Throughout my life, I hated spicy foods. One time in college, I tried a friend’s hot wings at Buffalo Wild Wings and literally felt like I was going to die. I was certain that all of my taste buds had been fried off, along with the first 14 layers of my tongue. My eyes watered, I chugged water, ate an indecent amount of celery, practically dipped my smoking tongue in ranch dressing, and vowed to never eat another spicy thing if the burning would just subside.
Then, in the winter of 2005, I met Brad, who puts hot sauce on EVERYTHING. More specifically, Frank’s Red Hot. Without even realizing I was doing it, I began slowly incorporating Frank’s into my diet as well. And now, nearly 6 years later, I put hot sauce on my eggs, french fries/hash browns, tacos, and (my personal favorite) pizza.
So, as a new eater of spicy things (I still can’t claim to be on Brad’s level…though I can tolerate the hot wings at Buffalo Wild Wings now), I decided to take my obsession to the next level and try a new type of hot sauce.
Sriracha is a hot sauce/chili sauce with a garlic flavor. It’s thicker than Franks, and it’s delicious in Asian inspired recipes (especially the Orange Chicken from Trader’s Joe’s), but it can really be used on anything…even pizza!
And…it makes a great marinade, especially on chicken and fish.
I am a seafood/fish person, but for some reason, plain old baked fish really freaks me out (which is kind of funny, since I can eat sushi with the best of them).
So for dinner the other night, I used the recipe for Sriracha Chicken Fingers…but I changed it up a bit and adapted it into a tilapia recipe.
One of my Upgrading Melissa goals is to begin experimenting with creating my own recipes. I can generally follow any recipe to a tee…so now it’s time to move on to the next step in my kitchen adventures and try to come up with my own clever concoctions.
My first attempt was my Spiced Cream Cheese Cake Balls with a Caramel Drizzle…and they were a success. Now it’s time to move on to dinner! And even though this is more so an adaptation than an original recipe, it still feels like a good first step. :)
Here’s goes nothing…
The original recipe calls for you to marinade the chicken in the Sriracha sauce. However, I read that you should not marinate fish in an acidic marinade for more than 30 minutes, or the fish will be mushy. Since nothing sounds worse to me than mushy fish, I didn’t marinate at all…I just dipped. I also didn’t use eggs…because I didn’t have any.
Here’s the cast of characters:
2 tilapia filets, thawed
1/3 Sriracha Hot Sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
pinch of dried ginger
1 clove of garlic
1 cup all purpose flour
1.5 cups Panko bread crumbs
pinch of salt & pepper
1.) Preheat your broiler and move the rack to the center of the oven.
In one bowl, mix together Sriracha sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
2.) Pour the flour into another bowl and the Panko bread crumbs into a 3rd bowl.
3.) Cover a small baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Sure, you don’t have to use aluminum foil…but I’m lazy and cover everything in foil so I don’t have to wash it after. ;)
4.) Line up the bowls with the sauce mix on the right, the flour in the middle, and the bread crumbs on the right. Place the baking sheet to the right of the bread crumbs.
5.) Dip each filet in the Sriracha mix, covering both sides, then the flour, and finally the bread crumbs, pressing the crumbs to the filet to make sure they stick. Place the filets on the pan.
6.) Spritz the top of each filet with the non-stick cooking spray. Broil the fish for about 10-12 minutes, or until the bread crumbs get slightly golden and then fish flakes easily.
7.) Sit back and relish in the deliciousness of your spicy, garlicky, and non-fishy dinner!