Fish is a popular alternative for people who want to eat healthily and limit their intake of other kinds of meat. A good fish to add to your diet is basa fish, which may not be as well-known as salmon or tuna but is just as nutritious.
Basa fish is a variety of whitefish that is good for your heart and brain health. When cooked, basa fish is moist with a very mild fish flavor!
Basa fish nutritional profile
Basa fish (Pangasius bocourti) is a popular variety of whitefish. It’s commonly found in Southeast Asia and is exported to various parts of the world because it is affordable and nutritious.
Basa fish is a variety of catfish found in Thailand, Vietnam, and other parts of Indochina. It’s popular among consumers because it’s cheaper than most seafood and has a similar flavor and consistency to cod or haddock!
Compared to other kinds of fish, basa fish is cheaper because it’s easier to grow and harvest in the wild. Basa fish is also called river cobbler or swai.
Basa fish feeds primarily on plants and can grow up to four feet in length. The fish is a very competitive product in international export markets. Since it belongs to the catfish family, basa fish is rather popular in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
Basa fish is nutrient-dense. Like other varieties of whitefish, it is low in calories but high in protein. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) FoodData Central, a 100-gram serving of basa fish or a small filet contains about 88 calories and 13 grams of protein.
The same serving also contains four grams of fat and moderate amounts of sodium and iron. Note that basa fish should be consumed moderately since it contains around 40 mg of cholesterol.
5 Health benefits of basa fish
When consumed as part of a balanced diet, basa fish offers several benefits for your overall health!
It’s a protein-rich superfood
Your body needs protein to produce energy and repair damaged tissue. Consuming basa fish is a great way to increase your protein intake. It can also help you avoid the “crash” common in carb-heavy diets.
Eat several servings of a high-protein fish like basa weekly to maintain your energy levels.
It can help boost your heart health
Omega-3 fatty acids can help protect your heart health. Basa fish contains four grams of fat per serving. Fortunately, most of the fat content of basa fish is made up of beneficial omega-3s.
Basa fish contains both docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EHA), two of the best fatty acids for your overall well-being.
It can promote brain health
A study on basa fish found that it is full of DHA. Aside from promoting brain health, DHA can also help reduce your risk of developing degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
It helps boost muscle and cell growth
Protein provides your body with amino acids, the building blocks of cells and fiber in the body. A regular supply of protein from your diet is essential for the repair of damaged muscles. Protein also helps your muscles develop and continue growing.
Since basa fish is a complete protein, it provides your body with all nine essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own.
These essential amino acids include:
It promotes weight loss
Basa fish is the perfect food to eat if you want to lose weight. Despite being low-calorie, basa fish can give you energy, protein and nutrients.
Considerations when buying basa fish
Like other superfoods, you need to be careful when buying basa fish. While studies have shown that eating more basa than other fish is safe, you must avoid basa fish grown in fish farms because they’re often treated with harmful chemicals.
Basa fish recipes to try
You can buy basa fish in the form of boneless filets.
Simple baked basa fish
Basa is a rather delicate whitefish that can be baked before serving.
- 4-5 ounces basa fish filets
- Dried herb mixture
- Olive oil
- Lemon (for garnishing)
- Parsley (for garnishing)
- Ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cornmeal, dried herbs, salt and pepper.
- Season the fish by coating it in the herb mixture.
- After seasoning the fish, place the basa filets on an oiled cooking sheet.
- Let the fish bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once cooked, let the fish cool for two to three minutes.
- Serve the basa fish filets with lemon garnish and fresh parsley.
Spicy basa fish filets
This recipe modifies the basic basa fish recipe and adds a kick of spice with curry and turmeric!
Ingredients for 10 servings:
- 5 large basa fish fillets
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of curry powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons of black pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 5 tablespoons of olive oil
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Dry the fish fillets with a paper towel or a clean tea towel.
- Combine the spices and salt. Sprinkle the spice mix to coat the fillets. Coat both sides completely.
- In a large skillet or pan, heat the olive oil over medium to high heat. Place the coated fillets in the skillet, then cook for five to six minutes per side or until cooked through.
- Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Tips for easy prep:
- To keep the fish from sticking to the pan, make sure the fillets are as dry as you can make them.
- Coat the pan evenly with the oil before adding the filets.
- The heat should be medium to high. Wait until the oil simmers slightly before adding the basa. Start cooking when the oil is slightly smoky.
- Don’t move the filet once it’s in the pan because it might break apart. Let the fish sit. When it’s nice and brown, you can easily flip it over.
- Use a very thin spatula when cooking.
Try the new recipes above and cook basa fish, an affordable variety of catfish that’s low in calories but rich in protein!