Baked fish with Panko breadcrumbs (Ulog #24)

Now that I’m home for a few days before the tour starts up again, I’m enjoying being able to cook for myself (and the family). Eating out is nice, but it does get to be a bit too much after a while. However, that said, eating out in Japan is much less of a stress on my stomach than eating out in other countries!

For a while now, we’ve mostly stopped using normal breadcrumbs and started substituting with Panko instead. Incidentally, it is a Japanese form of breadcrumbs, but it wasn’t related to my trip there!They are a little bit different to the regular breadcrumbs, being a lighter version that absorbs less oil which keeps the food crispier!

This is a simple baked twist on the stock fish and chips idea. Instead of the fried fish, we have baked fish and instead of chips, we have roast vegetables (although, if I have time, I sometimes make chips fresh from the potatoes). Close enough!

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Ingredients

I am pretty sure that this idea will work with most types of fish, but the one that I had on hand this time was a few slices of cod fillets (Kabeljauw). It’s pretty common here in The Netherlands, and I had bought several fillets (500g or around 2435.42355 milli-pounds) when it was on sale (haha, no comment on the state of the crypto market here!). You will also need some eggs for the egg wash, I started with one but ended using two (I’m pretty sure those numbers are the same in the American system). Also required will be some Panko (duh!), flour, dried parsley, salt and pepper (not pictured, but I’m sure you know where to get those and what they look like!).

For the vegetable portion of the meal, well… this is definitely the side show. I was going to thinly slice potatoes and bake them with salt, pepper and rosemary (home make thin chips) with a slice of steamed green vegetables, but I had run out of time to do that. So, I ended up just roughly cutting and roasting the guys that you see in the picture (Potatoes, Sweet Potato and Carrots…). However, as I said… use whatever strikes your fancy, this is only the side show to the main event!

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Preparation

Cut the fish into roughly equal sized chunks. You see in this photo, that I should have chose the fillets a little bit more carefully. I had two fairly thick fillets and one very thin one, it’s okay, but it would end up cooking differently, with different results due to the thinness or thickness of the slices.

Lightly Coat each chunk with salt and pepper. Nothing complicated here!

Mix up the Panko with a generous amount of the dried parsley, and make sure that it is mixed up well. The amount is really up to you, and it comes with a bit of trial and error, and it depends a bit on the type of fish that you are cooking.… more excuses to make and eat baked fish!

Now is a good time to set up your fish coating factory line in a good way, as your hands are going to get really sticky and dirty, and it will suck to change it mid way! The destination tray should be a tray (either greased with butter or using baking paper) large enough to hold all the chunks without them touching each other. Otherwise, from left to right, fish chunks, bowl of flour, egg wash and then the magical Panko/parsley mix.

Grab a fish chunk, roll it in the flour, dip it completely under in the egg wash and then coat evenly and fully with the Panko. Put it into the destination tray and then repeat over and over until you run out of fish… hopefully before running out of anything else, because your hands will be completely covered with a gooey doughy mess.

So, this is the end result ready to cook. Preparation is short, maximum around 20 minutes (sorry, I don’t know the American units for time).

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The Sideshow

As I said, this is the side act and so I won’t go into this part in too much depth. Cutting the sweet potatoes (after skinning them) into chunks and slices, pre-boiling the potatoes (with these little ones I keep the skin) and just cutting the heads off the carrots (keeping the skin). A generous brushing with olive oil and then a quick seasoning with salt and pepper and whatever herbs that might interest you. Normally, I use rosemary, but this time I just went plain as it was raining outside and I didn’t feel like going out and getting wet for a couple of sprigs of rosemary from the bush!

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Cooking

Roast vegetables always take a bit longer than expected and the fish will cook pretty fast. So, I gave the veggies a head start of about 25 minutes in the oven at 220 degrees Celcius (324598.472721 parts of Fahrenheit). When it looked like the roast veggies were done, and just needed a touch of browning, I turned the heat down to 180 degrees Celcius ( – 12465.345 troy units of Fahrenheit) and then added the tray of fish whilst keeping the vegetables in the oven.

The fish should be done in about 15 minutes, although your own cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your fish chunks. Just pull one out and test it!

This is the result from this particular cooking. I was a bit too rushed for time, so if I had more time, I would let the fish cook a little bit longer so that the coating would have a touch more brown in it. However, it was ready to eat!

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Critical Reception

The critical reception was that it was considered unanimously to be edible, possibly even tasty. Served up with your own particular choice of condiments. Our choice was Japanese mayonnaise for the toddler and myself, tomato sauce for my crazy older daughter and just plain for my (no descriptor) wife.

A quick meal to prepare (mostly depending on the side dish that you will serve), and one that is a pretty healthy alternative to fried fish. Next time I think I’m going to give it a go with a different fish, perhaps salmon or trout?

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