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A Spoonful of Luxe recipe: Tilapia Katsu with Shaved Asparagus and a Poached Egg

Posted February 17, 2014

Tilapia Katsu with Shaved Asparagus and a Poached Egg

Diana Kostigen, a local food blogger and Smart Shopper reader, will be bringing us a new weekly recipe including ingredients that are on sale that week! This week, she made Tilapia Katsu with Shaved Asparagus and a Poached Egg! The Panko coated Tilapia looks fabulous!

Diana has been cooking professionally for many years and she has already shared multiple recipes here on the blog in the What's for Dinner posts.  Her website, A Spoonful of Luxe,  includes many more recipes.  My thanks to Diana for her willingness to share her gift. My family will most certainly benefit from her creative, healthy and fun approach to cooking!

Tilapia Katsu with Shaved Asparagus and a Poached Egg

My name is Diana, and a I'm a cooking-showaholic.

There, I said it.

And yes, my man is practically a Saint for putting up with my all-hours, all-the-time playlist of the Food Network, Cooking Channel… and have you been following The Taste?

I often wonder what my ultimate “Taste” dish would be. Perhaps an exotic lamb dish? Or something that brings memories of home? Or, maybe something with lobster? Lobster just might be the perfect food, but then I remind myself that the point of The Taste isn’t just about highlighting one ingredient. But about creating the perfect marriage of salty, sweet, rich, acidic… well, you get my drift.

So this week’s dish was inspired by wanting to not only create what I’d call the perfect dish in one bite. But to also take it one step further, creating a dish that is so luxurious and delicious; you’d never guess it cost less than buying a few items off the drive-thru dollar menu.

First, I saw that tilapia was on sale. Tilapia is a nice firm white fish, especially holding up nicely when fried, which made me think of katsu. I’ve enjoyed chicken katsu for years at my favorite Japanese restaurant, and only realized last year how simple it is to make at home. So, I decided to give fish a try with the same technique… a little flour, a little egg, a little panko… pure magic.

Then I decided on asparagus, because when it’s this inexpensive, one stocks up… especially at this time of year. Add on a poached egg, because a runny yolk (aka nature’s perfect sauce) makes everything taste better. And you’ve got one heck of a bite.

A salty crunch from the panko, a sweetness from the fish and the tonkatsu sauce, a richness from the poached egg, acidity from the lemon juice, and a fresh crispness from the shaved asparagus (when you shave it, you don’t need to cook it). And a bit of rice to act as a nice base for it all.

So, what would be your perfect “Taste” dish?

Tilapia Katsu with Shaved Asparagus and a Poached Egg

1 lb. tilapia filets (I cut 2 filets in half to make 4 servings)
½ c. flour
¾ c. panko break crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
Oil for frying (I use canola)
½ lb. asparagus, shaved
2 tblsp. olive oil
½ lemon, juiced
4 eggs, poached
Salt and pepper
Rice, cooked according to package directions
Tonkatsu Sauce (my favorite is Bull-Dog found at most Asian Markets)

For the fish:
Salt and pepper the tilapia and set aside. In a deep skillet, add about 2 inches of oil, and heat on high until ready for frying (I always test a corner of my breaded fish, and if it bubbles, it’s ready). While the oil is heating up, dredge the fish filets in flour which has been seasoned with salt and pepper. Then the beaten eggs, and finally in the panko bread crumbs, which have also been seasoned with salt and pepper (I use 3 cereal bowls for dredging).

Once oil is ready, place fish in skillet and fry for about 3 minutes per side, or until fish is cooked through. Using tongs to turn once. Remove to cooling rack placed over a plate to allow any excess oil to drip away. (Note: if you simply place on paper towels, your fish will not be as crispy).

For the asparagus:
Wash and dry asparagus, and break off tough ends. Using a peeler, peel from the base to the tip in long motions to create ribbons. Place in a bowl and add in the oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the poached egg:
I use the swirl method. In a large saucepan, add water and bring to a rolling boil. Add in 2 teaspoons white vinegar, and 1 teaspoon salt. While the water is boiling, get a very cold egg and crack into a small dish or coffee cup.

Once the water is boiling, lower the heat a bit and with the end of a wooden spoon start stirring the water counter-clockwise to create motion in the pan. Gently drop the egg into the center of the pan (the water will be swirling around it). Make sure the white of the egg is coming together to form a nice round shape (if not, you can use your spoon to help it along a bit.) Then cover the pan, and turn off the heat. Cook for 4 minutes. Then remove egg with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

To assemble:
Top the fish with the poached egg, and then the shaved asparagus. Serve with rice and Tonkatsu sauce if desired.

Serves 4
Cost per Serving: $1.77
*Note: all costs are approximate due to regional sale prices, amounts needed just for this specific recipe, and ingredients on hand. This recipe was created to utilize sale ingredients listed for the current week in Raleigh, NC stores.

Sale alert - Progresso Panko Bread Crumbs are on sale at Harris Teeter through 2/18 for $1 and there was a .25/1 coupon from 1/5 SS insert making it only .50 after coupon!

To read where to find the best prices for these ingredients click the Just the Basics link above.


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  • RaleighFoodBlogger Feb 17, 2014

    Faye- glad you thought so, too! And always happy to talk food!!! :-)

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Feb 17, 2014

    RFB - that sauce sounds great! I will have to get some as well. Hopefully you never get sick of us picking your foodie brain because I am developing a whole new food vocabulary and arsenal!

  • jdouglas13 Feb 17, 2014

    Faye, that show is totally hilarious!

    RFB, just googled the tonkatsu and read the ingredients list. Sounds really yummy! I will definitely have to try it. I'm thinking Grand Asia should carry it. I'll pick some up the next time I make it over that way.

  • RaleighFoodBlogger Feb 17, 2014

    Jdouglas- Thank you!!! I'm excited to watch the Worst Cooks in America... it's amazing how much they learn, and how far they come in such a short time!

    And on the tonkatsu sauce. If you google Bull-Dog Tonkatsu, you'll see the photo. I bought it at one of the local Asian markets downtown, and I'm thinking most of them carry it, as it is a very popular item. I've read that most people, even in Japan, simple buy the sauce because it is such a long process to make (simmered for hours and hours). It's made from fruits and veggies, and almost reminds me of a mix between a balsamic glaze with soy and other flavors. It's delicious!!! If I remember correctly, it wasn't cheap, but it lasts a long time. We've had a bottle that we've used as a dipping sauce for at least 10 dinners and it's not even 1/2 empty.

    Let me know if you try it :-)

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Feb 17, 2014

    jdouglas13 - that sounds hilarious!

  • jdouglas13 Feb 17, 2014

    PS - meant to add I love The Taste show and have been following faithfully each week. This week is the finale! I'll be sad to see it go, but tonight there is another show starting, which is absolutely hysterical, called The Worst Cooks in America on Food Network. My lovely DW who is no cook looks like Julia Child compared to some of these contestants! LOL

  • jdouglas13 Feb 17, 2014

    Just beautiful, RFB! :)

    Tell me more about the tonkatsu sauce. I've never had it.

  • RaleighFoodBlogger Feb 17, 2014

    Faye- thank you! I hope you enjoy it as much as we have... and so glad you're liking the omelette recipe. What delicious additions, too. Such a great way to get in all your veggies :-)

    Nanny113- thanks for reminder!

  • Nanny113 Feb 17, 2014

    Don't forget the asparagus is on sale at Lowes Food for $1.47/lb right now.

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Feb 17, 2014

    I do love to watch cooking shows, Diana! I have not seen The Taste yet, but I watch The Food Network whenever I have time. Thanks for such a lovely recipe. Can't wait to try it - and I need to snag some of the Panko on sale this week.

    We actually had your baked omelet recipe last night for dinner. This time I added sauteed mushrooms, onions, green peppers and asparagus. It was divine. We are all in love with that recipe!