People are looking at healthy food alternatives. Tilapia fish is one such healthy alternative among fish varieties. Though this fish has been used as food for over 2000 years, recent years have increased use of tilapia fish. Tilapia fishes can be sourced naturally in Africa and Asia, in these countries tilapia has been cooked as food for centuries together.
In the US, tilapia fish has become very popular in the recent times and is consumed extensively. This fish ranks fifth among the various seafood consumed in America. Tilapia is grown in farms in Central and South America to cater to the growing demand of the U.S. market. It can be easily grown in farms as it is a fresh water fish. Tilapia fish is sold as fillets or as whole fish and is available fresh, live or frozen. These fishes are economical when compared to other varieties of fish in the market.
Tilapia fish has a mild and sweet flavor and has a hard and flaky appearance. Tilapia fish can be easily cooked and is very good for health. Tilapia can be grilled, baked, stir fried, pan fried or broiled. Tilapia is a rich source of proteins (21g of protein in 100g of tilapia fish) and has negligible fat and calorie content (2.4g of fat in 100g of tilapia fish and 98 calories). Tilapia fish has no saturated fat and no cholesterol.
Tips to buy tilapia
Tilapia is available all through the year in the market; make your tilapia recipes more delicious by picking the right variety.
- Tilapia meat is generally white though red colored variety is also available. Once you cook, the meat should turn opaque.
- It is advisable to buy live or fresh tilapia for cooking.
- Tilapia should be damp and flexible.
- Tilapia should not have musky smell.
- Check the source from where the tilapia was harvested as tilapia has the tendency to suck up flavor from the water it lived in.
- Tilapias in clear water tanks have the best flavor.
- Fresh tilapia has a shelf life of two weeks if stored at 32 F.
- Fresh tilapia fillets have to be stored on layered ice.
- Frozen tilapia fillets have a shelf life of about six months.
- Do not use tilapias that turn spongy while thawing.
Tilapia can be grilled, fried, poached, baked, broiled, steamed or sautéed. Each of the cooking methods imparts a special flavor to the tilapia. Tilapia skin looks attractive for decorating the dish but tastes bitter when consumed.
Quick bake tilapia
Tilapia fillets 4
Garlic salt ½ tsp
Butter 3 tsp
Old bay seasoning ¼ tsp
Frozen cauliflower with pepper and broccoli
Pepper and salt
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Use butter to grease a baking dish. Arrange the tilapia fillets in the baking dish and add a dash of butter on the tilapia. Dust the fillets with garlic salt and old bay seasoning. Cut the lime into slices and keep them one by one over the tilapia skillets. Put the frozen cauliflower, pepper, and broccoli around the fillets, sprinkle salt and pepper. Cover the baking dish and bake for thirty minutes. Tilapia is ready to serve if you can shard it easily with a fork.
Whole tilapia 1
Red pepper flakes/ cayenne pepper salt
Bell pepper/sweet green pepper 1
Vegetable oil 1 cup
Vinegar 1 tbsp
Chop onion and pepper finely. In a bowl, squeeze out the lemon juice. Add the onion, pepper, red pepper flakes/cayenne pepper salt, vinegar, oil, pepper and salt to the lemon juice. Mix the ingredients well. Cut the cleaned tilapia on both sides; make three incisions on each side. Pat the mixture well into the tilapia and ensure you put lots of this mixture into the incisions made. Allow the tilapia to stand for about thirty minutes. Grill the tilapia over charcoal fire or grill using an oven. Turn the tilapia regularly for even grilling.
Tilapia pimento Surprise
Tilapia fillets 4
Minced garlic 1 clove
Thinly cut small onion
Canned diced tomatoes 1 can
Chopped coarsely pimento-stuffed olives ¾ cup
Olive oil 1tbsp
Button or cremini mushrooms 1 cup, sliced
Dried oregano 1/2 tsp, crushed
Freshly ground pepper
Cook onions in some oil until tender. Add garlic and cook for a minute, add mushrooms, olive, oregano, tomatoes, pepper and salt. Allow the sauce to cook. Put the fish fillets in a pan and fill some sauce into each of the fillets. Again place it in the heat and simmer for some time on low heat. Cook for 10 minutes until the fish is done. Transfer tilapia fish into a serving dish, add a little sauce. Serve with rice or bread.
Tilapia fillets 4-6
Onion powder 1tsp
Unsalted butter 1cup, melted
Dried thyme 1tsp
Lemon pepper 2 tsp
Ground red pepper 11/2 tsp
Garlic powder 11/2 tsp
Crushed basil (dried) 1/2tsp
Heat iron skillet on high for five minutes. In a bowl, toss all the seasonings until they mix well. Dip fillets in the melted butter and coat them with the seasoning. Cook the tilapia fillets on the iron skillet for two minutes on each side.