The perch it is not just one, this term indicates a series of different fish, including the African one, all edible and freshwater. Let's not imagine so many fish that differ only in insignificant details, we will realize that the differences between one perch and another they are impossible not to notice even for those who know almost nothing about aquatic animals.
In Italy we find some varieties of perch, three in particular live in our fresh waters, even if of an allochthonous nature: the largemouth bass, the sun perch and the pike-perch. The best known in this category are the royal perch (Perca fluviatilis), the African perch (or perch of the Nile - Lates niloticus) and the sea bass (Morone saxatilis X Morone chrysops). There is also a Nile perch which, despite being African, is very present on the Italian market, lives in slightly agitated and not too deep waters and is recognized by its very large jaws and very developed rump.
African perch: recipes
The perch you eat, the African one as well as some others. There are many recipes that see them as protagonists, some varieties are more bland than others, we can cook them breaded and baked fillets, or grilled and in a pan. They are often accompanied by a tasty side dish, which gives character. Those with the african perch, and not, they are long-standing recipes and not particularly difficult to make, sometimes they are also first courses because this fish has a taste that goes well with both pasta and rice.
Before putting it in the pan, however, let's get to know better the African perch. For convenience we can say that it "vaguely" resembles the perch even if its color is totally brown-greyish with a greater paleness of the belly.
The African feeds on plankton but also of insects and there are those who consider it an invasive species because since it was included in the lake Victoria for breeding purposes, it has been shown to be harmful. This obviously because present with numbers that are not those expected by nature. The African perch is certainly not at risk, indeed, and intensive fishing is not limiting it in its expansion on the planet.
African perch: nutritional values
From a nutritional point of view, the African perch is low calorie, it has very lean meat and is rich in nutrients, which is why, although it doesn't taste great, it is appreciated. This fish contains mainly proteins, those of high biological value, on the other hand it does not provide many lipids and not even many carbohydrates. Those with high cholesterol don't have to worry, they can eat it quietly, so it gets full of useful vitamins such as niacin (vit. PP) and calciferol (vit. D).
African perch in a pan
Cooking the African perch in the pan is easy. Let's quickly see the recipe with 500 grams of perch fillet, 2 whole eggs, 50 grams of white flour, 50 grams of breadcrumbs, 70 grams of butter and a sprig of sage. The perch fillets must be cleaned and dried thoroughly and then passed in flour, egg, and finally in breadcrumbs.
The pan should be prepared with butter associated with a sprig of sage, when it is melted and hot, we can put the fillets in it, letting them brown on both sides. Drained and sautéed, the fillets of African perch they should be served hot and with lemon wedges.
African perch: fillet
Always the fillet of this fish can be cooked together with agretti (friar's beard) which with their bitter taste give character to the recipe since the flavor of this type of fish is not the most overwhelming. Despite this it is a beloved fish, for its tender and pulpy meat.
We take 800 grams of fillet of perch, as many of Friar's Beard, extra virgin olive oil, butter, 90 grams of flour and an egg. We also need vegetable broth, white wine and garlic. To prepare the fish, it must be cleaned by removing the bones and divided into slices, in the meantime we take a large pan to melt olive oil and butter together with a clove of garlic.
The slices of African perch they must be passed into a bowl where we put the beaten eggs and then turned in the flour so that it adheres to the entire surface. This time no breadcrumbs, the African perch ends up in the pan as soon as the oil and butter begin to sizzle, then blend with the white wine and let it evaporate and then add the agretti and vegetable broth. About ten minutes of cooking over medium heat and then it is ready to be served with the agretti cooked separately that act as a cradle.
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