Why Swai?Posted: May 13, 2014
By Emma Fogt, MBA, MS, RD, LDN, FAND
Have you ever heard of Swai (pronounced “swy”)? It’s a white fish popping up a lot now in grocery stores and at local fishmongers. It’s similar to a milder version of catfish, with sweet and flakey filets that come at an affordable price.
Swai is river-farmed, mostly in Vietnam, as is considered a sustainability-friendly fish that provides high quality protein at a highly attractive price. At $7.99 a pound you can’t beat Swai at the market when you compare it to the $14.99-$19.99/lb of most other fish. Its trendy filets are also light in calories, weighing in at only 25 calories per ounce. That one ounce will also contain a full five grams of protein, meaning a six-ounce serving size will bring 30 grams of protein to your plate. That’s all at the cost of just 150 calories.
Swai is also a holder of omega-3s, containing approximately 110mg of the heart healthy fats per ounce. While not as high as the 500 mg found in wild herring, salmon and mackerel, it still brings a significant contribution to the daily recommendation of 500 mg/day.
Following is a simple preparation that draws upon the fish’s natural sweetness. Worried about fishy smells wafting into the air? The secret is to utilize a milk base. I kid you not, the milk in this recipe will lightly cook the fish and provide moisture all around, while also reducing both fishy odors and the tendency to have a dry filet on your plate.
If you prefer not to use butter, swap it for extra virgin olive oil, a heart healthy substitution that’s equally delicious. To go lighter on calories, cut the fat in half to just 1 tablespoon. Serve alongside a whole grain rice pilaf, couscous or quinoa, along with a simply steamed green vegetable such as asparagus, broccoli, or green beans.
Old Bay Oven-baked Swai
-4 (6 oz) fillets Swai fish
-2 Tbsp. butter, cubed
– ½ cup low fat milk
-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
-½ tsp. minced garlic
-1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
-1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a shallow pan or baking sheet with cooking spray.
2.Place fish fillets into the prepared pan. Dot the fish with butter.
3. Pour the milk over the fish. Sprinkle with parsley, garlic, black pepper and Old Bay.
4. Bake until fish flakes easily with a fork, 10-12 minutes.
Emma Fogt, MBA, MS, RD, LDN, FAND is a Wellness Expert, Speaker & Author. She is seen as a Nutrition Expert in the local media and enjoys cooking up a storm with corporations via Culinary Team Building. Her programs offer leaders and emerging leaders talks, webinars and workshops on wellness, wellbeing and work-life fit. Emma is an active member of Nutrition Entrepreneurs (Chair 2012-13), The National Speaker’s Association and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. Emma’s first book published by ewomenwellness is entitled:Having YOUR All, How Self-Care Leads to an Energized, Empowered and Effective Life!