Believe it or not a huge amount of the seafood we consume in the US comes in frozen from Asia---think maybe 75% of the shrimp sold in supermarkets. That includes places like Whole Foods. This is not necessarily a bad thing as long as the fisheries are safe. Recently I discovered farm raised swai being sold in a local big name chain. Swai is a Vietnamese catfish. You can easily buy it through one of the Safeway brand name markets. Nice texture and good value per fillet. So I went with a twist on the southern US down home fish fry. The dipping sauce begins with Nuoc Nam which at first smells like something you would use as plant fertilizer. But when it comes in contact with other ingredients and foods it is transformed into something spectacular.
Serve this with cups of steamed short grain rice.
fillets of swai (or catfish) equal to 1 pound
1 1/2 cups
toasted rice flour
ground Korean pepper or cayenne
Nuoc cham for dipping as follows,
Nuoc Nam fish sauce (we like 3 Crabs)
dried hot pepper seeded and chopped (bird chile would be good. Use too depending on your heat threshold)
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.