Catch of the Day: A Crispy and Healthy Fish Dish

American farm-raised catfish is a fish you can feel good about because it’s both sustainable and clean (meaning low in pollutants and contaminants like mercury). This Cornmeal Crusted Catfish recipe comes from my new book, The Pescetarian Plan, courtesy of Best Life chef Sidra Forman. Its crunchy exterior contrasts nicely with cool cucumbers and red onion—delicious and easy to make.

Cornmeal Crusted Catfish with Cucumbers

Although catfish is the traditional choice in the South, haddock or flounder work just as well.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Serves 4

4 cups sliced cucumbers
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 pound U.S. farm-raised catfish
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1⁄4 cup cornmeal

1. Place the cucumbers in a large bowl and toss with a quarter teaspoon of salt and pepper. Add the red onion, red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and cayenne, combine thoroughly, and set aside.

2. Season both sides of the fish with remaining eighth of a teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Paint 1 side of the fish with a thin layer of grainy mustard and then coat with cornmeal.

3. Heat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Coat with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Cook the fish until the crust is golden brown, approximately 2 minutes, flip fish, and cook until just flaky, 3 additional minutes.

4. Place the fish over the cucumber mixture and serve.

Nutrition Info
Per serving:
191 Calories
18 g Protein
5 g Carbohydrate
1 g Dietary Fiber
2 g Total Sugars
10 g Total Fat
2.0 g Saturated Fat
300 mg Total Omega-FA
62 mg Cholesterol
27 mg Calcium
373 mg Sodium

From The Pescetarian Plan (Ballantine 2014). Used with permission. 

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About Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life Lead Nutritionist

Janis can’t help but be immersed in nutrition, and not just because she is a registered dietitian or writes about the topic daily for It’s also because she simply loves food, and will try just about any dish you put in front of her. In addition to her work for The Best Life, Janis is a contributing editor at SELF magazine. She also wrote The Life You Want with Bob Greene and psychologist Ann Kearney-Cooke and The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes (Simon & Schuster 2009), along with Bob and endocrinologist and Best Life chief medical advisor John J. Merendino Jr., M.D. When she’s able to get away from the kitchen and her computer, she often walks around Washington, D.C., a wonderful walking city with lots of ethnic food stores, farmer’s markets and great restaurants. (Did we mention she loves food?)

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