Crispy Panko Fish with Orange Sesame Sauce

Last week it was nacho day in the cafeteria at work.  Yes, including the gooey fake cheese that probably is an entire day’s worth of WW points (good thing I’m not tracking anymore…or bad thing, you decide).  All I can say is that it takes me back to the days of elementary school, when every kid’s favourite day was, yes, you guessed, nacho bar day, with the gooey fake cheese!

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Yes, I loved every unhealthy, point-filled bite.  Don’t judge me.

In other news, I also made a fairly unhealthy dish at home, so I suppose it balances out, right?  I made this crispy panko fish with orange sesame sauce by The Shiksa in the Kitchen’s blog.  I’ll be honest, I thought it was going to taste alright, but I didn’t think it was going to taste as FREAKING GOOD as it actually was.  I stocked up on generic white fish fillets, as they were buy one package get THREE packages free…seriously, who can pass up that type of deal?  And each package has about 5-6 fillets.  I scoured my seafood board on Pinterest and decided on this recipe, as we already had most of the ingredients in our cupboards.

And yes, it’s unhealthy, thanks to the breading, and most notably, being fried in oil, then served with a sweet orange sauce…but the fact that the fish in and of itself is only like 200 calories, I think it balances it out!  At least that’s what I like to tell myself…;)  Speaking of the sweet orange sauce, mine did not thicken up at all, like it implied in the original recipe.  It was pretty thin, even though I let it simmer for a bit longer than the recipe stated.  It was still super yummy, though!  I paired it with some black rice (if you recall a Test It Tuesday from several weeks back, it is the healthiest and tastiest rice EVER).

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Crispy Panko Fish with Orange Sesame Sauce

Serves 2

Ingredients:
For the fish
-2 large white fish fillets (I actually used about 4 small ones)
-3/4cu seltzer water
-1/2cu flour
-2tsp cornstarch
-1/2tsp salt
-1/3tsp garlic powder
-1/8tsp cayenne pepper
-3/4cu panko breadcrumbs
-2tsp sesame seeds
-Vegetable oil with a high smoke point for frying (I used olive oil, cuz it was all I had at the time, and it worked fine)
For the sauce
-1tsp cornstarch
-1/4cu freshly squeezed orange juice
-1/4cu agave nectar
-2tbsp low sodium soy sauce
-1tbsp sesame oil
-2tsp rice vinegar
-1/8tsp cayenne

Directions:
-Cut fish fillets into bite size nuggets or mini fillets.
-In a bowl, whisk together seltzer, flour, cornstarch, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne (this is the batter).
-In a shallow dish, stir together panko bread crumbs and sesame seeds.
-Dip each piece of fish into the batter, then into the breading (be sure to let excess batter drip off the fish before dipping into the breading).
-Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil on medium in a wok or large skillet, allow it to get hot before putting the fish in it. Flip the fish one time, and let cook about 4-5mins on each side. If you flip too soon, it will cause some of the breading to flake off.
-When done, let the fish cool, either on a wire rack, or just on a double layer of paper towels, if you don’t have a rack.
-Just before serving, whisk together cornstarch and 2tbsp water in the bottom of a small saucepan till dissolved. Whisk in orange juice, soy sauce, agave nectar, sesame oil and a pinch of cayenne. Heat the sauce over medium to a simmer for 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly, till it thickens slightly. Remove from heat and let it cool for 2 minutes.

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