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Plantain-Crusted Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Salsa from 'The Catch'

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[Photograph: Gabriela Herman]

Mahi mahi takes well to tropical-themed preparations, such as this creative twist on fried fish from Ben Sargent's new cookbook, The Catch. Instead of breading or battering the fish, Sargent coats the mahi mahi fillets with a thin layer of crushed plantain chips. The chips make for an ultra-crisp coating on the fish, and add needed sweet richness to the lean fish. A big spoonful of pineapple and tomatillo salsa is a perfect accompaniment, adding bright freshness to the fried fillet.

Why I picked this recipe: Who wouldn't want to eat fried fish coated in plantain chips?

What worked: The flavors here were great—the tart pineapple-tomatillo salsa was a good foil to the savory mahi mahi and sweet plantain chips.

What didn't: You've got to be careful not to burn the coating on the fish. I ended up cooking the fillets on medium heat the entire time to prevent the chips from getting too dark. Thinner fillets will work the best.

Suggested tweaks: You can play around with the salsa to suit your taste. Keep in balance sweet and tart fruit to provide a tangy counterpoint to the fish. If you can't find mahi mahi, you can substitute another lean, firm-textured fish.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Catch to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. Follow her @KateHWiliams.

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