Basa with Chillies, Garlic & Basil


The Big Fat “W” Issue is taking over my life… again! Now don’t get me wrong… I’m super comfortable in my skin.I always used to be what they call “pleasantly plump” (I’m actually way past the pleasant stage now!) & that didn’t get in the way of anything… dating, work. In fact (touch-wood) I pride myself on my stamina & energy & the ability to zip around all over the place, multi-tasking. But my genes aren’t exactly that great, & I am 30-something (sigh)! And with every passing month it’s become easier to gain a kilogram than to lose even 100 grams!

Over the years I’ve tried the whole spectrum of gyms, diets, workouts, walks, yoga… Not that none of it worked. It’s just that I couldn’t get myself to be consistent! I’d work hard, lose some weight & then the interest. So basically over the past 10 odd years it’s been a cycle of kicking my butt (or getting it kicked), feeling & seeing the difference… then back to square one!

This time round it’s even more difficult because there’s so many recipes I want to try out… pies, cakes, quiches, cookies, breads… none of which are going to do anything for my weight watching quest! But I don’t have a choice… I’m on a regimen… get some exercise, eat at regular intervals & eat healthy!!

So I’m going to cook & post recipes that work with what I’m supposed to eat.  I’ll bake too… but I promise it will be for someone else, not me!

For tonight’s dinner I tried to recreate a Basa dish that I had eaten a month ago at a restaurant, which left me completely unimpressed! They gave us dessert on the house to appease us 🙂 I’m hoping to do a better job on it!

Basa is a freshwater fish, native to the Mekong River Delta, Vietnam & Chao Phraya Basin, Thailand. The flesh is moist, with a light, firm texture & no bones. The flavour too is pretty mild, which makes it versatile while cooking. Like most fish, Basa is high in protein & low – fat. Perfect choice for my dinner!

Basa with Chillies, Garlic & Basil


  • 400 gm Basa (fillets)
  • 1/2 each Red, Yellow, Green Bell Peppers (sliced)
  • 2 Spring Onions (finely chopped)
  • 2 stalks Celery (finely chopped)
  • 3/4 cup Basil (finely chopped)
  • 8 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 3 dried Red Chillies (soaked in warm water)
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • Fish Sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce


Marnated Basa

  1. Blitz 3/4 of the garlic & red chillies with a dash of soy sauce to make a coarse paste.
  2. Marinade the fillets with this paste & leave to rest for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil  in a pan & add the rest of the garlic, onions, celery & bell peppers. Saute till soft.
  4. Move the veggies in the pan to the edges & place the fillets in the pan & quickly heat them on both sides.
  5. Spread half the veggies on the pan & place the fish on it & top it up with the rest of the veggies.
  6. Splash a little water into the pan.
  7. Season with fish sauce & a dash of Thai sweet chilli sauce & toss in the basil
  8. Leave on the flame till the fish is just about cooked. The take it off the flame & cover for about 5 minutes allowing the fish to cook a bit.

The Basa I had at the restaurant was pretty bland & not seasoned well at all. The fish sauce & sweet chilli sauce have added depth to the flavour, & really brought out the taste of the 3 key ingredients: the sharp garlic, hot red chillies & fresh basil.

Since I’m on a low-carb diet, I had this with a side of steamed veggies & a bowl of soup. You could serve this up with jasmine rice or plain steamed rice or noodles.

This recipe serves 4 people on my diet or 2 with regular appetites!

13 responses »

      • There’s a great book that I saw from our FIT coach, Carla Burns. (Food Inducing Thermogenics) She talks a lot about thermogenics and just retraining the brain about food in general. It also goes into some of the self destructive thinking that we all struggle with. Her website is and the book is Claim Your Power. It is set up from a spiritual perspective, but even if that’s not your thing, there is a lot of great info and concepts to consider.

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