Asian/Italian Fusion: Tilapia Filets, “Chicken Marsala Style”

With the new addition to our family I don’t get a lot of time to cook the way I used to.  I keep it pretty simple on the weeknights with just one meat and just one veggie (no starch), which has also helped a little with losing those last 10 lbs I’ve been trying to get rid of after mommyhood.  That said, I recently discovered how wonderful the fish is at Crystal Springs Fish & Poultry and have been making a point to get a few fish filets on saturday to cook during the week.  While I’ve had years of experience with chicken, beef & pork, cooking fish is relatively new to me and there have been a few misses along the road.  This recipe however, which is a riff on my favorite chicken marsala dish at buca’s, is definitely a keeper.  🙂

I also included my favorite recipe for lacinato kale.  I am seriously addicted to this preparation–poor hubby gets it at least once a week!

Tilapia Filets, “Chicken Marsala Style”

2 Tilapia filets, 1.5 lbs total weight
1 shallot, minced
1 T butter
3 slices ginger
3 T flour
6 white mushrooms, washed and sliced
Salt & Pepper
3T Choya Umeshu Plum wine

Rinse the tilapia filets and season both sides with salt & pepper.  In a non-stick pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the ginger, then the shallots and let butter brown.  Dredge tilapia filets in flour and immediately place into the pan (don’t do the dredge part beforehand, everything will get soggy).  surround the filets with the sliced mushrooms.  Let cook without flipping for ~5 minutes, until a golden brown crust forms.  Flip filets to the other side and repeat.  Remove the filets to a serving plate, reserving the mushrooms in the pan (when cooked through tilapia is white with no pink in the center).  Deglaze w/plum wine, and reduce about half, then pour over fish filets.

Sweet & Spicy Lacinato Kale 

1 bunch lacinato kale
3 dried spicy red peppers, or 1 t pepper flakes
5 cloves garlic
2T grapeseed or other vegetable oil
3T mirin
2T soy paste

Wash the kale and cut crosswise (across the stem) into half inch slices.  Heat the oil in a frying pan and add spicy pepper and garlic, cook for 1 minute to let the flavors permeate through the oil.  Add the kale and toss to coat relatively evenly.   add mirin and cover for 1 minute.  add soy paste and stir to distribute. cook for another minute to caramelize a little, and you’re done!!

** As a side note, I also learned recently that not all farmed fish is bad.  At Crystal Springs Fish and Poultry they carry Loch Duart farmed salmon, which is raised in pens in the ocean.  So…no overfishing of wild salmon and you don’t have to ingest gross antibiotics.    But the best thing is this salmon is absolutely delicious…tender and marbled with all those good-for-you fish oils.  In fact, they serve this salmon at the french laundry and Prince William and Kate’s wedding!  If it’s good enough for the duke of cambridge, it’s good enough for my family. 😉

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