Thursday, March 17, 2011

Coconut Milk and Citrus Tilapia with Fennel Tea Black Rice

Winner of FoodFrenzy's "Recipe Challenge" for April 2011

This recipe combines marinating the fish in coconut milk and citrus juice with baking in a panko and zest crust to give the fish a bright and fresh taste.  Marinade in the coconut milk is going to help get rid of any fishiness in the tilapia and will also give a little sweetness and fat.  Although I used tilapia in this recipe, it also works will salmon and catfish. 

3 fillets of tilapia, sliced into two pieces
One 13.5 ounce can of light coconut milk
Juice of half an orange
Juice of half a lemon
Juice of half a lime
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper flakes
1 tsp ginger oil (or 1 inch of ginger, grated or just cut in slices if you can’t get ginger oil)
2-3 tablespoons of cilantro, roughly cut
Pinch of salt and pepper
*For a little spice, add sriracha or cayenne pepper 

Panko Crust:
1 1/2 cups of panko crumbs 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2-3 tbls cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbls. grated ginger
Zest of one orange & one lime
Salt and pepper to taste
*add more cayenne flakes or chile powder for a spicier crust

  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a shallow dish or bowl.  Make sure it is big enough to contain all the marinade and the submerged fish. 
  2. Submerge the fish, making sure everything if covered.  If the marinade does not completely cover the fish, feel free to add a little water.  
  3. Let marinade in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.  Since the marinade has a good amount of citrus juice, leaving the fish to long make breakdown the meat or slightly cook the fish.  So, be careful not to forget about it. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F 
  5. In a small bowl, mix the panko, cilantro, ginger, and zest.   I prefer to bread my fish by spreading the mixture on a plate, but this could also be done in a bag 
  6. Cover both sides of the tilapia with the panko mixture and then place on a metal cooking pan that is covered with aluminum foil (for easier clean-up).  Repeat for all the pieces of fish. 
  7. Cook the fish for about 10-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish) or until flaky.  
  8. When finished cooking, let rest for 5 minutes.  Then, serve with arugula salad and fennel tea black rice. 

Fennel Tea Black Rice
I experimented one day with making rice using tea and I’ve had some really good luck.  This one is one of my favorites because it just gives a little bit of flavor to the rice while also making it taste delicate and fresh. You can also cook this rice more traditionally on the stovetop.  If you go that route, make sure to make the fennel tea about an hour in advance so it can have time to cool. 

2 cups water
2 fennel tea bags
1 cup black rice (or, substitute with white or basmati for a more delicate grain)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp fennel seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2.  Boil two cups of water and let the tea bags seep for about 5 minutes. 
  3. Put the black rice, salt, and fennel seeds into a oven-proof baking dish that has lid.
  4. Pour in the fennel tea and olive oil.  *If the fennel tea has gotten too cool, zap it in the microwave for a minute because it needs to be pretty hot when it goes in the oven to create enough steam. 
  5. Put the lid on the race and then bake in the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. 
 photo bfdac910-178a-4ee2-a5fd-c9a902184f1f_zpsc381b36d.jpg
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  1. Just saw this on food frenzy. I have all of these ingredients and so now I know what I'm having for dinner! Thank you.

  2. I hope you like it! If you try it an having any suggestions for changes, please let me know.


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