Grilled Tilapia with Calamansi

One of the new things we are trying this week is tilapia from The Smokin’ Mullet. Everyone else in the family ate at a party earlier but I had to go to work, so I ended up making a late dinner just for me. I saw this recipe a few weeks ago and had to try it.

Calamansi syrup is available at the new Asian grocer on NW 13th & 23rd Ave. In addition to Asian sauces, it's also darn good in gin & tonics.

I didn’t have fresh calamansi, but I did have calamansi syrup and fish sauce. I mixed a little together and tasted it, adjusting the flavors until it had a good balance of sharp, salty, and sweet.

Frozen pandan leaves are supposed to add a subtle floral scent to rice and some Asian desserts. I think these might be too old, I couldn't detect any pandan scent.

This dinner couldn’t have been much simpler. I sprinkled the fish with salt and broiled it until the skin was bubbled and the flesh firm, then I flipped it and broiled the other side. I made a small pot of rice with salt and a few pandan leaves to eat with the fish and the calamansi and fish sauce for dipping.

This was by far the best tilapia I have ever tasted. None of that muddy aftertaste. It was clean and moist and delicate.

This was a simple, light and delicious meal. I will say there is a distinct difference between the flavor of the tilapia we buy at Ward’s supermarket and the tilapia we bought from The Smokin’ Mullet. I’d guess that this tilapia is wild-caught, but tilapia is not native to Florida and shouldn’t be found in Florida waterways. The next time I see their booth I’ll ask, because if it’s farmed tilapia, it’s the best I’ve ever eaten. At $10 per pound it won’t be a regular purchase, though.

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