Saturday, 3 September 2011

Pan-fried Emperor Fillets with Honey and Basil

The seafood here is very nice, although there don't seem to be many independent fishmongers around my area, and a lot of what you get in the supermarkets has been frozen. One thing that really threw us is that salmon is an expensive delicacy here, as opposed to being a cheap 'default' fish like it is in the UK. On the other hand there are lots of fish we would consider exotic readily available from any fish counter. One such is the emperor; I tried finding out exactly what species it is but haven't figured it out so far. The fillets are about 10cm long and less than 1cm thick, so pan-fry beautifully.

I first cooked this with my new heavy-based frying pan about a week after we had arrived, and was so excited, I forgot to take a photo before demolishing the plate! So this time I've recorded the results. We served these simply with mashed royal purple potatoes (a lovely variety you can get here, but any will do) and some steamed vegetables.

  • 1-2 emperor fillets per person
  • a few tbsp of flour
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • a generous handful of basil

Check over the fillets for any spare bones etc. Season the flour and thoroughly coat the fillets, then shake off any excess. Heat a few tbsp of oil in a heavy-based non-stick frying pan until moderately hot and beginning to shimmer, but not smoke. Err on the side of less oil rather than more. Carefully add the fish fillets and fry until golden, turning once. Remove the fillets from the pan, turn off the heat, then add the honey and basil. Mix together with any remaining oil, warming the honey and basil mixture, until it just begins to pop and simmer. Remove from the heat and drizzle over the fish, serving with your poatotes and vegetables.

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