Swai Basil in Almond Milk

Swai Lemon and BasilLike many people interested in healthful eating, I strive to incorporate more fish into my diet, especially varieties like Swai, Salmon and Herring, which contain plenty of heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. Problem is, fresh seafood costs a bundle.

When I visited my local fish monger. I couldn’t believe my eyes at nearly $20 a pound for swordfish, halibut, sole, and $9 for trout, Fresh Chilean Sea Bass at nearly $25 per pound! which in the past had always been tasty and less costly alternative.

I always opt for “wild caught”, I investigate the waters it came from and ascertain it has not been frozen. Fresh is key when it comes to great fish.

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The bestway to tell that fresh fish is not fishy smelling or tasting is simply buying it fresh caught and preferably whole.  The eyes are clear and it does not smell. When commercial fish has been caught, immediately frozen on the boat then de-thawed for processing, prepared and packaged and then again frozen for shipping to the consumer’s market, where it is once again de-thawed and sold is when you run the risk of getting poor quality, smelly fish and of course the price will reflect that.

Ever since prices started climbing, I’ve seen an influx of alien species, at least particularly at my neighborhood supermarkets, which cater to customers who, frankly, can’t afford to plunk down $20 a pound for fish.

One economical option popping up at many stores is Swai, which is native to Southeast Asia – Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia — and sells locally for around $3.99 a pound. Since I knew nothing about Swai, I searched it out on the internet and these are my findings. Swai, along with Basa and Tra, two related varieties also appearing at more and more stores, belong to what’s called the Pangasius family and they’re similar in character to catfish.

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In fact, sometimes simply referred to in the U.S. only as catfish, and farmed in the waters off the Mississippi. (Be sure to look for country of origin labeling at the fish counter to determine whether your catfish is from the Mekong Delta or the Mississippi Delta). Swai is a soft white-flesh fish (typically available in fillet form) with a sweet mild, taste and light flaky texture that can be broiled, grilled, or coated with bread crumbs and fried, according to experts.

It can be prepared simply, but also takes well to sauces. A 3.5-ounce serving of plain fish contains around 90 calories, 4 grams of fat (1.5 saturated), 45 grams of cholesterol and 50 milligrams of sodium. Since I found out from cooking a vast amount of Swai, it is a very light and delicate fish similar to the Orange Roughy and falls apart when handled too much during cooking. So I tend to take delicate fish and bake them in Almond Milk while using fresh herbs for seasoning.

Below is a great recipe for a few fillets, If you do the same, let me know what you think in a comment or email and describe your favorite way to prepare Swai. Happy Eating!

4 to 6 fillets of Fresh Caught Swai
6 to 10 Large Fresh Cinnamon Basil Leaves (Leave Whole)
2 Cups of Non-GMO Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 Lemon, (Zested and Juiced)
1 Tsp. Fresh Himalayan Salt
1 Tsp. Turmeric
1 Tbs. Extra Virgin White Truffle Olive Oil

In a glass baking dish coat the bottom with the Olive Oil. Layer the fish fillets evenly along dish and sprinkle with salt to taste, placing the Basil in between the layers. Add the fresh squeezed Lemon Juice coating evenly the top layer. Cover and place in refrigerator for about half an hour.

Pre-Heat Oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit, remove the fish from the refrigerator and pour in the Almond Milk. Sprinkle with Turmeric and Zest of the Lemon. Bake for approximately 20 min. or until fish fillets flake easily with a fork. Serve over Organic Non-Seasoned Brown Rice.

Swai Lemon and Basil

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