In my freezer, I have two thin tilapia filets that need to be eaten. I realize that I can:

  1. wrap them in foil with seasoning and cook
  2. bake or broil them with butter, wine, lemon juice, and/or other seasonings
  3. bread and fry them
  4. grill them

What I'd love to know is what I'm missing: what's are techniques to use with this mild-flavored fish in it's preparation?

  • 1
    Should probably be wiki, since there isn't a right answer. – Adam Shiemke Aug 10 '10 at 17:27
  • Justkt, this site is more for answering specific questions and fixing specific problems than asking for recipes. I have voted to close the question as it is both off-topic, and answers would be subjective and argumentative. – daniel Aug 10 '10 at 17:47
  • @roux - I wasn't looking for recipes. I was looking for techniques. I also didn't ask for a "best" type of preparation, but rather was hoping to create a list of interesting preparations. – justkt Aug 10 '10 at 18:38
  • @Adam - done as suggested. – justkt Aug 10 '10 at 18:38

I've found two good things to do with this fish (I dislike it broiled/baked): fish curry or soup, and fish tacos. I find the fish too bland to really do much on its own, but it serves as a decent base to the different pepper sauces that i put on tacos.

For curries, the Indian state of Goa has some good ideas on what to do with fish, as do the Thais. You can find many recipes in different books and the internet. Talapia will generally sub in for whatever whitefish they call for, although it has a bit less flavor than most.

My personal favorite fish soup is the Hungarian halászlé. I don't have a good recipe--I usually make it up as I go along--but google should find you some.

  • +1 for the reference to Goan cuisine, its the most nomalicious when it comes to fish – Reno Nov 30 '10 at 7:44

I tend to treat tilapia similar to chicken in that it's kind of a blank canvas onto which you project other flavors. It doesn't work everywhere chicken does, but one of my favorite uses is to chop it into little bits, and "stir fry" it. I season those browned bits and use them as the base of actual stir fry or with Mexican seasonings in tacos, etc.

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    FISH TACOS! [drool] – stephennmcdonald Aug 10 '10 at 17:37
  • Yes, fish tacos are an idea I hadn't thought of. – justkt Aug 10 '10 at 18:36

I know fish and cheese is supposed to be a sin. Luckily, I'm not one to play by the rules most of the time, I go by what I enjoy :)

My wife is very picky, especially about fish, so if I want her to eat it, I have to mask it sometimes...at least at first to warm her up to the idea of something new.

When I first wanted her to try tilapia I made this: Parmesan-Herb Baked Flounder but subbed in tilapia. She loved it, and since then, I've been able to convince her to try (and enjoy!) tilapia with simple marinades, broiled or on the grill. But this recipe was a stepping stone.

Even now, I still make this on occasion, and I make 10 filets at a time - and they last about 2 days max in our house.

  • I happen to have some leftover parmesan in my freezer, making this a great possibility. – justkt Aug 10 '10 at 18:37
  • Tilapia is, at best, a bland fish, so I agree with hitting it with some strong flavors. Pesto, perhaps? That's got parmesan! And garlic! Perfect to mask any muddiness! – Harlan Aug 11 '10 at 18:45

It's quite delicious simply sautéed/seared with salt and pepper. The real fun is serving it with perfectly glazed carrots and using that glaze as sauce for the fish, as well! You must try this. The sweet and buttery glaze make the slightly salty fish divine!

I eat this about once a week and can't get enough!


I do this with Salmon, never tried it with Tilapia but I imagine it would still taste great!

I basically take the salmon fillets and sprinkle garlic powder, ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Then I brush each of the fillets with 1 tbsp of olive oil. If you don't like the fishy smell, squeeze a few lemons over it and/or cut up a few slices of lemon and lay it over each of the fillets. Then I pop it in the oven @ 375 degrees and bake until the fish is cooked or until flakey (depends on the size of your fillets).

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