Peppered Fish with Pesto Rice

I wanted to make something light and healthy for dinner. I knew I had to veer away from making my usual Cream Dory with Lemon Butter Sauce. It was yummy, yes, but it's always been my default recipe for fish. Some experimentation was in order!

I still used citrus but opted for calamansi (a small Philippine lime) rather than lemon (mainly because it wasn't available at the grocery I went to). I got the veggies we had in the freezer and hoped that I would make the flavors meld together. The result was this lovely spicy Asian-inspired fish dish!

To make this, you'll need:
fish fillet (cream dory or sole)
olive oil
chili powder
soy sauce
calamansi (or you can use lemons or lime)
garlic, chopped
basil
tomatoes, chopped
green beans, chopped

Marinate the fish in a mixture of calamansi juice, soy sauce and chili flakes. Heat oil in a pan, add garlic, then the fish fillets. Quickly add the tomatoes and green beans. Flip the fish then sprinkle salt, black pepper and chili powder on top. Add the soy sauce and calamansi marinade to make a nice sauce. Adjust the flavors until it is to your liking. You can add a bit of water too. Sprinkle chopped basil on top.

To make the pesto, I just put basil, arugula, garlic, walnuts and olive oil in a food processor and whizzed everything together. I also added salt and pepper and a bit of cheese to make cut out the bitterness from the arugula. I added about 3 spoonfuls of pesto to a heap of cooked white rice.

(I have a recipe for pesto pasta here)

The heat from the red pepper flakes went very well with the soy and citrus flavors. It coated the fish perfectly. Meanwhile, the pesto rice (a last minute thought!) made everything even more appetizing.

I was quite pleased with the results! If you look at all the ingredients, it's not something that you'll usually think of putting together- fish, arugula, cheese, basil, green beans, tomatoes. You can group some ingredients together like fish-soy sauce-calamansi, basil-tomato, or fish-pesto. At some point, I was quite worried that it just wouldn't taste nice! I was actually going for something that tasted Thai (something like this recipe) thus the basil and the pepper. I just kept on adding ingredients until I thought that the flavors were finally working together.

Whatever category this should be in, the point is this it's a nice take at making boring fish fillets burst with flavor! *Yey me!* And I have a feeling that you'll be seeing at lot more of that pesto rice in this blog :)

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