Basa Fish Nutrition & Benefits: How To Enjoy 3 Easy Recipes?

Let’s check out 7 best health benefits & 3 amazing recipes of Basa fish

Basa fish is a type of catfish that belongs to the family Pangasiidae. Its scientific name is Pangasiusbocourti. Basa is native to the Mekong and Chao Phraya basins in Mainland Southeast Asia.

These fish are imported to the worldwide market. In North America and Australia, basa fish is called basa fish, swai, or bocourti, whereas, In the UK, these fish are labelled as river cobbler, cobbler, panga, or pangasius.

These fish have a stout and heavy body, blunt snout, and white band on their muzzle. It grows to a maximum length of 120 meters. Basa fish mainly feed on plants. It spawns at the onset of flood season. 

Among its properties and benefits are the low-fat content, ideal for people who suffer from heart disease, low in saturated fat for people who want to lose weight, and zero carbohydrates to avoid gaining weight.

Basa fish Nutrition 

Basa fish contains low calories and rich in high-quality proteins. Due to these Basa fish nutrition facts, it is a very beneficial and demanding fish in restaurants. Here is the basa fish nutrition chart. Every 126 grams serving of Bocourti fish provides:

  • Calories – 158
  • Protein – 22.5 grams
  • Fat – 7 grams
  • Saturated fat –  2 grams
  • Cholesterol – 73 mg
  • Sodium – 89 mg

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Basa fish Benefits for your Health

Here are the 7 health benefits of Basa fish that you would love to know. These are as follows. 

1. The Swai fish contains 5 grams of unsaturated fatty acids like Omega-3 fatty acids, mainly DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which are important in maintaining body health and brain. 

2. It is also believed that the people who eat basa fish may live longer than the people who don’t eat this fish. The Pungas fish also reduces the risk of heart disease because this fish contains a high level of good cholesterol that will help to reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood and thereby maintains the function of the heart. 

3. Basa fish has a good source of high quality of proteins, which play several vital roles in our body like growth and repair of body tissue and production of enzymes. In short, the cobbler fish has all the essential amino acids which we need to consume through our regular diet. 

4. If you are on a low carbohydrate diet, then swai fish would be the right choice for your diet. It contains 0 carbohydrates

5. The daily need for sodium in our diet is 2300mg. A 100 gram of bocourti fish contains 2% of it. 

6. Consuming swai fish can promote eyesight as it is a good source of vitamin A which is necessary for our diets for the improvement of visions. 

7. Enriched with vitamin D, Basa fish fortifies bones and helps in preventing osteoporosis.

Risk of consuming Basa fish

With lots of advantages of consuming pungas fish, there are some disadvantages or side effects of consuming pungas fish too. Here is the list of side effects of consuming basa fish.

1. Recently many food safety compliance organizations like the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standard Authority of India) and the US FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) have highlighted the high level of mercury present in basa fish. Mercury contains carcinogenic properties that can cause liver damage.

2. Due to high demand, bocourti fish is being bred in ponds or contained areas. To prevent contamination, fish breeders use chemicals and drugs to prevent the fishes from parasites. However, bocourti fish itself absorbs the chemicals and nutrients from the water and makes toxins in its body. 

3. One study also observed that the fishes mainly basa fish, which are exported from Vietnam. They’re more likely to contain drugs like antibiotics. It was also observed that the fishes from Vietnam are contaminated with Vibrio bacteria that are responsible for food poisoning. 

To decrease the risk of basa fish, cook the fish well, and in restaurants, if you do not know the sources of the fish, then avoiding to order the fish would be the right decision. 

Basa fish India

In India, mostly many fish lovers have different excitement for bocourti fish because of its mild smell and cheap rates.

In 2007 Yogesh Grover, director of Empire Foods, observed that he had been served low quality of fishes at the price of high in one of the restaurants in India.

He then remembered about the white fishes he had eaten in Europe and placed a trial order of 6 tons of basa fish from Vietnam. That order changed the serving quality of many Indian restaurants.

After 3 years, the order became 1500 tons, and by 2011 it became 2000 tones. From that moment, the importance of basa fish in India increased.

The rising popularity of basa fish decreased the economic importance of Indian fishes like River Sole in North India, Bhetki in East India, and Ghol or Pomfret from West India.

Where local fishes cost somewhere between Rs 550 to Rs 570 per kilo, imported basa costs Rs 250 to Rs 270 per kilo. Yogesh Grover also said that currently, India consumes about 100 tons of Basa fish per month.

Basa fish in India is so popular among local Indian fishermen that they renamed it as a local basa fish. In Andhra Pradesh, it is also called pungas, which is renamed as Indian basa. There is also pink basa, which has been surfacing at the fish market.

Real basa comes in fillet form from Vietnam. The fish is taken live from there to a huge processing hall. The frozen fillets stack on a ship from there, they travel for a month to reach India.

The cold chain must be unbroken, and because of that, it is only available in Indian restaurants. But when basa fish found toxic, Indian hotels, mainly 5-star rating hotels like Taj, Oberoi, ITC etc. have stopped serving basa fish.

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How to cook Basa fish?

Whenever you want to try recipes of basa fish, make sure it is cooked properly as it contains toxic substances that can be destroyed by cooking the fish very well.

There are various ways in which the fish fillets can be cooked. Among those recipes, some recipes are going to be discussed below. 

Here are some of the best picked easy and healthy Basa fish recipes for you.

1. Grilled Basa with lemon

Take an aluminium foil and place one basa fillet on it. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil over it and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over it and then cover the foil.

Heat half of the grill and put the foil packet on it. Grill the Basa fillet for just 10 to 15 minutes and the recipe is done. 

2. Spicy Baked Basa fillet

Preheat the oven up to 177°C. Then season the basa fillet with 1 tablespoon of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Marinate the fish for 15 minutes.

Then take 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of red chilli paste into it. Then stir it properly with 4 grams of freshly grated ginger, 4 cloves of garlic, and 4 tablespoons of tomato puree.

Coat the fillet with the spicy mixture and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 63°C. Now it is ready to be served.

3. Crispy Pan-fried Basa fillets

Take 115 grams of cornflour and add 1 and a half tablespoons of salt, and 1 tablespoon of garlic powder and whisk it properly. Take another bowl and take remaining flour and add 1 to 2 eggs to it and whisk properly.

After that, heat the pan and put 350 ml vegetable oil. Coat the fillet in the first bowl, followed by the second. Then put the fillet into the pan and fry it. Leave it to fry for 2 minutes and then flip the fillet and again leave it for 2 minutes, and the recipe is done.

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Some frequently asked questions about Bocourti fish 

Q1. Is Basa fish safe to eat?

A: Yes, it is safe to eat. 

Q2. Does Basa fish contain mercury?

A: Yes, it contains Mercury. To avoid the toxin, cook the fish well. 

Q3. Is Basa fish good for health? 

A: Yes, it contains low calories and high-quality proteins. 

Q4. Does Basa fish come with a pungent smell? 

A: No, it has a mild smell. 

Q5. What is the Indian name of Basa fish? 

A: In India, Basa fish is known as Indian Basa. 

Q6. How do you know when Basa is cooked?

A: When the fish colour change to opaque, it means is cooked and ready to eat. 

Q7. Is it not good for pregnant ladies?

A: No, it is wrong; pregnant ladies can also add this in their diet and no side effect on them.

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Conclusive remarks on Bocourti fish

With the good quality of nutrients and low prices, Basa fish is one of the most exporting products from one country to another. It has a mild smell, which makes it highly demanding. However, there is also a risk of consuming toxins while eating this fish. So to avoid toxins, fish should be cooked properly.

Additional Resources:

Smit Kumar

Health & Wellness Coach: Smit Kumar believes in the philosophy of successful nutrition hunting mindset for the healthy body, mind and spirit.

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