07 Apr2011

Cream dory can be quite a tasteless fish on its own. Best to think of it as a neutral and relatively healthy source of protein. It’s what you cook it in or the herbs and spices you add to it that determines whether it goes from “blah” to “aha!” Here, I simply pan fry a cream dory fillet with some butter and sprigs of dill, then top it with some butter with dill pollen, and serve it with some sauteed cherry tomatoes and garnished with some lemon basil leaves and a sprinkle of lemon juice if desired. This took very little time to prepare, and completely showcased the dill pollen I wrote about earlier.

To make, heat up a saute pan over medium heat. Add a knob (about two tablespoons or a little less if you like) of sweet butter to the pan. When it has melted, add a fillet of cream dory that you have seasoned with salt and pepper and dredged lightly in wondra flour (or use all-purpose flour) to the pan, placing a sprig of fresh dill between the pan and the fish fillet. Cook this for a few minutes until the fish is lightly golden and carefully flip it over. Cook a further few minutes until the fish is just done and put in on a serving plate. Return the pan to the heat and add a few cherry tomatoes and let them saute for a few minutes until softened. Add these to the plate with fish. Add a knob of butter with some dill pollen on top of the fish. Add some lemon basil leaves if you happen to have them. And a slight spritz of lemon juice as well. That’s it. Done in less than 12-15 minutes. Serve with some good bread to mop up the juices. Revel in the dill flavor from both the herb and the pollen. Mrs. MM and I loved this simple but satisfying dish.



  1. junb says:

    A 5 mins dish that will cost a bomb if you eat outside.

    Apr 7, 2011 | 4:43 pm


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  3. Peach says:

    Beautiful plating. The cherry tomatoes remind me of Christmas holly. Oh and nice table you’ve got there.

    Apr 7, 2011 | 5:05 pm

  4. millet says:

    great plating!

    Apr 7, 2011 | 5:53 pm

  5. EJ says:

    Did you use dory that was organically raised in the Philippines for this dish, MM?

    Apr 7, 2011 | 7:44 pm

  6. Tracy says:

    @ EJ – Interested at what organic fish is… I know barramundi is sort of something like that. (Um, yeah.)

    Lovely plating, reminds me of the Italian flag and a

    Apr 7, 2011 | 8:27 pm

  7. tonceq says:

    Now that’s what I call pretty! Just make sure that you use clarified butter if your cooking big batches of cream dory though because the butter turns brown after about 2 pieces! :)

    Apr 7, 2011 | 10:11 pm

  8. allen says:

    nice..i just tried your previous dori recipe and im now excited to try this one, are sprigs of dill available in our market like Farmers or Balitawak?

    Apr 7, 2011 | 11:08 pm

  9. atbnorge says:

    Timely post! I inspected my herb corner hoping that my dill’s to grow again. My dog hasn’t dug it yet hahaha or peed on it to death, :))) Luckily, I have a stash of my own dill seeds from last year. I am looking forward to the grilling season….Any fish will do!
    Speaking of dogs, pampatawa lang, MM:


    Apr 8, 2011 | 12:09 am

  10. Ellen says:

    That looks soo pretty and delicious =)

    Apr 8, 2011 | 3:29 am

  11. T says:

    love the presentation. i lived in central asia and given the russian influence in that place, a lot of their soups and salads and various other dishes were loaded with dill. i wasn’t a big fan in the beginning but it quickly grew on me.

    Apr 8, 2011 | 5:17 am

  12. Marketman says:

    tonceq, actually, it’s preferable that the butter turns brown and flavorful. That is how a classic sole meuniere is prepared, and the basis for this white fish with butter recipe… EJ, I consider all fish caught in the seas to be organic or not farm or fishpond raised. However, for almost all cream dory, or technically pangasius, I think these are almost all raised in fish farms, and hence fed commercial feeds, etc. The living conditions of pangasius as documented in several Vietnamese farms is pretty appalling, and while the Philippines also has farms down South, I am pretty sure none of these would be “organic”… unless they are wild-caught baby pangasi? fry, put in pens in open sea, and feed off of only the natural plankton or other food sources that float into the pens…

    Apr 8, 2011 | 6:07 am

  13. tonceq says:

    ooohhhh…. I see! Guess it was only me who worries about butter turning brown! though I think you’d have to keep feeding it with more butter to prevent the initial butter batch to from burning? ( if you’re cooking big batches of the fish) Thanks for the info MM! :)

    Apr 8, 2011 | 6:41 am

  14. Marketman says:

    tonceq, yes, you do have to clear the pan and start over or you will have burnt butter that is bitter and unsavory…

    Apr 8, 2011 | 6:51 am

  15. zena says:

    Yep, I feel a rant coming the moment I saw that the survey question changed to a very specific item.

    Apr 8, 2011 | 7:06 am

  16. cumin says:

    @allen, yes, dill is available at Farmer’s Market, also at the ‘weekend’ markets like Centris (Edsa cor Quezon Ave) and Salcedo.

    Apr 8, 2011 | 10:10 am

  17. lee says:

    I’m cooking a fillet of Cream Dory for lunch today. Dredged in flour with salt and pepper lang. :)

    Apr 8, 2011 | 10:20 am

  18. Sophie says:

    Visually appetizing! The interplay of colors in your plating is great. I got hungry just by looking at your pics. Would try your recipes one of this days…

    Apr 8, 2011 | 10:42 am

  19. atbnorge says:

    yehey, I found that I have frozen cream dory!!! But no dill :(((
    Oh well, gotta go to the supermarket, then. It’ll be a very nice
    Friday evening dinner for us. I am sooooo fed up of chicken,
    kulang na lang tubuan ako ng feathers! hahaha!

    Apr 8, 2011 | 12:47 pm

  20. Joel says:

    You take excellent photos! What camera are you using?

    Apr 8, 2011 | 2:12 pm

  21. Matilda says:

    Off-topic: Yes, MM, I think a rant is in the works… And why am I not surprised that Citibank got the highest votes… “Fishpan” will be put into use again? hehehe =)

    Apr 8, 2011 | 4:18 pm

  22. Marketman says:

    Matilda, actually, it isn’t about that bank… :) Joel, it’s a G10, and a couple of years old now…

    Apr 8, 2011 | 4:23 pm

  23. allen says:

    @cumin thanks for that cumin..i’ve been at Farmers kanina and I got some Cream Dory, apparently their prices ranges from P250-P160 per kilo. I wonder about the differences when they all look fresh. I got mine for P150 after i haggling a bit :) I dunno what you call dill in Filipino..i’ve tried to look for dill in the nearby Puregold but they dont have it

    Apr 8, 2011 | 5:15 pm

  24. yen says:

    great. another cream dory recipe for my family to try. a friend has a cream dory fish pond here in zamboanga. we get it for Php 90 if whole (bone and all), Php 100 if filleted, and Php 110 if delivered to your house. i have tried it adobo-style, breaded and fried, paksiw-style, and baked. our kids’ favorite is the breaded and fried. they think it’s better than fried chicken because “no bones!”.

    Apr 8, 2011 | 6:06 pm

  25. ami says:

    Hi MM, what brand of butter did you use for cooking the cream dory? We had cream dory at home last week and I made lemon butter sauce to pour over the fish but the butter I used didn’t work. Any recommendations?

    Apr 11, 2011 | 8:12 am

  26. trax says:

    Hi MM. I bought some frozen cream dory the other day and wanted to try that fish twister i see on tv. this would also be something to try since i have a few pieces. but my problem is i still have not found dill. i read that cumin mentioned that it is available at farmer’s and centris weekend market. any other supermarket that has dill?

    Apr 11, 2011 | 3:09 pm

  27. Marketman says:

    trax, they almost always have dill at Rustan’s, Landmark, S&R and large SM groceries… Also weekend markets at Salcedo, Legazpi, FTI, etc. ami, what went wrong with the butter? Any decent brand of REAL butter, not margarine, should work. “Lousy” butter has more water than others, so that might be one downside, but if cooking with it, should turn out okay… Did it burn too much? Not brown at all?

    Apr 11, 2011 | 3:26 pm

  28. cocolevy says:

    found some fresh dill in SM for P55. I tried this recipe without the cherry tomatoes. It was good! Thanks for the recipe MM.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 4:52 pm

  29. trax says:

    Thanks, MM. I had thought of going to landmark yesterday. just did not have the time. Finally, I can do that fish twister. Hahaha Im going to see how much i’ll be able to spend to make it and compare it to the fast food version.

    Apr 14, 2011 | 12:12 am

  30. Crissie says:

    Just made this one and it is truly delish! Tnx MM!

    Apr 17, 2011 | 7:23 pm

  31. Bertie B says:

    In the past I have found Dory quite pleasant & easy to cook. But having seen a TV documentary about the production of it in Vietnam and read this blog (http://simplelife4u.blogspot.com/2009/06/ikan-pangas-dory-fish-from-mekong-river.html) I would be extremely reluctant to risk the health of my family by eating it again unless I knew it had been properly farmed in hygienic conditions.

    Dory – also known as River Cobbler, White Catfish, Gray Sole etc etc – is actually a species of Shark Catfish called Pangasius hypophthalmus. It mostly comes from river estuaries in Thailand & Vietnam (e.g. the Mekong which is highly polluted by industrial waste & chemicals)

    Bertie B

    Aug 5, 2011 | 12:21 pm

  32. Hai Nguyen says:

    Hello, I’m Hai from Vietnam. I work in a company named IDI Corporation, one of the leading exporters of cream dory and we have our own fish ponds. Our fish ponds are certified with GLOBALGAP and our factory got HACCP, ISO, BRC, IFS… for quality control. The products have been exported to EU, USA….
    So Bertie B, you can be sure of our cream dory’s quality.
    If anyone want to import cream dory or need more information, please contact me:
    Hai Nguyen: thanhhai@idiseafood.com
    Tel: +84989935718

    Oct 19, 2011 | 3:10 pm


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