Panko Crusted Fish with Lemongrass Chili Sauce


I got my inspiration for this dish after wandering along the frozen fish section of Costco. Some fish fillets cost up to $20 a bag! What I did was glance over and saw some of their frozen already crusted fish and immediately thought about my dinner. It’s been so long since I left Costco will less than $20 out of my pocket. Normally I drop close to $100 each visit. So very glad I can resist my temptation this time. :) Wonder I was end up getting? Definitely not those crusted fish fillets but a bag of bananas, a carton or eggs, 3 cucumbers and a case (12 cans) of corn kernels which I have yet to decide what to do with them.

Panko bread is a variety of bread crumb used in Japanese cuisine as a crunchy coating for fried foods. Panko is made from bread without crusts, thus it has a crisper, airier texture than most types of bread crumbs found in Western groceries. It flavorless really, and does not absorb as much oil when cook. Since my Lemongrass Chili sauce is a bit heavy on flavor I decided leave my fillets plain but with the crispy texture. You can choose to marinade the fish fillets first with a flavor of choice and then just coat it with the flour, egg and panko bread crumbs.

Panko Crusted Fish with Lemongrass Chili Sauce (Serves 2)
(Trey Jean Sroeuy Nung Tuk Mtess Kroeung) ត្រីចៀនស្រួយនិងទឹកម្ទេសគ្រឿង

Ingredients
2 fish fillets, I used tilapia
¼ cup rice flour, or any flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup oil for frying
green onions for garnish

Lemongrass Chili Sauce

2 tablespoons oil
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon Khmer Kroeung
1 tablespoon red pepper powder
1 teaspoon crush red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Method:
Rinse the fillets and pat dry. Make a station with 3 separate large plates one for flour, egg and panko bread crumbs. Use one hand (the dry hand) to dust the flour on lightly then move to the next station and drench the floured fillet with your other hand (wet hand). On the 3rd station return your dry hand and coat with panko bread crumbs. Press them in lightly so they stick to the fillet. Repeat this process until all fillets are done, set aside.

Heat oil in a frying pan and once they are hot add the fillets and fry them. Watch carefully as the bread crumbs tend to brown pretty quick. Adjust heat accordingly. You can start with med-high heat and then crank it up toward the end to get a nice golden brown crust. Cook both side and allow to rest on paper towel to remove excess oil, which should not be much.

Next, make the lemongrass chili sauce but heating oil and added diced onions. Stir and cook until soften then add garlic. Give it a quick stir to release it’s flavor and aroma. Do the same with the Khmer Kroeung. Adjust the heat accordingly so the ingredients does not burn. Add the remainder ingredients and finish off with several stirs. If you find the sauce a bit thick you can add more oil. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking.

Plate it up and garnish with green onion. Serve with steamed rice.

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