A few months ago one of my close friends from high school came to visit and we ventured out to Jungle Jim’s, a Cincinnati landmark. If you’ve never been, it is one of the weirdest, campiest and most amazing grocery stores you will ever experience. They have everything from local honey and Graeter’s ice cream to imported French butter and ostrich eggs. It’s a foodie paradise, and, when you go on a weekend, there are plenty of things to sample.
On this particular trip, my friend and I encountered the Mustard Man himself, founder of an Ohio-based company that makes several interesting kinds of mustard. We sampled several different kinds and each of us bought a bottle. I decided on the “Simply Peppered” mustard which features coarse-ground black pepper. It’s become a go-to condiment and ingredient in my kitchen!
One use that I’ve found for the mustard is making these panko-crusted fish filets. Tilapia is my fish of choice for this dish, but you can also use flounder or another mild white fish. I usually buy the bags of frozen filets that are individually wrapped, which makes it easy to defrost just one or two at a time.
The trick to this recipe is the panko breadcrumbs. Panko is an Asian type of bread crumb that is much lighter and crispier than regular bread crumbs. It tastes a little like Rice Krispies if you eat them on their own–light, crunchy but kind of bland. So it’s important to season them before coating your fish.
Since this is a pretty light entree, I like to serve it alongside my summer succotash, as pictured.
- 1 mild fish filet, such as tilapia, 3-4 oz
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450F and line a sheet pan with foil.
- Dry the fish filet with a paper towel and brush the top of the filet with the mustard.
- Mix together the panko, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste on a plate. Dip the fish mustard-side down into the breadcrumbs, pressing down gently so that they stick.
- Flip the fish back over and bake, panko-side up, until firm and flaky, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.