I first had Basa at this plush Delhi restaurant called Magique. It is owned by celebrity chef Marut Sikka and is located in the godforsaken Garden of Five Senses. But it was restaurant week and undoubtedly the best time of the year to sample 3-course menus at fine dining places that you otherwise would not be able to afford. So accompanied by my colleagues S and P, I braved the heat one April afternoon to reach this quaint restaurant in a stomach growling with hunger. S ordered their Pan-Fried Noodles, P the Khao Suey whereas I settled for the Baked Basa (in ginger sauce, was it?) And the moment I took my first bite, I was head over heels in love with the fish. Soft, flaky and totally melt in your mouth.
I haven’t had much Basa since then. I cooked it once earlier this year, but that was it. Till a few days back when an uncle of mine, on his shopping spree at a departmental store, found frozen basa fillets and got a kilo for me. I was dancing with joy. I immediately made a marinade, the quickest one I could think of, smeared the basa fillets with it and refrigerated them for 2-3 hours. I am very meticulous about my lunch time usually, but that day I was willing to wait those extra 3 hours. I baked them to perfection and savoured them with joy utmost. I have another 500 gm of the fillet lying with me, so if you have any suggestions as to what I should do with them, please let me know!
Basa fillets: 500 gm (makes 6 pieces)
Dark soy sauce: 1 tbsp
Hoisin sauce: 2 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar: 1 tbsp
Ginger paste: 2 tsp
Garlic paste: 1 tsp
Salt, to taste (optional)
1. In a medium sized bowl mix all the ingredients for the marinade and heat on the gas till it boils. Reduce heat and let it simmer for a minute. Turn off the gas and let the mixture cool a bit.
2. Now generously coat the fillets of basa with this marinade. Arrange them on a baking tray/dish.
3. Preheat oven to 200 degree C and bake the fish fillets for 12-14 minutes till soft and flaky. Turn once in between to ensure equal cooking.
4. Serve hot on a bed of rice. Drizzle the glaze over the fish.