There are instances and scenarios wherein we find the intersectionalities of attitudes, practices, and geography. It is a tested fact. Geographically, the Philippines is an archipelago situated in the Pacific Ocean. As such, the country is blessed with a bountiful supply of aquatic resources, such as an abundance of seafood. The seafood industry has contributed mainly to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP); it has also generated Filipino fishers’ jobs.
With the bountiful harvest of seafood, it has been a tested reality and not a shocker to see many kinds of seafood being served on the table during Filipino festivities such as fiestas, birthday parties, weddings, etc. It seems to be innate and imperative for celebrations to be graced by seafood. Furthermore, when you see restaurants and food establishments located within a water body, you can see that restaurants’ interior is filled with recipe photos of various seafood cuisines. These recipe photos undoubtedly add appeal and fuel to our gastronomic desires. Moreover, these recipe photos hung on the walls add sophistication to the ambiance of the food establishment. Prices of restaurants that show recipe photos on the wall may range from mid-range to upscale prices.
It is a tested reality that the brands of arts and aesthetics of food establishments affect the customers’ impression. Without a doubt, recipe photos test and catch the eyes of the people. Recipe photos on the walls bear factors on consumer satisfaction. Recipe photos make potential customers curious about the gastronomic offers of a particular food establishment, which will eventually make them test the cuisines. As such, it is a tested and timely assumption that recipe photos contribute significantly to the restaurants’ profit.
While chefs of various food establishments love interacting with customers, some like to ask and get recipes to apply them at home. The culinary community is divided on this issue. Some culinary professionals are not lenient to people who ask to get recipes. However, some chefs are more comfortable to talk to when you want to ask and get recipes. Almost all of the people in the culinary industry treat recipes as their prized possession. Thus, it is tough to ask and get recipes. Next time, get recipes to the friendly-looking chefs and not forget to try it at home!
It is a tested and widely established truth that fish and brands of fish products are among the healthiest nutrition sources. So much so that it is a very crucial product in most regional cuisine. The increase in health consciousness has encouraged the rapid growth of fish consumption across the globe. Filipinos are no exception. The abundance of fish and the benefits allow us to enjoy several different types and delicious cuisines made with fish. They are blending health and taste to bring the most savored dishes to our dinner tables. Filipinos love so many different fish cuisines. One recipe is more mouthwatering than the next. Among the several popular and locally loved fish recipes in the Philippines is The Fish Fillet.
Everyone is hooked, whether kids or adults, with this simple yet delectable fish fillet meal! So, we are to unfold the secrets and tested techniques for preparing the fish fillets ever! We will show you the methods to properly fillet a fish. Reading will make you realize that you can still have your favorite fish fillets even without leaving your home to buy some. Just prepare your own in super quick steps!
If you may ask why fish fillet is on the list of Filipino dishes, it’s marketing style and brands. Almost everyone knows this food. Aside from the fact that it is delicious, they also advertise it well. This meal was popularized by the styling of big and famous brands such as fast-food chain McDonald’s as one of its premium sandwiches aside from” the Big Mac” and “quarter pounder.”
Brands and styling like McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish make us all drool, with their fantastic filet garnished with melted cheese and tartar sauce served on steamed buns invites us to get our hands on these immediately. And the hunger for this, we don’t want to lie, is insatiable.
Of course, the crunchy fish fillet you can grab quickly from the nearest McDonald’s may be super tasty; however, the health aspect of enjoying this meal every day is not ideal. Sure, it is a beloved and delicious food savored by all Filipinos. But, wouldn’t we love healthier options that perhaps we can make at home, so we know what exactly goes into our lovely meal?
Despite various brands having fillet’s commercialized popularity, many are still puzzled about this food hides. For example, what makes it tasty? Its simplicity yet delicious kick is deceiving from fish’s choice down to the perfect sauce’s spices. Plus, the fact that it matches well with either rice or bread. Hence, it’s one of the crowd’s favorites no matter what.
With that being said, we will now share the answers to your confusion. You will be able to explore the highlights and insights on how to master the preparation and cooking of this well known and a loved dish and its other variations without neglecting the mystery sauce. Likewise, we also noted how this dish came to be as it is now and other dishes you can enjoy together with this tasty meal. So, let’s get the ball rolling and start cooking!
What Is Fish Fillet
The word filletis a French term, which means a thread of strip. So the fish fillet is the strip that comes from the meat of fish after being deboned. Thus, filleting is a process of deboning a fish while the product meal itself is called “fish fillet.” The critical step while preparing for filleting is to ensure all the fish scales are entirely removed.
For obvious reasons, it is now hassle-free to eat fish because you don’t have to pick apart each flesh just to pluck away and separate the bone. Eating something crunchy and straightforward is much enjoyable when it quickly melts in your mouth. Additionally, the fish fillet is a food that is rich in protein. And the omega-3 fatty acids make sure your heart stays stable. For those looking to lose weight, eating fish fillets thrice a week will simply do the trick. The incredible taste, the potential benefits, and the ease in recreating this recipe at home is a win-win-win!
What makes our fillet dishes more impressive is its flexibility. It is because meat like chicken or pork can also make into fillet! Yummy!
What are the top fishes we can use to cook the best fillet recipes?
In line with that, the next questions are probably, “What are the fishes we can use for fillets? Is it affordable? Will they be locally available to us?”
Knowing the process of deboning, you might assume to choose the easy-picky kinds of fish. But, you also have to bear in mind to consider the nutritional value of the fish and how you will enhance the dish. There are types of fish that are very complicated in absorbing seasonings and ingredients.
At this part, we have enumerated the species of fish and explained why it is suitable as a fillet.
- Salmon Fish – This fish contains Omega 3 that is best for heart health. Salmon also has vitamins and minerals. Salmon fish also is known as one of the fish fillets. The health benefits you’ll get from consuming salmon in no way diminish the tanginess of your fish fillet once it is all prepared and ready to enjoy. Mostly, salmon fish imported to the Philippines as they are popular and highly demanded. Thus, it is not a shocker that salmon is quite expensive.
- Cod Fish / Bakalaw – Codfish is known for a phosphorus source, one essential mineral, and vitamin B-12 ideal for our metabolism process. Not only is the Bakalaw highly nutritional, but it is also very tangy, hence enhancing the taste of your food. It is also common in filleting because you can find it locally in the Philippines. Representative species include Atlantic cod, Lingcod, Murray cod, Pacific cod, Blue cod, Rock cod, Saffron cod, Trout cod, and Pelagic cod.
- Herring Fish –This kind of fish is also common in the Philippines. It is often made as “tinapa“ that Filipino love, too. This fatty fish will never fail to remind you of your childhood days at home when you had champorado with tinapa. It is also one right choice for fish fillet because of the tanginess and several health benefits, such as preventing heart diseases, proper brain function, and reducing arthritis.
- Mackerel Fish – This fish is also familiar with Filipino. Mackerel is rich in potential oils or fats, another fish good for filleting. It is known for being the most nutritional for everybody. It improves endurance and, best of all, gives you the beautiful skin you love.
- Tuna – Sounds familiar; this kind of fish is an all-time favorite to many. It is enriched with protein and contains essential amino acids that are important for our muscles. The bonus benefit is that tuna contains almost no fat at all. Tuna is also beneficial in fighting cardiovascular diseases and avoiding heart attacks.
Hence, to answer your questions, you can observe that all these fishes are found locally, and it is also budget-friendly. No worries. These fish are all nutritious and come with so many benefits for yours and your family’s health. Not to mention the various tanginess aspects each fish brings. Rest assured, there is no way you will go wrong in choosing the right type of fish for your delicious fillet.
Healthy and easy way to fillet a fish step by step in mins
As mentioned above, eating fish in a fillet form is quite a delightful experience because it’s hassle-free and not messy to eat. In contrast, the processes it undergoes before it comes as that soft strip of flesh is not a joke. Indeed, it’s a long way until the end. So in this part, let us run through how to fillet a fish step by step.
The first and most important thing you have to do is make sure that your fish is taintlessly clean. For doing so, you need to scrape away the scales to smoothen the surface, followed by the pulling out of the internal organs to prevent the stench odor. And then, thoroughly wash it to keep the meat seeming untouched.
Consequently, the actual cutting of the flesh is manually done. You have to slice the fish in halves to remove its entire skeletal structure, making your fish as if it were a jellyfish. Then, make sure that you remove all the major and minor bones from the spine down to the random bones scattered along and beneath the flesh. In other words, no meat left unturned.
In that event, failure to do it properly will excessively mess up your fillet. Thus, the key here is to use a finely sharpened knife with your skillful hands. Nevertheless, when you are too busy to debone, just pay for someone, maybe a facility, who knows how to do it and ask them to do it for you. Without a doubt, this step easily shaves off the time needed to prepare and make this food at home.
For your information, there are factories with state-of-the-art equipment for fish deboning that can do it for mass production in a shorter time than doing it by hand. Therefore, just buy from them, and indeed the finished product is flawless. Quick Fix!
Marinating for flavor
Meanwhile, assuming you’ve done deboning excellently with your fish, the next challenge is to put tanginess since fish fillets are tasteless. It is crucial because this decides whether you will have the perfect flavor or not. Listen close now!
Marinating is very, very – let us say it louder – very important for making sure that the meat does not dry out or become too chewy. You want your fish fillets to melt in your mouth and be as tasty as can be. Also, note that heat can form harmful substances while cooking; marinades can reduce these chemicals’ formations. Finally, to reiterate, marinating is very important for the tanginess of your dish. It is where lies the foundation of the entire dish, something to always bear in mind. When you marinate perfectly, you set yourself up for total success in mastering this unique fish fillet dish.
For the marinating, you would require the use of a highly acidic mixture of the marinade. It means you need the extracted juice from a lemon or any citrus fruit available, and coat it on your fish. Don’t forget to add garlic and paprika, too. Put the fillet in these inclusions. Already sounds mouthwatering, does it not? However, there are more steps to go.
Lastly, you wrap the coated fish with plastic and store it inside a refrigerator so that the fillet will absorb the juice well enough. Through this process, your home-made dish will taste better by the time you have to cook it.
Finally, this is the moment of truth. It is a sign that you are almost done. After you marinated it overnight, get and thaw the fillet from the refrigerator.
Before doing this, put it on the second flour coating. (See the dish for complete details and process.)
Afterward, your fillet is ready for the main play. It is better to submerge it on deep-oil fry so that the real flesh is well-cooked. You know that your fish is already cooked once it turns golden brown. Once the fish is in that color, you will have your fish fillet crunchy and crispy, ready to be enjoyed with a good sauce or dish of your choice.
What Is Fish Fillet Sauce Made Of
What is a good fish fillet sauce made of
Of course, your food is incomplete without its dipping sauce. So, which one along your shelf is the right one? The answer is none because it depends on your desire. For this reason, below is an enumeration of the many sauces you can choose.
- Ketchup – if you want your fish to be complemented by tomato-based flavor, you can use the classic ketchup. But some try to mix it with mayonnaise to add a creamy feeling. Likewise, mustard sauce blends with ketchup. It adds a simplistic tanginess, which most people undoubtedly love.
- Sweet and sour cream – wondering if the cream is mixed with something sweet and sour. What a fun way to savor your deliciously cooked fillets! It is a must-try.
- When you want to neutralize the saltiness with a sweet burst, maple syrup or caramel sauce fits the job.
- Use peanut butter to intensify the greasy sensation on your gastronomic senses.
- Cheese Dressing adds an irresistible twist. There is no way you can go wrong with this sauce as cheese complements the crispy fillet beautifully.
- Gravy/sarsa makes your fillet merely majestic.
It is the list of sauces you can use for your fish fillet, but if you are still confused about what to pick, let us have a few dipping sauces requested by many that may satisfy or convince you.
Classic Creamy Cheese Sauce
The classic cheese sauce’s versatility can be used for many dishes, especially for our fried fish fillet. More than that, preparing it is just like a piece of cake. All you have to do is appropriately mix a melting butter and cheese (recommended: one part cheddar and one part parmesan) with salt and pepper over a low-heated pan. Whisk it until everything is melted, and lumps have vanished. To make this sauce thicker, add a couple of tablespoons of multipurpose flour. Additionally, you may add onion powder and a pinch of white pepper for added tanginess. Afterwhich, your cheese sauce is ready for dipping.
Cheesy sauces are usually an all-time favorite. Not only are they undemanding to make, but they will also leave you licking your fingers to the very last drop. This cheese sauce can add that extra pizazz to your fillet dish, and trust us; this will be the best and effortless dish ever served. Not to mention, both children and adults are fans of cheese. It will be simply irresistible.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
Because our dish is fried-based, it will complement it best with a sweet and sour sauce that many undoubtedly love. This kind of sauce originated in China, which presumably represents their philosophy on the yin and yang.
Consequently, Filipinos adopted this style later on. Besides, sweet and sour are known as “agre dulce.” It is made by mixing cornstarch with water and adding salt, sugar, and pineapple. If you don’t have pineapple, tomato ketchup can take over. These mixed ingredients are brought to a simmer until they thicken. If you are a spice-lover, you can add chili or chili powders while simmering. All most likely enjoy the sweet and sour sauce. Your meal will be a perfect analogy for the yin and yang philosophy – there is your conversation piece for the table while enjoying this savory dish.
Gravy / Sarsa
Of course, gravy/sarsa is a classic favorite; that’s why we added it here. This sauce is an all-time favorite for kids that matches with our fish fillets. To prepare this, you have to prepare a paste-like mixture of a whisked melted butter and flour infused with savory seasonings such as salt, pepper, mushroom powder, garlic powder, and fish sauce (patis). Sarsa is a simple way to bring in the classic Pinoy, home-cooked flavor that will instantly make you feel comforted.
Variation of Healthy Fish Fillet Recipes at Home
Moments ago, you were enthusiastic by the variety of sauces we showed you. Prepare to be thrilled by the variations of fish fillet that are bound to take your dish to a whole new level of tanginess.
The most common variant is the fried version of this dish. This version was previously discussed in the sequence of steps in preparing a fillet. Assuming you wanted to create your own, you begin by deboning, marinating, and preparing your fillet. As simple as this, you can right away enjoy your meal. It is prevalent as it is a simple dish that you know you could never go wrong with. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy fried food?
A fun way to add your touch to this dish would be by spicing it up; we mean that literally! Add your favorite condiments when preparing to personalize the tanginess as per your desire. It could be a ginger-garlic paste, red chili, curry powder, and whatnot. The sky is your limit. You can also add parmesan cheese, oats, and various ingredients for the crust when you fry the fillets.
Just do not forget to make sure you fry the fillets to the right amount to get that perfectly crisp, golden-brown result.
As you notice, the fillet itself is delicately soft; if you want it to be crunchy when fried, then go for a breaded version. To do this, you can simply buy the ready-made breaded fillet from the supermarket and make it. However, if you do it on your own, just roll your marinated fillet over a bowl of breading mix or bread crumbs before preparing. To get the perfect results to ensure you have coated the fish fillet thoroughly before you fry. If needed, you may coat twice for that extra, delicious crunch.
Another little tip to get the same results if you are reluctant to use bread crumbs would be to use oats. It will be equally crispy and golden.
As we have said, the fish fillet is a very flexible food because you can not just have it for lunch but also your snack. Just get a pair of buns and put it in between. You can have mayonnaise, ketchup, or even hot sauce, whatever you want. You can also chuck in some leafy greens, fresh veggies, like sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. and cheese to turn this into a sandwich that you or your children can savor.
Sandwiches are a fun way to enjoy meals. They are easy to eat and mess-free. Either throw them in your picnic basket or your lunch bag, and you won’t be sorry! You can also be creative with how you dress your fish fillet sandwich. There are multiple ingredients that you can add to make your sandwich as per your preference.
For those who avoid eating oily food, the baked version is right for you. To pull this off, just add butter to your lemon marinade coated over your fillet. Then, instead of frying, place it inside a preheated oven for half an hour, slowly being cooked by its juice.
There are countless reasons why baked foods should be preferred over fried ones. Often, we are concerned that it may take away from the dish’s authentic tanginess, but in this case, this style is so versatile that the baked version only makes it into a different kind of delicious. A recipe you simply will not get enough of.
There are plenty of benefits to veganism. In case you are a vegan and are sad about missing out on this mouthwatering recipe, you need not fret. Another must-try is the vegan fish fillet. In this version, the lone fish is added with vegan chips, sticks, sandwiches, and tofu. Then, it is dipped in any of the given sauces. What a versatile recipe, right? We told you!
It should be noted that you will still not miss out on the health benefits or the original dish’s tanginess. You can quickly achieve this even without fish! Substitute it with tofu, oyster mushrooms, or white shimeji and follow the same instructions and recipe as we stated. Note that this recipe will be quicker to create at home since the prep time is significantly lesser than when you use actual fish. There is always a way to this fantastic recipe that ensures you don’t miss out on just because of your dietary restrictions.
You can also be assured that these substitute ingredients won’t strip away the health benefits, as tofu contain the omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish. Oyster mushrooms are abundant in protein, vitamins, minerals, etc. that protect body cells. Fun fact – they also are low in sodium, calories, fat, cholesterol, and gluten.
Did you know that most people are confused between fish steak and fish fillet? So, how do you distinguish one from the other? The difference lies in how it was cut. On the one hand, it is a fillet when the fish meat is cut entirely and separated from the bone structure. While on the other hand, when you cut through the flesh, including the bones, it is steak.
Another fact that you may be unaware of: Salmon and tuna are tied as the second most popular seafood consumed, and incidentally, these are the top two choices for preparing fish fillet in most recipes.
Top Cooking Tips for Fish Fillet Recipe made Easy
Here are some additional tips to help you further make the fillet recipe at a premium level.
- When buying a fish, make sure to pick the ones that are glossy, shiny, and smell ocean-fresh. These signs are indications that they are suitable for filleting. But don’t treat them as pokemon. Take what is enough.
- During deboning or filleting, the contents of the stomach must be carefully detached from the fish. Otherwise, you may break the integrity of the fillet you are making.
- To add to the tanginess and maintain the fish’s color, rub some lemon juice on the fish before you cook.
- To check the fish for doneness, use the sharp knife’s tip and cut through the fillet’s thickest part. If the fish has been properly cooked, the meat will appear opaque but will still be moist. Some fish varieties contain more fat, such as salmon or tuna, which can be cooked until opaque on the outside while remaining somewhat translucent inside.
- Adding flour makes the fish crispier. The second coat of this is encouraged to make it tangy and maintains the tender interior while having a crunchy crust.
- The longer you refrigerate the fish, the longer your cooking time must be.
Easy Recipes the Fish Fillet is Best Served With
Is there anybody who doesn’t like fish fillet? We don’t think so. Everyone is craving it as it eases; how much more if, we accompanied or served it with these side dishes.
- Baked cheese mac or Carbonara: Mostly in fast-food chains, this is being ordered to partner with our fish fillet. Simple yet delicious!
- Pork and Beans: Fillet is a perfect match for the sweet and a little bit sour taste of pork and beans. Back at it with that yin and yang tanginess on your plate.
- Coleslaw – this sour-flavor commonly raw side dish compliments our salty dish. It is also a very fulfilling dish that will complete your meal. It can be prepared in minutes!
- Macaroni Salad: The bright tanginess of salad makes our fillet more tasteful, too. Who doesn’t love a good macaroni salad? This dish can also be prepared and enjoyed in minutes!
- French Fries – the salty taste of this makes fillet complete to eat. And we all know how irresistible french fries can be. How can you say no to this combo? The fish fillet and french fries combination can be achieved in minutes.
- Chop Suey: Since this dish is made with fish, it is better to partner it with chop suey, one vegetable dish.
- Tomato Salad: Fish fillets could be served with a side of a tomato salad. A super tangy dish, best for brunch time! This salad can be prepared in minutes!
- Veggies and Mushroom sauce: A tasty mushroom sauce poured over the fillet set on a plate with boiled vegetables, and a cup of rice would make for a mild dinner serving. For the vegetables, use chopped carrots, beans, potatoes, and peas. You may add salt, pepper, chili powder, or any condiments of your choice to add tanginess.
- Fish Fillet Tacos – stuffed with fried fish fillet, spicy Mexican salsa, leafy greens, a dash of lemon, and perhaps even some avocado slices if your recipe calls for it. The fusion of Mexican flavors with the crunchy fish fillets will be a party in your gastronomic senses. Delicioso!
- Island-style Fillets: To create a light meal, you can serve your fillets with a mango salsa, which adds a fruity tanginess to your fillets and makes for a great meal. It can be prepared in minutes!
- Grilled Tilapia – a freshwater fish, is refreshing to taste after enjoying a banquet of saltwater delights. For one, grilled Tilapia is tough to resist. The juiciness one can experience overeating this grilled cuisine makes it hard not to have a second round of eating. Grilling it makes it even juicier.
- Fillet Wrap: The yummiest and easiest way to take this dish to the next level is by creating a wrap with tortillas. You can add veggies, sauces, cheese, and anything else you desire to make your wrap tasty. It can be ready in minutes!
- Battered Chicken: The ultimate dish combination for our carnivorous loved ones includes salmon or any fish with the addition of battered chicken. Garlic butter flavoring can spark more tanginess and aroma for the battered chicken.
- South Indian Lemon Rice: A dish that can be made from leftover rice, which is abundant with tanginess and fragrant aroma, will elevate your fish fillet dish’s taste. Ginger and green chiles add a nice kick of heat and will leave you wanting more.
- Lemony Greek Potatoes: This Mediterranean dish would beautifully complement your fish fillet dish. The fish is milder than the zesty potato dish cooked with lemon juice, oregano, and the tangiest ingredient, garlic.
- Garlic Bread – while fish and bread might be new to others, some prepare fish and garlic bread with garlic butter. Garlic butter filling makes everything better.
- Sundae – like french fries, Filipino love to dip their fried fish fillet into their sundaes. Yummy! Now, this may sound bizarre only till you have a taste and find out what you have missed out on all this time. The styling of the sundae will also bring back the youthful days at home!
- Cookies – after feasting over a sumptuous seafood banquet, cookies are best to cap off our festive meal. The sweetness of cookies complements the strong taste of seafood viands. Also, cookies balance our taste buds’ desire for something sugary every after a meal of proteins. The presence of cookies on the table pleases our eyes after seeing mouthwatering seafood. The styling of cookies never fails to attract the attention of the young and adult. This reality is based on the fact that cookies’ styling does not lose its appeal to our gastronomic desires.
- Cakes – another ideal dessert after consuming too much fish fillet is cakes. The sweetness of such dessert is extremely hard to resist. The sweetness of this treat will never fail to remind you of your most fantastic childhood days at home.
- Beer – as an individual eats over the fish fillet, it is undeniable that beer bottles make the dish even more delectable as someone eats over it. Besides, who wouldn’t want to have bottles of beer over food at home? With beer, nothing could go wrong.
The fish fillet is truly simple in its looks but proven itself with its taste and presentations. It gives delight and craving for many Filipinos like you. Besides, it is delicious but nutritious because fish is high in protein that makes us more fit. Its versatility makes it all the more fun to make at home, as you can keep switching out the variations and never get bored of fish fillets.
The type of fish you choose to prepare this recipe will undoubtedly play a role in turning out. Note that you can not go wrong with whichever fish you choose to use. As each of them come with nutritional and health benefits, they also have a great and unique taste.
The prepping process is crucial; however, to perfect the recipe, marinating is the essential step, and finally, the cooking style ties the whole thing together, allowing you to master a lovely and delicious fish fillet recipe at home.
Once all of this is ready, you have an assortment of choices to create your full meal with sauces and dishes to serve the fillets with. So you can enjoy your dish in different ways and styles, and you will not be bored with this recipe.
We hope you have been inspired again by this recipe and learned how to make the fish fillet in town. Happy eating!
For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!
Superb Fish Fillet Recipe
- 1 lb Cream dory boneless, cut into desired pieces
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Ground black pepper
- 1 pc Egg
- 1 lb Japanese breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp Calamansi juice or extract
- 2 cups Cooking oil
- Rub the fish with salt, pepper, and calamansi extract. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Before frying, dip the fish in beaten eggs and roll in bread crumbs.
- Then heat oil in a pan.
- Once the oil is hot, deep fry in a low medium heat until golden brown.
- Transfer in a serving plate. Eat with your favorite dip.