Recipe: ‘Fried’ Fish BLT Pitas
Tilapia has a mild flavor with a firm texture, which keeps it from falling apart in the sandwich.
4 slices bacon
½ cup packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
½ cup light mayonnaise
4 teaspoons lemon juice
4 small tilapia fillets (about 2½ ounces each)
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 large egg whites
2 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Four small whole-wheat pita pockets, halved to form 8 rounds
1 beefsteak tomato, sliced 1/3 inch thick
2 large romaine lettuce leaves, halved crosswise
1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment.
2. In a medium skillet over medium, cook the bacon until crisp, then transfer to paper towels to drain.
3. In a small bowl stir together the basil, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Set aside.
4. Season the fish with salt and pepper. On a sheet of kitchen parchment, combine the flour with the paprika. On a second sheet of parchment, spread the panko. In a shallow dish, lightly beat the egg whites. Coat the fish first in the flour mixture, then dip it in the egg whites, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the panko, making sure the fish is well coated.
5. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat 1½ tablespoons of the oil. Add the fish and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, about two minutes. Turn the fish, add the remaining oil and cook until golden on the second side, about another two minutes.
6. Transfer the fillets to one end of the prepared baking sheet. Wrap the pita rounds in foil and place them at the other end of the baking sheet. Bake for four to five minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through.
7. To serve, spread some of the basil mayonnaise on the cut sides of the pita rounds. Top four of the rounds with a piece of bacon, broken in half, a piece of fish, followed by some sliced tomatoes, a piece of lettuce and the second pita round, mayonnaise side down.
— Sara Moulton, The Associated Press