Cream Dory with Lemon Butter Sauce and Black Olives

I began my relationship with Cream Dory a few months ago, when I saw a tarpaulin ad a block away from our house, about a local breeder selling it for 90php/kilo.

I knew commercial Cream Dory was pricey. I first tasted it in a restaurant, and it  fetched at around 150+php a plate. Then I saw fillets being sold at the grocery store and a half kilo (around two fillet slices I think) was 200+php! Steep.

They only deliver when you buy  5 kilos and above , so that’s around 500php and you can have it filleted for 10 php per kilo. Not bad at all. Plus I have no experience filleting a fish (and I’m lazy to learn) so what’s 10php for convenience? I like the fact that they deliver it filleted + with the skin and bones that I usually give to my aunt for her to make soup out of it.

When I first tasted it, I liked it because it was soft, and had this melt in your mouth quality like butter. It’s generally bland so it was paired with a lemon butter sauce that married the flavors perfectly. It was perfect with rice.

We order from the breeder from time to time since it usually takes a while for us to finish the fish – 5 kilos is a lot afterall. My favorite way of preparing it? Well, I have two recipes that I really like. One is marinating it in soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and toasted sesame seeds then frying it to make a crazy Oriental explosion.

The other one, which I’m going to share right now, brings me back to the first time I tasted Cream Dory  – lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, fried then coated with a lemon butter sauce. It’s really simple and who doesn’t enjoy the clean, citrus smell from the lemons that really fill up the room? I think the smell plus the acidity cuts through the fatty bland taste of the fish really well, with the butter adding a creamy, really light decadence to the dish. Food for the soul, if I do say so myself.

Cream Dory with Lemon Butter Sauce and Black Olives (serves 2-3)

3 pieces Cream Dory fillet

salt and pepper

1 lemon

1/4 tsp dried basil leaves

4 pieces pitted black olives, sliced

1 – 2 tbsp butter + 2 tbsp for the sauce

1 tsp sugar

2 tbsp olive oil

1. Season the fillets with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. Heat a frying pan large enough for the 3 pieces and add the olive oil.

3. Add the butter and allow the butter to melt but not burn. Using a cheese grater, zest the lemon enough until you can smell its awesomeness.

4. Add the fillet and fry for 2 – 3 minutes on both sides or until done. Remove from the pan and set aside. Do not discard the oil

5. Add more butter to the oil. Squeeze the juice from the lemon using a small juicer and add the juice to the oil. Mix until everything has been incorporated well. Add the sugar ( you may adjust the taste to your preference ).

6. Add the sliced olives and remove the sauce from the pan. Drizzle the sauce generously on the fish and if you’re really hungry, serve the dish hot with a cup (or three) of steaming white rice.

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