I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Citrus Dill Basa with Apple Coleslaw

When I was demonstrating seafood recipes at the local fish market this recipe was always very popular.  It was also quite controversial.  

There were those that would argue with you that we shouldn't eat imported fish, and especially fish that has come from Vietnam - I actually had someone spit it out right in front of me one time after they found out where it came from!!  

There are cases for both sides of this story - some tell us that Australia's consumption of seafood is exceeding what we can produce, and that in order for us to maintain seafood in our diet we need to look to imports - and fish that is produced via acquaculture.  Then there are those that say we should only eat Australian produce, and not support the overseas market.  

There are those that will argue that surely fish coming from Vietnam has to be contaminated - as the Mekong is one of the dirtiest rivers in the world.  While others will tell you that the import procedures ensure that the quality of the product we are receiving is as good, if not better than what we are producing here in this country.

For me, I find basa to be a good quality, price point friendly fish for the whole family.  I have been eating it for several years, and have found that it is a great fish to serve to the children.  While it doesn't have a great deal of flavour for the adults (hence a good marinade is essential) - that is the reason that the kids love it (that and it has no bones!!)  It also holds up well during cooking - and retains it's shape!

Citrus Dill Basa

Serves 4

3 tbs dill, chopped
zest of 2 lemons *
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves crushed garlic
salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 x basa fillets ** or other white fish

In a large bowl combine all ingredients.  Add fish, mix well, and allow to marinade for at least 1 hour, longer if time permits.

* you can change the flavour of this marinade by using different combinations of citrus zest.  Try lemon/lime, or orange zest for a different taste sensation.

Apple Coleslaw

1/4 cup whole egg mayonnaise
1 tbs white wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 red cabbage shredded
1 large carrot, julienned
1 granny smith apple, julienned

In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard and seasonings.  Place the cabbage, carrot and apple in a large bowl.  Add the mayonnaise mixture, toss to combine.

Heat a large frypan over medium high heat.  Add the fish fillets, and fry from 2 -3 minutes each side, or until cooked through.  (There is no need to add any olive oil as there is sufficient in the marinade).

Serve fish with Apple coleslaw, and steamed potatoes.

If you decide that basa isn't for you, I urge you to try this marinade with another firm white fish.  It is very versatile.  I have made it many different ways - using all lime, all lemon, or a combination of the two and also with orange rind - it is a great marinade whichever way you try it!!!!

** for more information about Basa visit Seafood Importers Association of Australasia.


  1. I tried basa once and I found that it had such a mild flavour, it reminded me of fish that you find crumbed and frozen. So I know what you mean by having a good marinade :)

  2. I love fish but I do not know basa. This looks delicious though. Diane

  3. They are apparently known in the UK as River Cobbler!!!

  4. What a delicious and healthy looking meal. I love dill and lemon together.

  5. Hi Cate, Nice apple coleslaw. I can feel the crunch of apples with the cabbage by looking at your pics...yum. This is my 1st time visiting your blog thru Peggy's. I can see that you cook a lot and would love to follow your blog for more food ideas!

  6. This marinade looks tasty and totally simple...I'm going to buy some fish and give it a try. I also like the idea of apple in coleslaw - genius! I've heard of Basa and the rumours that re the Mekong...I've never tried it though.

  7. I think basa is worth trying - it doesn't have a lot of flavour - but with a good marinade I think it's price makes it worth trying - I also love it for the kids - so mild that they get used to eating fish - you can then try other varieties (mine love salmon now!!!)

    Come one... want to see some recipes........