Honey & Black Pepper Fish

I have been neglecting my blog recently. There has been a lot going on at the moment thus my disappearance. Having not a lot of time to spend in the kitchen means quick and simple meals have taken preference.

Quite a while ago when I did my usual weekly food shopping, I came across some fish fillets that have similar texture and colour to haddock and cod. This quickly took my interest as a lot of times, I like to use white fish in my cooking.

Labelled as river cobbler, also called basa fish or catfish; scientific name is pangasius bocourti. Basa are native to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam and Chao Phraya in Thailand. Basa has become pretty common in the UK and can be easily found in most supermarkets in frozen or fresh forms.

Having tried basa fish for a few times, I think that it is a great alternative to cod or haddock, which the stocks have collapsed as a result of overfishing. As a fish lover, I find the firmness of bass fish is comparable to either cod or haddock. However, it is very mild in taste, reason might be that it is a fresh water fish. I personally do believe that salt water fish usually tastes a lot better than those that are farmed. Even so, it doesn’t deter me using fresh water fish from time to time.

To make bass fish flavourful, I have decided to use strong flavouring such as black pepper, ginger and garlic to give a lift of flavours so that it is on par with its texture. Coupled with an extra hint of honey sweetness makes this dish tastes complete and what’s more when it can be done under 30 minutes!

Honey & Black Pepper Fish



500g basa fish, cut into 4cm/1½in squares
4 tbsp cornflour
100ml sunflower oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
70g frozen peas
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1½ tbsp honey
60ml water
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat the oil in a wok or deep, heavy-based saucepan to 180°C/350°F or when a chopstick is placed in the oil and bubbles start to form. Lightly dust the fish with cornflour, and gently slide into the oil. Make sure it is well spaced and not overcrowded. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the wok, drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

2. Using back the same wok with about 1 tablespoon of oil, add the garlic and ginger, cook for 1 minute or until fragrant and not brown. Add the frozen peas and cook for 1 minute.

3. Return the fish into the wok and toss to combine. Mix light soy sauce, sugar, honey, water and black pepper, pour into the wok. Toss to combine. Bring to the boil and cook until the sauce starts to thicken. Transfer to a serving plate and serve warm.