Moo Shu Catfish

Moo Shu Catfish

This is a delicious moo shu that I made with an asian variety of catfish.

To make this dish, pan-fry a light-flavored, white fish fillet in canola oil with thin strips of fresh ginger and a bit of chili garlic sauce, removing it as soon as it’s cooked and flakes easily.
In the same pan, deglaze with perhaps 1/3 cup thin sauce made of water, oyster sauce, honey, bean paste, and soy sauce and quickly stir-fry thinly-sliced cabbage, matchstick carrot, sliced scallion, thinly-sliced black mushroom, and bean sprouts. Remove while vegetables are still slightly crisp; flake the fish and add it to the mixture. (You might also add scrambled egg, as in many moo shu recipes.)
Serve wrapped with moo shu pancakes or in a flour tortilla as I did here, or with rice.

I bought the fish by the name “Swai”; it’s also known as basa, tra, panga (e.g., France) or pangasius, vietnamese river cobbler (U.K.?), and iridescent shark (although it’s a catfish, not a shark.) In the U.S., it is not allowed to be sold by the name “catfish” because it competes with U.S. catfish in the market.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridescent_shark
It’s a commonly farmed fish in the Mekong Delta region.

I made Ginger Catfish previously, and this is likely the sort of fish that would be used in Vietnam.

Here’s some more info on the fish, which has gotten some scrutiny as it has become popular world-wide with a commensurate explosion in farming of it in asia. Perhaps surprisingly, it has become one of top ten most popular fish in the U.S., due to its flavor and low cost. (For instance, I bought a 6.5 ounce fillet for under $2.)

“What is Pangasius? Only the 9th most consumed fish in the USA”
http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/2011/09/13/what-is-pangasius-only-the-9th-most-consumed-fish-in-the-usa/

“Pangasius hypophthalmus”
http://www.fao.org/fishery/culturedspecies/Pangasius_hypophthalmus/en

Here is a documentary film, critical of its farming, c. 2008:
“Qu’est ce qu’un Panga ?”
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xo87j_quest-ce-quun-panga_sustainable_dev

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One response

  1. Pingback: Tea-Smoked Catfish | Kitchen Convivial

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