No one can resist Kolkata’s Bhetki fish fry. A delicious treat for a fish lover and perfect for a newbie, the Bhetki with its mild flavour and few bones, wins all hearts.
The fish has its place in Australian, Goan and Thai cuisines as well. Also known as Barramundi globally, Bhetki is also referred to as Khajura, Bekkut, Bekti, Asian Sea Bass, Dadhara, Koliji, Chonok, Gariyu, Keduwa, Narimeen and Pandu-kopah.
The fish is cooked in many versions- steamed in banana leaves as a paturi with mustard paste, bhetki fish fry and fish fingers are the ultimate snack when paired with zingy Kasundi sauce or the rich and spicy Bhetki Kalia. In Goa, Bhetki known as Chonak is cooked in red spices or even served pan-fried.
With a gentle, mild flavour, Bhetki fish makes an appealing dish among seafood lovers all around the globe. The firm flesh of the Bhetki makes it easy to cook.
Where is it popular?
Large populations of Bhetki are found in parts of the Indo-West Pacific including Southeast Asia to Northern Australia and Papua New Guinea. However, the fish holds high commercial value in Australia, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, Thailand, and the U.S.
Bhetki fish is known for its nutritious characteristics. It has potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, sodium, Vitamin A along with some healthy fats that make it popular with health-conscious individuals.
How to cook the fish?
The fish has minimal bones and is incredibly fleshy! The flesh is soft, white, and delicious. There are ample ways to cook Bhetki. You can either coat it with breadcrumbs (as in Bengali cuisine) or egg or marinate with spices before frying. The fish is also served as an appetizer. You can even crumb the fish. It gives a nice texture and is super easy to prepare as well.
If you’re looking for a buttery texture, do try pan-seared bhetki fillet. Curry, grill, or fry it, you can’t go wrong with Bhetki!
At Licious, we offer a wide variety of Bhetki cuts that are ideal for making any dish. Our fish and seafood is sourced daily from approved fishing boats and is delivered within 24 hours of being caught. We ensure the fish stays fresh by maintaining steady temperature controls between 0-4℃ at every stage, from sourcing, until it reaches your doorstep. As a bonus, our expert meat technicians have already cut, cleaned, and washed the fish, so you have ZERO prep to do. Just use the fish straight out of the pack and into your pan!
Bhetki Fish Fry:
- Marinate the fillet with salt and lemon. Let it rest for 30 min. For the second marination, dip the fillet in a smooth paste of onion, ginger, green chillies, garlic, and coriander leaves.
- Let it marinate for 2 hours in the fridge. After 2 hours, add the marinated fillets to a mixture of egg, salt, and black pepper.
- Then dip each fillet in all-purpose flour to make a thick masala coating. You can opt for breadcrumbs instead of flour if you like. Add some salt, if required.
- Let the fillets rest in the refrigerator for a while. This prevents cracks from forming during frying.
- In a hot pan, deep fry the fillet until it turns golden brown. Serve hot with kasundi dip or ketchup!
Grilled Bhetki Fish:
- Marinate the fish slices in yoghurt, tandoori masala, and butter. Keep it for 30-45 min.
- Pour some butter into a deep pan and cook the fish for 10 mins on each side.
- Cook for an additional 2-3 mins to acquire a nice colour.
- Now serve with sliced tomato, onion rounds and lime wedges.
Bhetki Fish Curry:
- Rub the turmeric, red chilli powder, and salt mix into the fillets. Marinate for approx. 30 mins.
- Fry the fish in a pan.
- Pat dry to remove excess oil.
- Now in the same oil, add some bay leaves, cloves, cardamom pods, and ginger-garlic paste. Cook for 10 mins.
- Add the spice mix (turmeric, cumin powder, red chilli, coriander, black pepper, and garam masala) to the pan and cook again for 3 min. Add water and let it boil.
- In the next step, add some yoghurt and salt and simmer for another 10 mins.
- Lastly, add the fried fish and cook for another 5 mins.
- Serve with hot steamed rice.
Let us know in the comments if you enjoyed this read. If you try out any of these recipes, be sure to post on Instagram and tag us with #MadeWithLicious. Happy cooking!