SWEET AND SPICY SEA BASS STRIPS
By Felicia Scocozza
Black sea bass are an extremely abundant resource, and the saviors of many a tough fluke trip. Possessed of deliciously white flesh, they are generally easy to catch, clean and prepare. While ideal for this particular recipe, fluke, porgy or any other thin-fillet white- or light-fleshed fish will also serve well.
This recipe makes a terrific appetizer. For a full meal, double the ingredients and serve over jasmine rice with cooked seasonal vegetables such as broccoli, sugar snap peas, zucchini or yellow squash tossed in olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
- 1-lb. black sea bass fillets cut into 1-inch wide strips.
- 1 cup white flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1 ½ tsp salt (divided in three)
- 3 pinches of cayenne pepper to taste
- 1 ½ tsp chili powder (divided in three)
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- ½ – ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
- ½ cup prepared pepper jelly
- 1 ½ 1/2 tsp of rice vinegar
- Set up three bowls; one each with the flour, beaten eggs and panko breadcrumbs.
- In each bowl add ½ tsp salt, a pinch of cayenne to taste, and ½ tsp chili powder.
- Add 1 Tbsp of chopped fresh parsley to the panko breadcrumbs
- Add ½ to ¾ cup of olive oil or vegetable oil to a medium-sized skillet set to medium high. Add a tsp of sesame oil if desired.
- Heat oil until hot, about two to three minutes.
- Once oil is hot, dredge each piece of fish in the flour, eggs and panko breadcrumbs. Cook until crisp and lightly browned, two to three minutes based on thickness of the fish. Do not crowd the pan with fish strips. Cook in small batches and drain on paper towels. Lower the heat if the fish starts to cook too fast.
- Combine the pepper jelly and rice vinegar. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time, until fully melted and smooth when stirred (about 1 ½ minutes total).
- Spoon the pepper jelly over the fish to taste and enjoy.
Note: Unlike baking, cooking is not an exact science. Readers are encouraged to adjust and modify these recipes to their own tastes.
By Tom Schlichter
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