The Norseman and I had a semi-interesting conversation last night. It went something like this:
Me: “I’m going to make fried fish for supper.”
Me: “Eww, no, why would I do that?”
Norseman: “Because the only properly fried fish is breaded, remember?”
(He had recently shared a story from his childhood in which he only at breaded fried fish, and then one day was served non-breaded, and was devastated. He thought fried fish was only ever breaded. You know how childhood expectations of food go.)
Me: “But…I don’t think I’ve ever done breaded fried fish. I’m intimidated by it. Plus, fish sticks. Eww.”
Norseman: “Please try it?”
Me: “Hmm, I wonder if you can do coconut breaded fish.”
Norseman: “Eww, that sounds disgusting.”
Me: “Look, it’s all over the internet. It must be good.”
Norseman: “………” (insert doubting look here)
End result? This fish – doesn’t it look so delicious? Spoiler alert: it is! The Norseman happily approved. We used this recipe (Almond and Coconut Crusted Tilapia) by The Toasted Pine Nut, with a couple of adjustments.
- I used breadcrumbs because we had neither almonds nor almond meal in the house.
- I added an egg wash because the resulting breading was not sticking on its own.
- I would reduce the amount of breadcrumbs the next time we make this since the coconut flavor didn’t come through very well – too many bread crumbs. It is reduced in the recipe below.
If we ever get either almonds or almond meal I’d really like to try the original recipe. It sounds amazing.
And by the way: making breaded fried fish is not very intimidating. In fact, Prima could probably do it with help in a couple of years. And the coconut is not disgusting with the tilapia (a legitimate concern that was expressed.) Unless you don’t like coconut. So there’s that. Enjoy!
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. garlic
- 1/2 TBSP lemon pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- Coconut oil
- 4-6 tilapia fillets, fresh or thawed if frozen
- Mix dry ingredients in a shallow bowl or pan.
- Beat egg in a small bowl.
- Heat 2-3 TBSP of coconut oil in large frying pan over medium heat.
- Dip fillet into egg, then dredge in bread crumb mixture. To dredge: place fish into bread crumb mixture. Use hand or a shaking motion to cover topside of fish with mixture. Gently flip fish and repeat to ensure both sides are covered.
- When oil is heated, place fish into frying pan. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, until breading is golden brown and fish is white and flaky (this will happen during the second side.) If breading is burning, lower heat a little to finish frying. Remove to a plate.
- Slice one half of the lemon into 4-6 slices. Lay a slice on top of each fish fillet as it comes out of the frying pan. Once all fillets are on the plate, squeeze other half of lemon over the fillets.
- Serve immediately.