It’s what’s for dinner.

What do I do with it? I made it once before but for the life of me I can’t remember what I did with it. And there are a couple of recipes on the Fish Ricipe thread, but one is pretty simple (barring other ideas I might go with that) and one is too complex (feeling lazy today).

Should I saute or bake? or something else? Is there a nice simple sauce I could put on in? Or failing that, what seasoning is good with it? All the ones I’ve run into include things I don’t have on hand. I don’t have all that much on hand.

Or should I just do the saute with salt and pepper and lemon juice?

Explain tilapia to me!


I use tilapia for just about any recipe that calls for “fish fillets.” Here’s one of my favorites:

2 pounds fish fillets
1/2 cup French dressing
1+1/2 cups crushed cheese crackers
2 tablespoons margarine, melted.

Dip fish into dressing and roll in cracker crumbs. Place on greased cookie sheet and drizzle margarine over fish. Bake at 500 degrees for 12 minutes.

Kat reminded me of this recipe I posted in an earlier thread. It’s easy.

2 Tilapia fillets
Chopped yellow onion
Roma tomato, sliced and the slices cut in half
Minced garlic
Capers (a teaspoon or so)
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Heat the oil in a pan. Sauté the chopped onions with the garlic until translucent. Add the tomatoes, capers, salt and pepper. Add the tilapia fillets. Cook the fish until it’s done, turning once. Serve with the onions/tomatoes/capers on top.

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pound tilapia fillets

Preheat your oven’s broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and salt. Mix well and set aside.

Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

Rachael Ray has a really nice tilapia with tomatillo sauce recipe on the food network website. I think this link will work, if not, go to foodnetwork.com and search recipes for tilapia and tomatillo, it will be the only one.

The side dish is nice too, though I do without the avocado component.

Fish tacos!

We used to buy tilapia right out of the Niger River in Mali and just grill it like a steak on the BBQ, slathered with olive oil.

I once took some talapia filets, topped them each with a lemon slice, some parsely and dill, and a pat of butter, loosely sealed each one in a pocket of parchement paper, and baked for 10-12 minutes. It was very quick and easy, no dirty pans, and tasted great.

I’ve had tilapia twice. Once it tasted okay, like red snapper, and once it tasted icky, like dirt or algae. I assumed this was because it was pond-raised. What have your experiences been? Has it mostly tasted good? If so, I may start buying it again.


4 tilapia fillets (About 6 oz each)
½ C fresh bread crumbs
2 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 T chopped fresh parsley
½ t herbs de Provence
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
1 T extra virgin olive oil, divided.

Position a rack in the top third of the oven and heat to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a 9x13” baking dish.

Arrange the filets in the dish, folding the thin ends of each fillet under to meet in the center, to make triple-thick packets.

Mix the bread crumbs Parmesan, parsley, herbs de Provence, garlic and pepper in a small bowl. Stir in 2 t of the oil to moisten. Spread evenly on the tops of the fillets. Drizzle the crumbs with remaining t oil.

Bake until the topping is golden brown and the fish looks opaque when flaked in the center with the top of a sharp knife, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves 4
I also make exactly it like Skammer said, but I add a slice of onion, and some chopped garlic (and I used foil - I was out of parchment.)

This is an adapted Jamie Oliver recipe that I make all the time, that works great with any light flaky fish.

Lay out your tilapis fillets in a baking dish.

Cover with fresh basil leaves, and halved cherry tomatoes.
Top with a thick slice of mozzarella.
Shred parmesan liberally over everything
Sprinkle salt and pepper
Drizzle heavily with olive oil
Bake for 20 minutes at 400 deg.

It only takes 5 minutes to prepare, and tastes amazing :slight_smile:

I’ve been seeing frozen tilapia a lot more often at the supermarket, and often quite cheap. Is it the new “cool” fish with a marketing push behind it, or is it particularly healthy, or what? I’ve been tempted to pick some up, and maybe I’ll try these recipes.

The answer is that is a “green fish”, not only because it is a fish that grows on a vegetarian diet, but also because it is the favorite of fish farms so there is no concern with overfishing like with other kinds of fish.

It has been so successful and tasty that unscrupulous fish catchers go to the extreme of selling “bad choice” fish as Tilapia!


For me it’s been a crapshoot. And you are probably right that the taste comes from how the fish was raised. I’ve heard that they need to be moved to a cleaning pond during their final days and if they aren’t, then they taste ‘muddy.’ The flesh is actually really bland, so I can see how even a slight off-flavor can be a problem.

Tilapia? :confused:

You mean that fish that lives in the river that is nie unkillable? :dubious:

You mean that fish that lives in the river that is is omnivorous and eats garbage? :rolleyes:

You mean people eat these river rats? :eek:


Don’t know, but I had 3 of them for lunch today, baked, with a drizzle of lemon juice, along with Spanatakopia and Greek green beans - at “What’s Cookin’?”

I had the same thought. But seeing these recipes, I guess you really can get a decent dinner from the Ala Wai Canal. :stuck_out_tongue:

I was wondering the same thing. Before a couple years ago, I don’t think I’d heard of tilapia. Nowadays, the darned things are everywhere. The few times I’ve tried it, I’ve found it meh, and a little soapy-tasting (or something), so I don’t see what the big deal is. I figured it was just the latest culinary fad.

It tastes good (I’ve never had any of the ‘muddy’ tasting ones), and it’s cheap.

shudders You know, I never encountered anyone who actually ate anything they managed to catch from the canal. Perhaps there is an obvious reason for this. :wink:

(For those who don’t know: the Ala Wai canal helps keep Waikiki from becoming a swampy area again, and serves as the receptacle for local streams, storm drains, and assorted run off. I know they’ve made attempts with varying degrees of success to clean it up, but when I was a kama’aina you went into that water at your peril!)

And yes, this is the reason why I always inwardly cringe a bit at seeing tilapia on a menu, and find it hard to enjoy this fish. I just think of the fact that this fish can live in the Ala Wai and blurrrrg. Ruins the moment.

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