What Is Swai Fish?
Swai fish is one of the most common white fish available in the United States. Swai is also called Basa fish. They are a type of catfish and mostly farm-raised in Vietnam.
Its fillet has a delicate taste, with semi-firm flesh. It’s one of my favorite fish recipes, other than baked cod and tilapia recipes.
Cooking Swai is very easy and one of my favorite Swai fish recipes is pan fried on the skillet.
In this recipe, I will teach you how to cook Swai fish and make restaurant quality pan fried fish in lemon butter sauce.
Other Swai Fish Recipes You Might Like
Ingredients for Pan Fried Fish:
This easy pan-fried fish recipe calls for 5 ingredients. The lemon butter sauce is made with melted butter and fresh lemon juice. It’s that simple!
- Swai fish or Basa. You may also use other white fish such as sole, halibut or cod.
- Lemon juice.
- Salt and ground black pepper.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Healthy?
Swai is healthy, sustainable and good for you. It’s rich in protein and omega-3. It has zero carb and very low in fat. They are safe to eat on a monthly basis.
How Many Calories per Serving?
This recipe is only 157 calories per serving.
What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?
This meal is best served with a side dish such as marinated tomatoes. For a seafood restaurant style dinner at home, I recommend the following recipes.
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Lemon Butter Swai Fish
Lemon Butter Swai Fish - tender and moist pan fried fish with lemon butter sauce. This recipe takes 10 mins from start to finish and rival the best seafood restaurant. Serve alone or with pasta for dinner.
- 1 lb. Swai fish or Basa
- ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon chopped Italian parsley
Rinse the swai fish fillets with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Seasoned both sides of the fish with salt and ground black pepper.
Heat up a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil. Pan fry the Swai fish fillet, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Turn the fish over gently and pan fry the other side until both sides are light brown with slightly crispy edges. Dish out on a plate.
In a sauce pan, heat the melted butter, then add the white wine and lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt. As soon as the sauce bubbles, turn off the heat. Drizzle the sauce on the fish, garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
You may also use other white fish such as sole, halibut or cod.
We’ve been using Basa also called Cream or Pacific Dory in Malaysia in our western restaurant in Kluang Johor for the last 14 years without complaint.
Malaysians have a poor opinion of it because many people just don’t know how to handle it
Hi Bill, awesome, good to know what. What’s the name of your restaurant?
Can you sub the white wine out for something else ?
the recipe was delicious, but i massacred the dover sole into a puree as it completely stuck to the pan. is there a way to avoid that?!
I am sorry to hear that. Did you use a non-stick pan? If it sticks to regular pan, it means it wasn’t hot enough. Make sure it’s smoking hot before you add oil, and heat up the oil before adding fish.
Hi, Bee! Tried your Lemon Butter Swai fish recipe last night, and it was simply superb. I used fresh wild-caught dover sole instead of Swai, and the taste, texture and appearance were wonderful. Paired it with your Marinated Tomatoes, which were out of this world! Some converted rice on the side, and this meal was one of the best we’ve ever had. Thank you so much for this wonderful combo. Definitely five stars +++
Hi Irv, I am so happy to read your comment, you made my day!! Yes, fresh wild-caught dover sole sounds like a dream!! So yummy. The marinated tomatoes are awesome with the fish right? I am so glad you love my recipes. Please try more recipes on my site, they are all easy and delicious: https://rasamalaysia.com/recipe-index-gallery/. Thank you! :)
I made this last night for dinner, to change it up, use lemon pepper and a spoon of capers :) Delicious! This is the most common way I prepare this fish and it is a regular here,
Hi Lee, thanks so much for trying this swai fish recipe. Your adaptations sound super yummy!
Just delicious, used the Swai, didn’t add the white wine, but wow it was delicious with the Marinara sauce over my Spinach& Mozzarella Ravioli. Loved it.
Never knew this much goodness in Swai. “It’s rich in protein and omega-3. It has zero carb and very low in fat.” You got me in zero carb :p
Thanks Bee for this lovely piece of information. Let’s Swai!
I don’t have white wine. Is there any substitute?
You can just use water if you don’t have white wine.
Swai fish looks much like Dory in Malaysia. Are they the same? Dory has received a bad reputation that they are bred unhygienic ways. Any truth there?
Hi Sheryl, Swai fish is called also called Basa. I am not familiar with Dory fish.
Dory in Asia, for the most part is Swai, high end restaurants in Thailand charge top dollar for ;fish and chips’ touting the fish as dory. Dory is a cold water ocean fish, shorter fillets, wider, and much thicker.
Is Swai Fish the same as tilapia , which is more common in USA.
No Swai fish is different from tilapia; it tastes much better than tilapia.
Shaneena, it is better, not even close to tilapia :)
Hi Bee, I know I can always count on you for a delicious recipe. I find swai fish much better than cat fish or tilapia. So glad that you shared this swai fish recipe.
Thanks Sandra for the sweet comment. Yes this swai fish recipe is awesome, I love it.
Sandra says swai is “much better than cat fish or tilapia.. Is it because she used frozen fish? I have access to fresh tilapia and maybe fresh cat fish that has been cleaned in fresh water for at least three days. Any thoughts?
BTW, living in Hawaii makes me enjoy your recipes over many of the others.Your recipes and taste are more in tune to Hawaii people.
Have a beautiful day and belated Happy Mothers Day.
Hi Wayne, the frozen tilapia and catfish I get there (in California) have pretty bad muddy odor, and I am sure Sandra has similar problems (not sure where she is though.) You’re so lucky to live in Hawaii, so many amazing and fresh seafood, I love Hawaii. Yes, I make a lot of seafood and thanks for supporting my site. Please try out more recipes: https://rasamalaysia.com/recipe-index-gallery/