They’ve recently put together a list of the Best & Worst Seafood Dishes in America — dishes from restaurants that turn healthy fish into high-calorie and high-fat meals are compared with healthier choices from the same restaurant.
One of the issues this article doesn’t address is the sustainability of the seafood in these dishes. For every dish it advises you to not eat, it gives you a healthier choice from the same restaurant, but just because the dish is lower in calories or fat doesn’t make it a good choice sustainability-wise.
In fact, figuring out the sustainability of the seafood in restaurants can often be tricky, particularly in chain restaurants. Chances are the wait staff has no idea where the salmon came from, and in-house management doesn’t either. Independent restaurants do a much better job informing patrons where the seafood comes from. Once you’ve been informed, you can use Monterey Bay Aquarium’s downloadable Seafood Watch pocket guide or their handy iPhone Seafood Watch app to help you make your choices.
Something else from the piece that struck me was the statement that “cooking fish can be a little tricky for home cooks.” It’s really not — not if you’re preparing it simply. One of the dishes mentioned in the worst seafood dishes list was Romano's Macaroni Grill Parmesan-Crusted Sole. It caught my attention because I make a Parmesan fish dish that’s simple, delicious and not nearly as high in fat or calories as the one mentioned in the article. I thought I’d pass along the recipe to you.
If you think preparing fish at home is difficult, try this with a sustainable fish of your choice. The original recipe calls for tilapia (U.S. farmed is the best sustainable choice), but you can substitute striped bass (farmed or wild-caught), catfish (U.S. farmed), or other sustainable mild white fish depending on what is fresh and sustainable at your seafood counter.
Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
- 4 (4oz) Tilapia filets
- ¼ c shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/8 c butter, softened
- 1 ½ tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp dried basil
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- pinch onion powder
- pinch celery salt
- Pre-heat your oven’s broiler to high and grease your broiler pan.
- Mix together all ingredients except the fish and set aside.
- Arrange fish in a single layer on the broiler pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Flip and broil 2 more minutes.
- Remove from broiler and cover each filet with Parmesan cheese mixture on the top. Return to broiler and broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and the fish flakes easily with a fork.