Ever since we accidentally ate dinner at a really expensive restaurant in Maui, I have thought about the macadamia encrusted fish I had there. I have made variations of it successfully a few times, but always forgot to write down how I did it. This time I remembered AND it was the best ever, even though I will do a couple of simple things differently next time… like remember to preheat the oven.
I might as well admit that I have become so fond of macadamia nuts that I have them arriving to me monthly via amazon subscription. Thus, I usually have sufficient macadamia nuts on hand for making this meal. Here is a list of the ingredients:
6-7 pieces of cod, or enough to fit slightly spaced in the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking dish (or whatever fish you prefer or have available)
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts (I use dry roasted, salted ones)
1 cup panko Japanese style bread crumbs (for one version of this, I crumbled Ritz crackers, and that was good, too)
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup finely diced onion
I recommend preheating the oven to 400°F. Then, lightly coat the bottom of the baking dish with olive oil.
Now, make sure that the fish is drained and patted dry. That was the other thing I didn’t do quite right, having waited until the last minute to thaw the fish. Next time I will let it thaw the last bit while draining on an absorbent towel. However, I am happy to say that though it was more moist than we are used to, it did not taste at all fishy. We did serve as soon as it came out of the oven, and I removed the other pieces to a platter so that they wouldn’t be sitting in the liquid.
But back to preparing the topping crust –
Mix the panko, chopped macadamia nuts, diced onions, and sea salt in a bowl. Blend the honey and melted butter in a small cup or bowl, then pour into the other ingredients. Stir until the dry ingredients are all equally covered with the honey/butter mix.
Next, I distributed the topping crust mix evenly over each piece of fish. Some falls in the spaces between the fish pieces, but that’s fine. Someone always scoops it up to put on their piece of fish or to flavor the rice I serve on the side.
If the oven has preheated, it usually takes about 20 minutes for the fish to bake. We prefer our fish cooked all the way, easily flaked. It will also depend on the type and cut of fish used. Obviously, thicker or meatier pieces could take longer.
My fish has always been cooked through when the top crust is nicely browned, just beginning to get crunchy.
Some basic steamed rice and a green vegetable make this a complete and very nice looking meal. Some people like to add soy sauce to the rice, but the sweet, buttery juices from the baking dish are enjoyed by others. Not counting the time to thaw the fish, I was able to get it all ready in an hour. Five people were served, with leftovers to spare.
Here is a pdf of the recipe, if you would like to print it: Honey Macadamia Encrusted Cod