Any flaky white fish would be perfect in this recipe. You just want a mild, moist fish, which then will be encased in a crunchy coating, and a base for the flavorful, creamy and crunchy sauce. Serve this up with some steamed or sauteed green beans to round out the plate.
Tzatziki is one of the most classic Greek sauces, served with everything from pita (as a dip) to lamb to seafood. It’s a refreshing mix of cucumber, garlic and yogurt, and then the options broaden. You can add any number of fresh herbs, such as dill, oregano, mint, parsley, even the fronds of fennel bulbs. You can swap out the garlic for shallots, or another member of the onion family. Olive oil is often added for a bit of richness, and there is usually some sort of acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, to give it a little kick.
Different cultures have their own versions of cucumber yogurt sauce, and if you like tzatziki, it’s worth digging in deeper. And if you like tzatziki as much as I do, you may want to make extra to serve up with pita chips the next day, or dollop it on a piece of grilled chicken or a chop.
Leftover roasted meat thinly sliced and piled into a pita with tzatziki makes a great makeshift gyro.
Tzatziki is best eaten within a day of making it, as the mixture can become watery from the cucumbers.
PANKO-CRUSTED FISH WITH TZATZIKI
- 4 (6-ounce) mild, firm-fleshed white fish fillets, such as tilapia, catfish or snapper
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- >> Tzatziki
- 1 small cucumber
- 1/2 cup minced fennel
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1-1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
To make tzatziki: Peel cucumber. Slice in half lengthwise, and scrape out seeds with a teaspoon. Grate using large holes on a box grater, or grating blade in a food processor. Toss with fennel and salt; place in a strainer over a bowl or in sink. Let drain 15 minutes.
Squeeze cucumber mixture to press out any extra liquid, then place in a medium bowl. Add mint, oregano, lemon juice, garlic and yogurt. Stir well, and add pepper and any additional salt as needed (remember the cucumbers and fennel were salted at the beginning).
Season fish with salt and pepper. Place egg and panko into 2 separate shallow bowls. Stir parsley into panko.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Dunk each fillet in the egg, so that it is well coated, then dredge each filet in the panko mixture. Place coated fillets in hot oil and saute 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and golden brown. Transfer fish to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve hot, with a spoonful of tzatziki on the side. Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 427 calories, 13 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 196 mg cholesterol, 473 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 45 g protein.