Fish is one of the most satisfying and healthy options to serve as the main course. Unlike poultry or meat, a main course consisting of fish is seldom laden with fat and calories. But one common problem that many home cooks face is what side dishes to pair with fish. Selecting the appropriate side dish for fish is very important if you want the menu to be well-balanced and harmonized. Fish preparations can be both - delicately flavored or super spicy. So the kind of side dish you pair the fish with will depend on the kind of cuisine you are going for. For Asian fish recipes cooked with spices, the best side dishes will be a salad with a tart dressing. For Mediterranean fish recipes, good side dishes will include sautéed vegetables or braised mushrooms. Always remember that the side dishes should complement the flavor and texture of the main course and should in no way overpower the fish preparation.
Side Dishes for Grilled Fish
Sweet Potato SlawIngredients
- Radish, 6 (julienned)
- Green onions, 4 (sliced thinly)
- Celery stalks, 2 (diced)
- Apple, 1 (cored and julienned)
- Sweet potato, 1 (peeled and julienned)
- Cilantro, 1 handful (fresh, chopped)
- Sesame seeds, ¼ cup (toasted)
- Lime juice, 2 tablespoons
- Olive oil, 2 tablespoons
- Red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon
- Ginger, ½ teaspoon (ground)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, ground ginger, salt, and pepper together. Keep it aside. In a large bowl, add the julienned radish, sliced green onions, celery, apple, and sweet potato. Next, add the toasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro. Drizzle with the dressing and toss till everything is well coated.
Peach and Pepper SalsaIngredients
- Red bell pepper, 1 (large, finely chopped)
- Habanero pepper, 1 (finely chopped)
- Garlic clove, 1 (finely chopped)
- Yellow peaches, 2½ cup (coarsely chopped)
- Spring onions, ½ cup (thinly sliced)
- Fresh coriander, ½ cup (chopped)
- Lemon juice, ¼ cup (freshly squeezed)
- Fresh oregano, 2 tablespoons (chopped)
- Salt, ¼ teaspoon
To make this tasty side dish, combine the chopped peaches with sliced spring onions, chopped red bell pepper, oregano, habanero pepper, chopped coriander, garlic, lemon, juice and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Toss everything well and check seasoning. Add more salt if required. Cover the bowl with a cling film and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. This will allow the flavors to fuse, giving you a spicy and sweet homemade salsa that goes very well with grilled fish.
Brussels Sprouts with Fried CapersIngredients
- Anchovy fillets, 3 (finely chopped)
- Garlic cloves, 2 (finely chopped)
- Brussels sprouts, 3 cups (trimmed and halved)
- Capers, ½ cup (drained)
- Extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup
- Lemon juice, 4 tablespoons
- Red chili flakes, ½ teaspoon
Cook Brussels sprouts in a pot of boiling water until it is tender. Drain from water and keep them aside. In a small skillet, fry the capers in the olive oil until they are brown and a little crisp. Remove caper from the skillet and keep it aside. Now add in the chopped anchovy and garlic into the oil and then pour in the steamed Brussels sprouts. Add the fried capers and season with salt, lemon juice, and chili flakes and cook for a few minutes. Serve this tasty side dish with grilled fish.
Side Dishes for Fried Fish
- Cucumber, 1 (peeled and finely diced)
- Onion, 1 (finely diced)
- Jalapeño pepper, 1 (finely chopped)
- Vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons
- Shrimp, 1 tablespoon (dried, ground)
- Lime juice, 1 tablespoon
- Sugar, ½ teaspoon
- Salt, to taste
In a medium-sized bowl, add the diced cucumber, onion, and pepper. Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the dried shrimp and fry until golden. Remove from heat and pour the fried shrimp and oil over the cucumber mixture. Add salt, sugar, and lime juice and toss well. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Fried Chips with TartarIngredients
- Désirée potatoes, 4 (par-cooked)
- Garlic clove, 1 (finely chopped)
- Mayonnaise, ½ cup
- Lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
- Parsley, 2 tablespoons (chopped)
- Gherkins, 1 tablespoon (chopped)
- Lemon zest, 1 teaspoon
- Capers, 1 teaspoon (chopped)
- Sea salt, ½ teaspoon
Cut the parboiled potatoes into small wedges and then deep-fry them in vegetable oil. When the chips are a bit crunchy and golden-brown in color, remove from the deep fryer and place them on paper napkins. Sprinkle them with sea salt and keep them aside.
To make the homemade tartar sauce, combine the mayonnaise with garlic, chopped gherkins and capers, parsley, salt, and lemon juice. Mix everything well with a spoon and serve with the fried chips. This is a classic side dish for fried fish that is very tasty. You can even make oven-roasted potatoes instead of fried chips.
Nước mắm phaIngredients
- Jalapeño, 1 (thinly sliced)
- Fish sauce, ¼ cup
- Lime juice, ¼ cup
- Sugar, ¼ cup
Combine the fish sauce along with lime juice, jalapeño, and sugar in a small bowl. Stir this mixture with a whisk or spoon, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Serve this spicy and tangy dipping sauce with fried fish or any Asia-inspired fish recipe.
Side Dishes for Fish Tacos
Blanched Cabbage with Nigella SeedsIngredients
- Green cabbage, 1 (outer leaves discarded)
- Butter, 4 tablespoons
- Nigella seeds, 1 tablespoon
- Celery seeds, ½ teaspoon
- Black pepper, ½ teaspoon (freshly ground)
- Salt, to taste
Heat a pot of water and let the water come to a boil. Add a bit of salt to the water. Cut the cabbage into quarters and discard the core. Next, cut the cabbage into large pieces. Add the cabbage into the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the water from cabbage and transfer cabbage to a large bowl. Add butter and sprinkle with nigella seeds, celery seeds, and black pepper. Toss to combine.
Marinated Cherry TomatoesIngredients
- Garlic, 2 cloves (finely chopped)
- Cherry tomatoes, 2 cups
- Extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons
- Parsley, 2 tablespoons (fresh, chopped)
- Basil, 2 tablespoons (fresh, chopped)
- Thyme, 2 teaspoons (fresh, chopped)
- Sea salt, 1 teaspoon
- Black pepper, ¼ teaspoon (freshly ground)
In a small saucepan, heat the extra virgin olive oil and add the garlic. When the garlic becomes translucent, add the whole cherry tomatoes and reduce the heat. Next, add the sea salt, pepper, thyme, and basil and cook the tomatoes for 5-6 minutes until their skin begins to crack. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the tomatoes and serve with fish tacos.
Green Mango SaladIngredients
- Red chillies, 2 (finely chopped)
- Green mango, 1
- Shallot, 1 (large, thinly sliced)
- Lime juice, yield of 1 lime
- Peanuts, ¼ cup (roasted)
- Cilantro, 2 tablespoons (chopped)
- Fish sauce, 2 tablespoons
- Shrimp, 1½ tablespoons (dried)
- Sugar, 1 tablespoon
Peel the green mango and cut it into thin slices. Next julienne the slices of mango. Keep this aside. If you have a Japanese mandolin, you can use it for making mango juliennes.
In a bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar and mix them until all the sugar granules have dissolved. In a mortar, add the sliced shallots, dried shrimp, chilies, and roasted peanuts. Grind them with the pestle until you have a coarse mixture. Make sure that you do not pulverize the mixture too much. Now add this mixture to the julienned mango. Next, add the dressing of fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice. Combine everything with a slotted spoon and your green mango salad is ready.
Preparing a tasty side dish to accompany a fish-based main course is not difficult. You just have to make sure that the flavors pair well with the fish preparation.