Have you tried plantain chips? They’re readily available here in South Florida, but I’ve gotten them in the Northeast, too. Anyway, you need to get yourself a bag, because they make a great “crumb” coating…really. Crush them up and add use them to coat chicken breasts, or as in this case, fish fillets. Oh yeah, they’re a great alternative to potato chips, too (and they are gluten free, as well!). I’ve been planning on doing this for quite some time. Maybe it’s a Florida thing, I don’t know. But I’m really glad I did it. I mixed the crushed chips with panko crumbs about 2:1 ratio, but next time I’m going to go solo with the crushed plantain chips. I use a rolling pin to crush the plantain chips. But, that’s not a rolling pin in the picture, is it? I can’t slip anything by you. This is one of those little teaching moments The Goddess is so fond of (insert eye roll here!) If, through some act of God or you’re just to lazy to dig around and find your rolling, you find yourself without a rolling pin, don’t panic. Use a wine bottle! I’m happy to report, a wine bottle “rolling pin” works well. I didn’t want the plantain chips to be crushed to a powder, I wanted them to have some texture. Next time, I think I’ll not add the panko, though they were good and I got a nice crunchy exterior, but I think the flavor was compromised a tad…I’ll keep you posted.
The curry sauce was nothing more than a béchamel sauce with curry powder, bell pepper strips, onions and pineapple. I’m out of my usual curry powder and I’m not too whipped up with the one I have. It happens. You can enhance the flavor, if it’s a bit on the bland side, by adding some cumin, coriander, garlic and ginger, along with a couple of tablespoons of lemon or lime juice. Personally, I prefer lime juice, by that’s me. For the liquid, I used a combination of dry white wine and half-and-half, about 1:4 ratio. The sauce is stellar, if you use coconut milk (which I was out of, too), instead of the half-and-half. The pantry is not as well stocked as it should be! It happens….
I like to pan-fry these fillets, but I suspect you could also bake them. I think the “crunch” wouldn’t be as pronounced. And I really, really like crunch! For the fish, I used Swai. But you could use any whitefish fillet, though the cooking time will vary with a thicker fillet, such as cod; plan accordingly.
Plantain Chip-Crusted Fish Fillets
- Whitefish fillets (Swai, cod, corvina, tilapia, sole, etc.)
- Plantain chips, crushed (about 1-2 cups—leftovers can be frozen)
- Panko crumbs (about 1/2-1 cup—optional)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic granules per cup crumbs
- 1 egg, well beaten with 2 tablespoons water
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Curry Sauce, for serving
Crush up the plantain chips with a rolling pin; don’t over process. You want them to have some texture. Combine with the panko crumbs, if using; I place the crumbs in a plastic freezer bag. Add salt, pepper and garlic granules to the mixture and shake them up. Pour about half out onto a plate or a cutting board.
Dip the fish fillet(s) in the beaten egg. Dredge the fish in the crumbs, pressing them on to help them adhere. You may use as is, or dredge them again. Let the coated fillet sit for at least 10 minutes; this helps the crumbs adhere better.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat; add the oil to a depth of about 1/4-inch. When hot (almost smoking), carefully slide the coated fillet(s) into the fat. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until you can see browning around the edges. Carefully turn the fillet(s); continue to cook until the fish is cooked and browned, about 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper toweling. Serve with a sauce (Coconut Curry Sauce, Fresh Tropical Salsa, Teriyaki Sauce, etc.) or cut into strips and use for fish tacos, or place the fillets on good buns and serve with a fruit-based tartar sauce…there are options!
Plantain Chip-Crusted Fish Fillets Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.
I didn’t give you a specific amount, simply because you can make however many you want. The beaten egg will be enough for at least 3-4 fillets and I coated these as one normally does—flour (it can be rice or cornstarch), egg, breading, which in this case was a combination of panko and crushed plantain chips. Once I coat the fillets with the plantain chips, I let them set for at least 10 minutes. It helps the coating to really adhere to the fish, so it doesn’t fall off when you’re frying them. I hate when that happens, don’t you?
This is a perfect mid-week meal. It’s fast and delicious and the kids could easily have the fish coated and waiting in the fridge for you. Remember, cook with your kids. Trust me, you’ll both learn and have fun!
These make terrifically tasty fish tacos…make a fresh fruit-based salsa, some good corn tortillas and these nice, crispy fillets and you’re done! I’ve also used these for a fish sandwich…The Goddess’s very own filet-o-fish…those golden arches have nothing on her!