Catfish with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime – oven baked catfish served over bok choy and topped with a flavorful ginger and cilantro sauce.
It’s so hard to believe we’re well into the month of February. Soon it will be spring which also means that Easter is right around the corner. I realize we’re not yet into Valentine’s Day and we should take one holiday at a time, but bear with me please. It’s not too early to start thinking about Easter, because in many Christian circles, Lent – the days leading up to Easter Sunday, is also about to begin. When I was growing up, we didn’t eat meat on any Friday during Lent. I also had to give up something I loved like chocolate or TV. I struggled with it as a kid and always tried to negotiate a deal with my parents. I’d tell them I would give up something one week and then give up something different the next week to make it easier.
When I lived in New Orleans and enjoyed the parades and parties during the Mardi Gras season, we made sure we partied it up on Mardi Gras because we knew that the very next day all the overindulging and parade watching would be over. Mardi Gras literally translates to “Fat Tuesday” and the name reflects the practice of it being the last day to indulge on rich, fatty foods and sweets such as King Cake and Pralines before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. Lent was first practiced by the early Christians as a period of self-examination and self-denial to prepare for Easter. Although in the past, Catholics observed strict fasting rules throughout the year – today many Catholics abstain only from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all other Fridays during Lent.
My family and I are very fortunate. Abstaining from meat really isn’t much of a sacrifice. We love seafood and we eat it often. Because we eat it so often, I’m always looking for unique ways to prepare it. A few months ago, I came across a recipe torn from a December 2012 issue of Bon Appetit magazine for Oven- Roasted Flounder with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime.
This flavorful catfish recipe is a simple one and doesn’t take long to prepare. Although the original recipe calls for flounder, I used catfish. I like both types of fish, but the market I shop at was out of flounder at the time I first made this recipe. Since I loved the way the dish turned out, I’ve been using catfish every time. Catfish is a meatier fish and I think it works well here.
I make up a delicious sauce to pour over the fish and it’s so tasty, I could eat it straight from the bowl with a spoon. It’s a comination of thinly sliced scallions, cilantro, lime juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar and fresh ginger. You might want to double this part of the recipe because the sauce is so good.
I used baby bok choy that I cut lengthwise and sautéed gently in a pan with garlic and white wine. Then, I placed the bok choy on the bottom of a baking dish and topped it with the fish that I seasoned simply with salt and pepper. Although the recipe didn’t call for it, I spooned some of the sauce over the fish before baking it in the oven.
The fish cooked in about 20 minutes and I served it over brown rice pasta. Regular pasta, rice or quinoa would also be great to serve the fish over.
If you’re looking for seafood recipes to use during Lent or any other time of the year, be sure sure to save this one. The flavors are amazing together and I’m convinced you’ll love it too.
Baked Catfish with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime
- 1 scallion , thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro , coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons ginger , finely minced, peeled
- 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 pound baby bok choy , cut in half lengthwise and rough chopped, (2-3 bunches)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 4 catfish fillets
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine scallion, cilantro, lime juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar and ginger in a small bowl. Whisk in 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
- Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a minute. Working in batches if needed, add bok choy and and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the wine, stir and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Transfer the bok choy and all the juices from the pan into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
- Season each of the catfish pieces with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Arrange in a single layer over bok choy. Spoon a little of the scallion/soy sauce mixture over each of the pieces of fish.
- Bake in oven until fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with the remainder of the scallion/soy sauce mixture.
- Serve with rice or pasta.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2012 issue
Other recipes you might enjoy…