Fish is one of the proteins of choice in our household, we enjoy it all times of the year. I was born in Eastern India, a child of the rivers, fish is no stranger to our table. One of the things, I enjoy doing a lot is pan-frying fish with a spice crust. I shall tell you more about the actual technique of pan-frying fish in my weekly recipe, but let me talk about the spice crust and what goes into it.
You can create an assortment of different spice crust or rubs for fish or any kind of protein. The key is to make sure that the crust is flavorful, does not burn easily and complements the protein on hand. The texture of the blend is important and should work with how you are preparing the food, for example since I use this for quick and simple cooking, the pecans help bind to the fish, while pan searing. With fish, I am partial to using coriander seeds as I think they are just the right level of potency to work with any mild fish. The pecans here are offer a moist binding, the thyme some complement to the flavors of the coriander and the red pepper flakes of course are joining the fun to add some heat.
This spice crust would also work with chicken. I am using the term crust, which really is because I use this when I pan sear or fry the fish, you get a crust like coating. The pecans in this also work to offer the crispness that is need to form a crust like texture.
A basic flavorful seasoning rub that can be used for fish or chicken.
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 3 tablespoons pecans
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 11/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- Gently toast the coriander seeds for about 2 minutes.
- Place the coriander seeds, pecans, thyme, salt and red pepper flakes in a spice or coffee grinder and grind until well blended.
- Use immediately or refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
A simple dish of spice crusted pan fried fish.
- 2 pounds of perch fillets
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1 recipe of pecan, thyme and coriander rub
- 4 tablespoons oil
- Lime or Lemon
- Chopped basil or cilantro to garnish
- Pat the fish perfectly dry. Make sure that the fish is thoroughly dry and not cold. If the fish is refrigerator, bring this out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before cooking.
- Rub this with salt and then press the pecan rub on the non skin side, pressing down well to coat.
- Heat a heavy bottom wide pan for 2 to 2 minutes. Test with a couple of drops of water, the water should sizzle and roll of the surface when ready. Add in the oil and heat for a couple of minutes.
- Place the fish fillets into the oil, skin side down. The fish curls a little on contact, this is a sign that the oil is the right temperature. Cook the fish for about 3 minutes and carefully turn the fish and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Carefully place the fish, skin side down on the plate, squeeze the lemon or lime over the fish, garnish with the chopped basil or cilantro and serve.