LOOKING for: Better Tilapia recipe

linnea56November 6, 2009

Recently it seems like the only fish I can find in the stores besides salmon (which I love, but I could use some variety, plus itÂs $$$ lately), is Tilapia. I have tried this several times and canÂt find a recipe I like. There is something about the texture of this fish: something slippery I donÂt like. It reminds me of the slippery texture of Ocean Perch, which I also donÂt like.

I have tried broiling it with lemon juice, olive oil, and lemon pepper, which is how I prepare whitefish. No good. Tried an oven baked recipe with a mustard/parmesan crust with panko crumbs: no good. No one said a word while they ate it, which is a bad sign.

IS there some way of cooking this that will be better and to overcome that weird texture?

Anyone have a good recipe? Not with tomatoes, though: I donÂt like tomatoes with fish. Thanks!

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This is a favorite I haven't made for a long time. Will have to remedy that soon!

Fish Fillets with Crabmeat Stuffing

4 medium size fillets of any good white fish, red snapper (rockfish) preferred, (note from Ang - I use tilapia) seasoned with salt and pepper.

Mix in a bowl:

3 oz of crabmeat or shrimp. Preferably fresh.
3/4 cup of breadcrumbs
½ cup chopped green onions
3 Tbls light olive oil or butter
Salt, pepper to taste, a little water if necessary
Dash of Old Bay Seasoning

Pat crabmeat stuffing on top of two of the filets and place the other two filets on top. YouÂll have what looks like crabmeat sandwiches. Pin filets together with toothpicks or skewers, drizzle with a little more oil or butter. Sprinkle on a bit more salt, pepper and dash of Old Bay Seasoning. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. If the filets are of uniform thickness to begin with, youÂll have less trouble getting everything done at the same time. Cut filets in half at the table.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 12:49PM
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I bake tilapia in a countertop oven. First I squeeze fresh lemon juice over the tilapia. Then shake Old Bay seasoning on them. Then bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes (or until they're no longer "wet"). I make a small amount of tartar sauce to go with the fish.

When I buy them on sale at Safeway, each fillet is shrinkwrapped and I believe there are 9 of these packets in a bag. Very easy to thaw quickly.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 9:05PM
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Linnea, you may simply not like the texture of tilapia. Period! No matter how well it is prepared, there may be some subtle "something" in the texture that does not appeal to you. It's not an unknown phenomenon. Many people are turned off to certain foods by texture. I have a similar problem with catfish. My husband, on the other hand, can't abide soft textured fish. And he wants fish cooked well done.

A recent thread on the Cooking Forum discussed textures and smells that some people find objectionable. I know I dislike bananas for the most part because of the mushy texture and their over sweetness once they get ripe. Just the smell of banana bread sometimes can make me gag. But every other normal person in the world loves the stuff!

It sounds like you've tried a variety of cooking methods and none of them can mask the texture you find so unappealing. You've certainly given it several tries, so maybe it's time to just give up hoping to ever like tilapia.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 1:22PM
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Both DH and I were not fans of talapia no matter how I cooked it. Then my daughter gave us the following recipe that she adapted from one that was printed in a local market near her.
Her comment was "try, you'll really like it, I promise. Simple, easy, tastes great. Serve it with some basmati or jasmine rice and a salad."

We gave it a try and love it.



4 talapia fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced onions
2 tablespoons butter or butter substitute
2 tablespoons capers drained
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

lightly flour fillets in flour.

heat oil till hot. Place fillets on pan and sear until golden brown on one side, about 3-4 minutes.

Turn fillets and add onions to the pan. When onions are translucent add butter or butter substitute, capers white wine and lemon juice.

Add salt and pepper to taste, (we don't add any salt because there is salt in the smart balance that we use. we just added pepper)

Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for no more than 5 minutes.

When the sauce becomes silky add the parsley and heat through.

Serve with sauce over fish and rice.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 12:56AM
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I pretty much only use this recipe now. Turns out perfect every time.

Steamed Tilapia
Source: DanaIN

Season filets on flesh side as desired with fresh ground pepper, sea salt and herbs of your choice. I like to use Cajun seasoning sometimes. Drizzle with a good extra-virgin olive oil.

Drizzle a little more olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place filets in hot skillet seasoned side down for 3 to 4 minutes, carefully turn over, add 1 tablespoon dry white wine (or chicken broth) for each filet, place a lid on the skillet and remove from the heat. Fish will be done in 3 minutes. Serve immediately seasoned side up topped with liquid left in pan.

You may also serve it topped with this chimichurri.


1 cup chopped basil or cilantro leaves
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
3 large cloves garlic, minced

In a small bowl, mix together ingredients and set aside while preparing fish to serve with. Great over steamed tilapia or pan seared salmon.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 6:54PM
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You might also want to consider a better quality of Tilapia (read: NOT FROM CHINA - they raise their fish in god knows what kind of industrial waste). Look for US, South American, or Malaysian fish. Check out Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program too for updates.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seafood watch tilapia

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 4:13PM
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Here's a tasty yet fast and easy recipe that we use regularly for tilapia.
place about three nice fillets in a microwave steamer, with two tablespoons of water. add some lemon juice on each fillet. Sprinkle with Penzey's Ozark seasoning. Cover with top and microwave-3-4 minutes on high. (depending on your microwave), check for flakiness. serve with your favorite sidedishes.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2009 at 2:07PM
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The first time I ever had talapia was several years ago in Florida. We purchased it at a Publix. I'm sure we prepared it in a very simple manner, and it was delicious. I bought it again a couple times back home. It was affordable and good. The last time I bought it was 3 or 4 years ago, and it tasted like mud (yes, mud). That was before stores had to reveal country of origin. Perhaps, it was some of that inferior stuff from China, although, I believe it is also farmed here in Florida.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 8:48AM
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I have been worried about fish from China as well. One of the places where I buy fish has everything very clearly marked. They use dot have a lot of fresh but the last time I went there it was all frozen. I was dismayed to find that almost all of it was from China. Much of the remainder was from southest asia, like Vietnam, but I donÂt know which countries use responsible practices. I left without buying anything. My husband stops by a fish market on the way home, but I wonder if all of those show country of origin.

It is true I may just not like the texture. I decided that about ocean perch some years back. Though I love lake perch. But before I give up on tilapia I though IÂd try a few more times.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 4:18PM
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I used to really like tilapia until it all started coming from China. Check out the 3 tiered farming system they use and you can easly figure out the change in taste and texture.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 8:49AM
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linnea56 - I donÂt know which countries use responsible practices - check out my link to Seafood Watch. They have info for lots of fish. You can even print out a small guide to carry with you.

Keep in mind that almost all the frozen prepared tilapia is also from China :-(

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 8:55AM
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