Spicy Basa Fish Stew

Thanks to my Haitian grandma and Bahamian mom as a kid I grew up eating a lot of fish in so many different varieties.  One dish I loved so much was so simple.  Boiled Fish Stew from the Bahamas.  I can clearly remember my grandma cooking the huge grouper fish chunks still on the bone.  She would give me the bones to suck on.  lol...may sound nasty to some, but it was comfort food for me :)

I was craving to make Bahamian Fish Stew, so I went to my local market.  Sadly there was no grouper...so hungry and disappointed, I still wanted to make this stew.  Did some research on my handy dandy smart phone and found  a fish close (cousin) to the grouper called Basa..a Vietnamese catfish.  

This dish is inspiration of my Asian food knowledge background mixed with the Caribbean comfort food I was raised on.

The touch of watercress is in honor of my grandma..lol.  She was the only one who would add it to her soups.  This soup is very spicy with a kick of tanginess and the sharp bite of the watercress just makes it even more refreshing and new! I loved it I ate it twice :) Enjoy.

Spicy Basa Fish Stew
Serves: 2
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 large red potato, (large dice)
  • 1 medium onion (sliced)
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/4 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley (course large chop)
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 ea red jalapeno pepper (sliced rings)
  • 1/2 tbsp old bay seasoning
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 2 ea (6 oz ea) Basa Filets (halved)
  • 1 ea lime 
  • 1 cup fresh watercress
  1.  In a pot combine the water, potato, onion, thyme, parsley, garlic, jalapeno, old bay seasoning and salt and pepper.
  2. Bring the ingredients in the pot to boil.
  3. In a separate flat container season the fish filets with salt and pepper and squeeze the lime juice on both parts of the filets and allow to sit while the ingredients in the pot cook.
  4. When the ingredients in the pot begin to boil, lower the heat and allow to simmer to cook the potatoes.
  5. When the potatoes are almost done (about 1 more minute) add the fish into the pot (buried in the stew).
  6. Cook until fish is cooked.
  7. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
  8. Serve immediately with a handful of watercress on top.
More photos of the process below:

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