I have, especially since moving to Seattle, been trying to increase the amount of fish in my diet. This is partially out of concern that I am eating too much soy, which is very high in fat. Being a household of a pescetarian and an almost vegetarian we try to be careful about where our fish comes from and thus are very sensitive to good fishing practices. I carry around a little cheat sheet in my wallet created by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program. Its a great guide for anyone concerned about fishing practices and their effects on the environment. Using it we discovered that Tilapia from the US is farmed in systems that don't taint the natural fish stock and therefor A-OK! This is great because Tilapia is a really low fat and flexible fish. One 4 oz serving is only 93 calories and 1 g of fat but 21 g of protein.
I have cooked Tilapia in a few ways: baked whole and fish tacos, but tonight's fish cakes proved one of the most successful. A light and fresh cilantro lime sauce compliments the spicy flavor of the chipotle in the cakes. When using chipotle in adobo (you can find these in a can in the ethnic food aisle of most grocery stores) know that they can pack a lot of spice. The bulk of the spice is found in the chipotles, but the sauce itself is quite spicy as well. We like a lot of spice (so much so that the guy at our local Thai place is constantly questioning our 3 1/2 star request) so the following recipe is based on that. If you are sensitive to spice I recommend cutting both the chipotle and the adobe quantities in half.
Chipotle Fish Cakes with Lime Cilantro dressing
Lime Cilantro Dressing
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 tbsp well chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tbsp diced red onion
juice of one lime
1 garlic clove minced
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Add water to achieve desired consistency: I use a dense yogurt and thus added about 2 tbsp of water. Cover and refrigerate while you make the cakes.
Chipotle Fish Cakes
2 4-5 oz tilapia fillets
1/2 medium red onion finely minced
2-3 garlic cloves finely minced
1/2 red pepper finely minced
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
one chipotle in adobo finely minced (adjust for spice level)
3-4 tbsp adobo sauce
1/4 cup course cornmeal or bread crumbs
2 tbsp cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste
Chop tilapia in a blender or food processor until blended but still chunky. Set aside. Mix onion, garlic, pepper, cilantro, chipotle and adobo in a separate bowl and salt and pepper to taste. You will want to moderately over salt and pepper at this point as the fish and bread crumbs will balance out the flavor. Combine fish and onion - chipotle mixture thouroughly and add cornstarch and cornmeal or bread crumbs. Form into 8 patties roughly 3" in diameter and 3/4" thick. Heat a nonstick saucepan over medium high heat and cook each patty for 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Serve on a bed of greens with spicy black beans for a low fat and satisfying meal. Drizzle with Cilantro Lime Sauce and garnish with avocado and loosely chopped cilantro.