Tilapia Katsu with Shaved Asparagus and a Poached Egg

My name is Diana Claire, and I'm a cooking-showaholic.

There, I said it.

And yes, my man is practically a saint for putting up with my all-hours, all-the-time playlist of the Food Network, Cooking Channel… and have you been following The Taste?

I often wonder what my ultimate “Taste” dish would be.  Perhaps an exotic lamb dish?  Or something that brings memories of home?  Or, maybe something with lobster?  Lobster just might be the perfect food, but then I remind myself that the point of The Taste isn’t just about highlighting one ingredient. But about creating the perfect marriage of salty, sweet, rich, acidic… well, you get my drift.

So this week’s dish was inspired by wanting to not only create what I’d call the perfect dish in one bite. But to also take it one step further, creating a dish that is so luxurious and delicious; you’d never guess it cost less than buying a few items off the drive-thru dollar menu.
First, I saw that tilapia was on sale. Tilapia is a nice firm white fish, especially holding up nicely when fried, which made me think of katsu. I’ve enjoyed chicken katsu for years at my favorite Japanese restaurant, and only realized last year how simple it is to make at home. So, I decided to give fish a try with the same technique… a little flour, a little egg, a little panko… pure magic.
Then I decided on asparagus because when it’s this inexpensive, one stocks up… especially at this time of year. Add on a poached egg, because a runny yolk (aka nature’s perfect sauce) makes everything taste better. And you’ve got one heck of a bite.
A salty crunch from the panko, a sweetness from the fish and the tonkatsu sauce, richness from the poached egg, acidity from the lemon juice, and a fresh crispness from the shaved asparagus (when you shave it, you don’t need to cook it). And a bit of rice to act as a nice base for it all.
So, what would be your perfect “Taste” dish?

Tilapia Katsu with Shaved Asparagus and a Poached Egg

1 lb. tilapia filets (I cut 2 filets in half to make 4 servings)
½ c. flour
¾ c. panko bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
Oil for frying (I use canola)
½ lb. asparagus, shaved
2 tblsp. olive oil
½ lemon, juiced
4 eggs, poached
Salt and pepper
Rice, cooked according to package directions
Tonkatsu Sauce (my favorite is Bull-Dog found at most Asian Markets)
For the fish:
Salt and pepper the tilapia and set aside. In a deep skillet, add about 2 inches of oil, and heat on high until ready for frying (I always test a corner of my breaded fish, and if it bubbles, it’s ready). While the oil is heating up, dredge the fish filets in flour which has been seasoned with salt and pepper. Then the beaten eggs, and finally in the panko bread crumbs, which have also been seasoned with salt and pepper (I use 3 cereal bowls for dredging).
Once the oil is ready, place fish in skillet and fry for about 3 minutes per side, or until fish is cooked through. Using tongs to turn once. Remove to a cooling rack placed over a plate to allow any excess oil to drip away. (Note: if you simply place on paper towels, your fish will not be as crispy).
For the asparagus:
Wash and dry asparagus, and break off tough ends. Using a peeler, peel from the base to the tip in long motions to create ribbons. Place in a bowl and add in the oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
For the poached egg:
I use the swirl method. In a large saucepan, add water and bring to a rolling boil. Add in 2 teaspoons white vinegar, and 1 teaspoon salt. While the water is boiling, get a very cold egg and crack into a small dish or coffee cup.
Once the water is boiling, lower the heat a bit and with the end of a wooden spoon start stirring the water counter-clockwise to create motion in the pan. Gently drop the egg into the center of the pan (the water will be swirling around it). Make sure the white of the egg is coming together to form a nice round shape (if not, you can use your spoon to help it along a bit.) Then cover the pan, and turn off the heat. Cook for 4 minutes. Then remove the egg with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
To assemble:
Top the fish with the poached egg, and then the shaved asparagus. Serve with rice and Tonkatsu sauce if desired.
Serves 4
Cost per Serving: $1.77

*Note: all costs are approximate due to regional sale prices, amounts needed just for this specific recipe, and ingredients on hand. This recipe was created to utilize sale ingredients listed for the current week in Raleigh, NC stores.


  1. Love fish katsu, and tilapia is easy to get! Great idea to serve with a poached egg! Looks so delicious!

    1. Thank you so much, Nami! Appreciate you stopping by :-)


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