This basa fillet recipe is one of the first recipes I ever published and has been a staple in my house ever since. The creamy Tuscan inspired sauce is rich, whilst still being super light and summery, thanks to the sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice and tangy creme fraiche.
Cooking the basa fillets within the Tuscan sauce means that flavours infuse into the fish, and the fish also gives flavour to the sauce. A win win for the tastebuds, but also for the cleanup afterwards!
This is my favourite basa fish recipe that I’ve ever created. It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or impressive enough to cook up for friends at a dinner party. My friend and her boyfriend sent two individual 30 second voice notes talking about how much they loved it, so that’s given me faith that hopefully you’ll love it too!
Basa is a type of catfish belonging to the Pangasiidae family. I love using basa fish in my recipes as it’s cheaper than other white fish such as cod and haddock. The fish is a great source of lean protein and are also packed with omega-3, so this is a great healthy recipe to add into your rotation!
One of my favourite ingredients to poach within a sauce. You can also switch the basa fillets with any unsmoked/normal white fish.
Not only do the sun-dried tomatoes provide a sweet brightness to the sauce (hello Tuscan inspired flavours), we also use the oil within the jar to saute the onions in. This provides the best base for our basa fillet recipe. Don’t skip out this ingredient!
I love the addition of spinach into a creamy sauce. You can also use other greens here, such as kale or cavolo nero.
The creme fraiche adds a tanginess to the sauce that cream wouldn’t provide. It’s what makes the sauce creamy, whilst still being bright and summery.
You can use your preferred rice here, but I’ve chosen brown rice as I love the flavour, nutrients and fibre that it provides.
It would be wrong to write a recipe revolving around a white fish without lemon! Alongside the tanginess of the creme fraiche, this also adds another level of brightness to the creamy tuscan sauce.
To cook the fish within and to add volume to our sauce.
Lots of onion and lots of garlic to act as that foundation to our sauce.
Parsley is optional, but I think it adds an extra burst of flavour to finish with. Traditionally a Tuscan sauce would be topped with basil, so you could also sub with that!
Start by adding the brown rice to a medium saucepan with double the amount of water (rice to water ratio 1:2). Bring to a simmer and set the timer to 25 minutes.
Using a large/deep frying pan, add the sun-dried tomato oil and the thinly sliced onion, chilli flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Gently fry on a medium heat for around 4 minutes. Next, add the minced garlic, dried basil and sun-dried tomatoes. Continue to fry for a couple of minutes.
Pour the stock into the pan and place the defrosted basa fillets (seasoned with salt on both sides) into the pan. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t completely submerged. Reduce the heat to a low simmer for 10 minutes. Cover with a lid.
After this time, add the creme fraiche, lemon juice and spinach into the pan.
The rice should now be ready.
Season with salt and pepper and serve a portion of brown rice with the creamy basa fillets. Top with fresh parsley and enjoy!
Use a deep pan with a wide base, ideally one that distributes the heat well around the pan. This will ensure that you have enough surface area to place all of the basa fillets into the pan without stacking them on top of each other, which will mean they’re all submerged in the delicious stock that we’ve made.
Defrost the basa fillets ahead of time, if possible. This will mean that you can season the fillets with salt and pepper before adding them into the pan, which will mean that the fish is even more flavourful. It also reduces the cook time, as you’re not putting a frozen fillet into hot water.
If you’re making this recipe for meal prep, ensure that you refrigerate your rice as soon as it’s cool enough to pop in the fridge. This will prevent any of the risks when reheating rice.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes absolutely! I love how balanced this basa fish recipe is, so I love using it for meal prep. Divide into individual servings and store the parsley separately. When it’s time to eat, reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes and top with parsley and an optional extra squeeze of lemon.
Can I freeze this recipe?
Yes you can! Freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost, leave to thaw in the fridge overnight and follow the instructions to reheat above. The packet for my frozen basa fillets says to not re-freeze, but I’ve done this soo many times and nothing has ever gone wrong! So this might be a judgment call for you on this one.