Jul 25, 2011

Couscous with Tilapia and Oyster Mushrooms

I am a bad Asian. I don't like white rice. It makes me feel bloated and gross. I also haven't had a rice cooker in the past 7 years... don't throw rocks at me!

Don't get me wrong, I love love love carbs. In terms of everyday cooking (especially for lunch), my favorite grains are couscous and quinoa. Couscous is very easy to cook and has more vitamins and protein compared to white rice, making it a more "well-rounded" grain.  It is also very versatile- you can pretty much mix in any ingredients you want. Quinoa is even better. It has tons of amino acids that provide protein for vegetarians or those who simply don't have time to prepare meat for lunch. The protein and fiber in quinoa keeps you full for a long time, while all the minerals help reduce the frequency migraines.

So that leads to lunch for today- couscous salad with tilapia and oyster mushrooms. The key to this recipe is lemon or lime juice (you don't want your couscous to be fishy!), and any herbs you want. Mushrooms is also good for reheating because they have a high moisture content, keeping the couscous nice and fluffy the next day.

Coucous with tilapia and oyster mushrooms

Makes 2 servings

1 cup couscous
1 cup boiling water
1 piece of tilapia fillet, seasoned with salt
2 tsp unsalted butter
1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
Handful of oyster mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 lime
Bunch of cilantro, chopped (including stem)
Cheese of your choice
Cayenne pepper, optional
Olive oil or spicy sesame oil

1. Heat pan on medium, melt butter. Pan fry tilapia until golden brown on both sides.
2. In the meantime, boil water and chop the tomatoes, cilantro and mushrooms (I usually just cut off the bottom part of the stem).
3. Mix chopped cilantro stems with dry couscous in a bowl. Add boiling water and cover with a plate or lid. Let sit for 5 minutes.
4. Saute mushrooms with garlic until soft and slightly golden.
5. Uncover couscous. Fluff with fork and add fish, mushrooms, chopped cilantro leaves, cherry tomatoes, lime juice, and cheese.
6. Add salt, pepper and (optional) spicy sesame oil to taste. Serve warm.

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