Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels. This is essential to make sure that the fillets develop and crisp browned crust during frying. Rub them liberally with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.
Fry the fish fillets on both sides over high heat until a crisp crust forms.
Transfer the fish fillets to plate or chopping board. Using two forks (or your fingers), pull apart the fried fish fillets into bite-size chunks.
Pour off the olive oil until only about 3 tbsps. remain in the pan. Saute the onion and garlic until fragrant. Add the rice and tomato sauce. Cook, stirring, until the rice is heated through and has absorbed the tomato sauce.
Turn off the heat. Add the fish to the rice. Toss a few times. Sprinkle with the basil leaves.
Serve the crispy fish with tomato rice immediately.