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Tilapia with Scallions and Black Bean Sauce

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 104

Tilapia is readily available and it takes no time to cook, making it a great choice for weeknight dinners. It's also a mild-flavored fish, so it's the perfect vehicle for the flavor-packed sauces in this dish. You can find Chinese black bean garlic sauce and Asian chile sauce in the Asian section of your supermarket. They’re also good additions to marinades and sauces.

  • 3 Tbs. Chinese black bean garlic sauce or black bean chile sauce
  • 1 Tbs. oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp. lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1-1/2 lb. tilapia fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, preferably jasmine
  • 1 Tbs. peanut oil
  • 2 small bunches scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 Tbs. Asian chile sauce, such as Sriracha

In a large bowl, stir the black bean sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Add the fish and stir gently to coat. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to package directions and keep warm.

Heat the oil in a well-seasoned wok or 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers and a piece of scallion dropped in the pan sizzles vigorously. Add the fish all at once, distributing it evenly around the pan. Cook without stirring for 3 minutes. Add the scallions and stir gently. Cook, stirring occasionally and gently, until the thickest part of a piece of fish is opaque throughout (cut to check), 2 to 3 minutes more.

Serve with the rice, drizzled with chile sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Green Papaya Salad makes a nice starter as it's also eaten with jasmine rice.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 410; Fat (g): fat g 8; Fat Calories (kcal): 70; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 2; Protein (g): protein g 39; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 45; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 870; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 85; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Very simple to prepare. I don't cook fish often and found this dish uncomplicated and delicious. I served it with a kale quinoa salad, asparagus and crusty bread. I like that the flavors went as well with simple sides as they would with all Asian accompaniments.

A lovely and easy fish recipe, which I made as instructed with one small exception. For the hot chili paste condiment, which I felt would be far too spicy for my family's palate, I used a only teaspoon or two and mixed it with a couple of tablespoons of sweet chili sause (like you would use for spring rolls). I topped the finished dish with this, which provided a nice contrast to the salty marinade. BTW, I did not find the dish too salty but did take note not to salt the rice. The jasmine variety of rice is an important detail. Served this with a side of maple glazed baby carrots. Happy meals!

Made this for the 2nd time tonight. Again, it was a hit. This time I used snapper, fresh from the Gulf. The sauce isn't salty but I do cut way back, or even eliminate, the salt in the rice. Also, this is a very easy dish to make and cooks fast, making it great on hot southern summer evenings,

This recipe is absolutely phenomenal. I made it exactly according to the recipe, and couldn't be happier with the result. It wasn't too salty at all, and the fish was tender and flavorful. The scallions added a nice color and delicate onion flavor to the dish. This recipe is a keeper, and I'll most definitely be making it again soon.

This was excellent, though quite salty with both black bean garlic sauce and soy - be sure your fish is actual weighed amount, or hold back a bit of the marinade when you cook the fish (you can always add more). Addition of some red bell pepper strips along with the scallions gave it a little sweetness to offset the salt and pungent flavors, and the bright color was lovely too. Served along with seared baby bok choy with shiitakes, scallions, ginger and garlic. We'll definitely make this again; it was scrumptious!

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