Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Something fishy this way comes

Tilapia is a fish I think I would find it hard to get tired of. It's got such a mild, sweet, yet distinctly sea-like flavour, and it takes well to so many other flavours, making it easy to match with side dishes. I got two lovely filets at Farm Boy last night and the plan was to grill them, but as has been the case the last few days, it rained at dinnertime and I just didn't feel like subjecting Chris to grilling in the rain once again, so into the oven they went, slicked with a drizzle of blood-orange infused olive oil (which has been sitting forgotten in my pantry for far too long) as well as a splash of lemon juice and zest. Eight minutes under the broiler browned the edges and cooked the sweet firm flesh nicely. I think one minute less might have been perfect, but it was still delicious.

Alongside was some whole wheat couscous infused with more lemon juice and zest. The plan was to also add minced basil and lemon balm from the garden, but I ran out of time. The prettiest thing on the plate, however, was the Asian-flavoured nappa cabbage slaw. I adore cabbage, though frankly, it doesn't much like me (makes me burp, not that anyone needed to know that) and when I saw the gorgeous heads of nappa at the store last night I was powerless to resist. I shredded about half the head and combined it with a grated carrot and two green onions, sliced thinly (dark green parts only) and a quick dressing from Epicurious, composed of mayonnaise, rice vinegar, sugar and toasted sesame oil that tasted remarkably like that Japanese salad dressing we just finished a bottle of. I also toasted about a tablespoon of sesame seeds and tossed them into the slaw.

It was so good, we both had seconds. I regretted it afterwards, sitting bloatedly on the couch trying to forget how much I love cabbage, but it was so delicious I'm giving you the recipe and a photo. Please try this - it's such a fun alternative to plain tossed salads. Next time I'm adding some freshly grated ginger to the dressing for extra zing. Some finely minced red thai chili also wouldn't go amiss if you like your slaw kicky.

Recipe below the photo.

Asian Nappa Slaw (from

4 cups shredded nappa cabbage
1 cup grated carrot
2 green onions, sliced thinly
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

4 tbsp light mayonnaise
4 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Combine salad ingredients in large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients in small bowl. Add dressing to vegetables and toss well to coat. Allow to marinate for ten minutes, then chow down. Can be made ahead of time but will taste best if dressed no more than fifteen minutes before serving, to maintain some crunch.


Anonymous said...

Never had tilapia but your make it sound so good, I bought some to try. I'll let you know if it turns out as good yours.
CL :)

Anonymous said...

Well, it was a delectable little filet, tender and moist, even on the grill. Next time I need to oil the grill as well as the fish though. Without skin on it to protect, it's a little dicey. Also need to add a nice little salsa of some sort, though the lemon, zest and pepper made for a simple, yet elegant dish. Thanks for the idea!