours of our curries. But currently amidst the lockdown, only Basa is available among the meaty fishes.
At home, I wanted to make a simple but tasty dish. Frying the fish is the easiest way to go; but Basa coated with breadcrumbs and fried is more delectable. Love the crunchy coating !!
Basa cubes are first marinated with a paste of ginger, garlic. salt and pepper. Let the marinated fish sit in the fridge for a few hours (3 to 4). When it’s time to eat, take the fish out, dip in a beaten egg, coat with breadcrumbs and then shallow fry. Eat it hot.
A cheesy dip completes the fried fish. It’s easy to make. Mix chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves with any creamy cheese. Serve the mix garnished with chopped greens from spring onions.
Bon appetit !!
Till next post, take care !!