Monday, 2 May 2011

Spice-crumbed Pouting Fillets with Cumin Minted Peas

I was watching Jamie's Fish Supper (part of Channel 4's The Big Fish Fight) on youtube, and he was introducing new fishes in the British waters that are less popular and known than our usual salmon and cod. I've always supported getting these 'unwanted' fishes, not just because they are a much more sustainable option that's better for the environment, but because they are a lot cheaper, and also because they do taste fantastic. I've tried mackerel and sardines, but there are some fishes that I've never heard of until this show, one of which is the pouting.

Pouting fillets (skin side down, skin side up)

"Pouting is a totally underrated fish. It's way up there quality-wise and is buttery, flaky juicy and delicious, not to mention a wonderful carrier of flavours. It's from the same family as cod so makes a great alternative to its overfished cousin." Jamie believes that if more people start asking for this at the supermarkets' fish counters, these big supermarket giants will start to see a demand for these 'lesser fishes' and start stocking them, reducing the pressure on the overfished favourites. And I think it's working. Because, guess what I saw when I went to Tesco's? (:

Like Jamie, I breadcrumbed my pouting fillets, but tossed in some chilli and spices too, and also made cumin minted peas and baked spicy sweet potato chips (not pictured, because my timing was off, so they weren't ready by the time the fish was done). This is (sustainable) fish and chips with an Indian twist!

Spice-crumbed Pouting with Cumin Minted Peas
serves 2
For the fish
2 pouting fillets
2-3 tbsp plain flour
1 egg, beaten
about 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used stale sourdough bread, dried in the oven, then crushed in a ziplock bag)
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch of turmeric
sea salt, white pepper
2-3 tbsp ghee/coconut oil (for frying)

For the peas
1 cup frozen peas (I tried this with fresh peas again. AMAZING.)
2 heaped tbsp butter (yes. that's the key to yummy peas, according to marco pierre white)
1/2 tsp cumin
handful of chopped mint leaves
sea salt, black pepper

For the sweet potato chips

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
2. Mix the breadcrumbs with the chilli, cumin, garlic, and turmeric.
3. Prep your fish fillets in this order: season, then coat with flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.

I originally wanted to bake them

4. Over medium high heat, add the oil, and when it's hot, add the fish fillets. Don't be nosy and poke around! Just leave it there till the bottom gets golden and crisp about 5-6 min, before flipping carefully to cook for another 2 min, lowering the heat. Set aside, tented with foil.
5. Add some water to the pan, and throw in the butter to create an emulsion.

I love watching butter foam.

6. Add the peas with the seasoning, cook for 3-4 min, before adding in the mint. Drain, serve.

Start to finish took only about 15-20 min!

The chips though, take about 45 min... so yes, learn from my mistake ): either start them early, or well, deep fry them (in loads of healthy saturated fat, like coconut oil or ghee or lard).

I had my modified fish and chips with malt vinegar sprinkled over of course, and some Indian mint raita instead of tartare sauce.

Verdict: Moist flaky flesh, definitely comparable to cod! I really liked the texture of the fish, and although not exactly full of flavour, the fish carried the flavours of the spices well. Yum. As for the peas, do try adding the cumin and mint, they really bring out the sweetness of the peas, and of course, you must add the butter, butter makes everything better (:


  1. Yum, you have some great recipes I'm going to have to bookmark. Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

  2. Hi Shu Han...dropping by to say thanks for visiting my blog which lead me to yours...that is a very delicious looking fish with different flavors from what we get in restaurants:D I love it!

  3. I love the crunchy coating. It must be delicious.

  4. I absolutely love the name. My nephew has a book called The Pout Pout Fish. I realize they are not related, but I am sure I could convince him they are if I ever had the chance to serve him this dish.

  5. I can imagine the crunchiness of your fish filet.

  6. Looks delicious!! Tell mummy that not only can you cook but you are great with the camera too :-)

  7. Sounds easy peasy. Thanks Shu Han for coming by my blog.

  8. What a yummy and healthy meal! You can use mild curry powder but add extra chili powder for spicy version...

  9. Fish fillet looks yummy..thanks for stopping by...loved ur presentation...

  10. The chile and cumin sound great on that fish. Looks delicious.

  11. thanks! i'm happy to see you all say pouting looks good;) now there's no reason to spend all that money on the poor overfished cod!

  12. Haha pouting fillets. I like how you would always add an asian or "indian twist" to your recipes.

  13. We don't have pouting in my neck of the woods but I love the spices you used - and the peas really sound yummy! Thanks for sharing this with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  14. I have never put cumin and mint on peas before, it sounds exotic and delicious! Great meal :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  15. Nice written!! I have been a big fan of your blogs. thanks best fishing line