The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl! I guess I should be offering recipes for Philly Cheesesteaks, Strombolis or Soft Pretzels. Maybe I’ll save that for the Super Bowl win?!
This recipe actually has nothing at all to do with the city of brotherly love. But it is a dish I love. I’m not always proud of my fish recipes. So when I find one, I love to share it.
This recipe calls for Soba Noodles. While I had heard of soba noodles, I didn’t actually know what they were or what made them different than “regular noodles.”
So, for reference:
Soba noodles are Japanese noodles that are made from buckwheat flour. The thickness of the noodles is easily comparable to that of spaghetti, and they can be served both hot or cold. Their nutty flavor works well as a base for stir-fries and salads.
If you don’t have soba noodles on hand, you could substitute whole wheat spaghetti or even a pack of ramen noodles (minus the seasoning packet) if you wish.
Sriracha is also an ingredient that you might not have on hand.
This bright red, multi-purpose hot sauce is made from red chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, salt, and sugar. The sauce is hot and tangy with just a hint of sweetness, which sets it apart from your garden variety hot sauces.
In a pinch, you could substitute hot sauce. It’s not the same. It might even be considered a crime by some, but I give you permission if you must.
By now, you might be thinking that this dish is outside your comfort zone thanks to these strange or uncommon ingredients. But trust me. The dish is delicious. The flavors are simple, and slightly healthy. The dish has three steps: sauce, tilapia, asparagus but it comes together is less than 30 minutes. I really think it comes together in less than 20, but I thought I would play it safe.
Sesame Crusted Tilapia
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
12 ounces of soba noodles
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 tilapia filets
salt and pepper
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 bunch of asparagus spears, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, Sriracha and garlic to a make a dressing.
Bring a pot of water to boil. When the water is boiling, add the soba noodles and cook according to the package directions. Drain and rinse immediately under cold water to stop further cooking. Put the noodles in a large bowl and toss with half the dressing and the parmesan cheese.
Pat the tilapia to dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Sprinkle one side with the sesame seeds. Add 2 Tablespoons of the sesame oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat. When hot (the oil will shimmer), add the tilapia sesame seed side down. (Say that tongue twister 3 times…..add the tilapia sesame seed side down….). Cook 1-2 minutes per side or until gold and thoroughly cooked. Remove fish from pan.
In the same pan, heat the remaining Tablespoon sesame oil. Add the asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Cook until lightly charred, stirring once or twice. About 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and season the asparagus with red pepper flakes.
Divide the soba noodles between 4 bowls and top with tilapia. Add the asparagus and serve with the remaining dressing.
*To the best of my ability, I have tried to indicate all ingredients, products and equipment that are available at Johnnies in Bold Print.