Broiled Tilapia Fillets

This week I took a risk in the kitchen.  Don’t get me wrong, when I first starting cooking, even boiling water was a hazard.  Now that I’ve slowly gained more confidence, I decided to venture out of my chicken and pasta comfort zone to try to create a fish dish.

My challenge was two-fold: preparing the fish and encouraging my kids to get up the nerve to try it even though they firmly believe that  all fish “stinks” and has a “weird” texture.  The last time I served fish, it was in the form of Mrs. Paul’s Fish sticks. My daughter was highly suspicious of the “chicken of the sea” and  knew I couldn’t tell a lie.  Upon learning she had actually eaten fish, she swore it off for the past two years.

But, when I discovered an incredibly simple recipe for Broiled Tilapia Fillets, I knew I had found the right bait with which to lure my kids.

Tilapia Fillets — a cheaper alternative to many other fishes

A light, lean, white fish, Tilapia is becoming more popular because it is relatively cheap, neutral in flavor and is one of the most sustainable fish around. Since it doesn’t have a high fat content flavorful seasoning plays an integral role.  But, regardless, Tilapia is not a “fishy fish.”

The recipe for Broiled Tilapia Fillets only contains four ingredients that can be found in any well-stocked pantry. All you have to do is combine the ingredients and marinate the fish for only 10 minutes prior to broiling.  It’s that simple.

Tilapia Fillets marinating in soy, lemon, butter and garlic

 

I love the discovery that comes with cooking new foods.  How lucky was I that my 9-year old daughter had spent the entire school year studying ancient Egypt?  I learned that Tilapia is one of the world’s oldest delicacies. It can be traced back over 4,500 years through hieroglyphs and carvings depicting this small fish that indicate it was the food of Egyptian Kings and Pharaohs.  This would definitely be my hook!

I strategically served the Tilapia Fillets with baked new potatoes and sugar snap peas, two family faves I hoped would help support my fishy efforts.  When the kids rushed to the table for dinner, my daughter flat out told me she “doesn’t eat fish” or “anything that is supposed to live in the water.”  Even after serving her the smallest possible piece  (literally the size of my  thumb) while pleading that Tilapia is merely a carrier for the yummy seasoning, she didn’t change her mind.  My son, however, ate his piece and asked for a second.  He claimed his pieces of fish tasted like Chinese food?  Must’ve been the soy sauce…

I am definitely serving this dish again.  It was quick and easy, requiring minimal prep.  You can even buy flash frozen Tilapa so you can make this on the fly.  With just the right amount of flavor, this dish is mild, delicate and tasty!  I’m not giving up.  Tilapia will be back on the rotation soon enough and I’m confident my daughter will come around….sometime before college!

Enjoy.

Comments

  1. knsweber says:

    Your timing is perfect!

    I tried tilapia for the first time last night here and it was a flop! My recipe looked great, but in the end, it was a pain and not very successful. It called for dredging the fish in egg then panko/crushed almond/parmesan (how awesome does that sound?), then pan trying in butter. Well, it was messy (crumbs and egg batter drips all over the place, lots of dirty dishes afterward) and inconvenient (you have to babysit each piece of fish in the skillet, unless your skillet is huge, making serving for family entails separate rotations, then the first pieces get cold). Plus hard to tell when fish is done vs. overcooked and dry. Ick. Everyone says this method is simple and fast, but I found it to be a pain.

    On the other hand, I do salmon ALL the time in the broiler – it’s fast, simple, and reliable. I am definitely going to try your recipe with tilapia. Thanks!

    • knsweber » I never have great luck with crusted anything because I can never tell when the item is cooked completely… This recipe is so easy, it’s hard to mess up

  2. Henrietta Lala (Granny Lala) says:

    Tilapia has very delicate flesh. It doesn’t take well to heavy breading or overcooking. Use a more firmly-fleshed fish for those methods. Not the first choice for deep-frying in oil, for example, which is one reason cod is so good for deep-frying. Season well, a light dusting with flour, a dab of oil/butter in skillet, a quick sear on both sides to give it color and cook through, and you’re done in minutes. Or broil it. Since it is always delivered to the store frozen, it will throw off a lot of water while cooking, so you might want to add things like a squirt of lemon juice after cooking and just before serving. Dry well first, keep your pan hot and keep an eye on it. It also likes to stick to the pan, so use one with non-stick surface that you trust. I don’t use cast iron since it tends to hold flavors like fish as one doesn’t like to scrub iron with detergent/soap. Tilapia lends itself well to being the base for great sauces since it has little flavor of its own. Think a nice creamed crab/shrimp/mushroom sauce, or a lovely mango salsa.

  3. Sounds delicious!

  4. knsweber says:

    Great info! Thank you!!!

  5. Love this simple and delicious tilapia! Thank you for sharing on Fit and Fabulous Fridays!! 😉

  6. Made this tonight – excellent and EASY! Great results, thanks!!

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  1. […] w/Spicy Tomato Cucumber Salsa sounded ideal.  Not only have my kids discovered a new love for Tilapia this year but, any dish containing the word “taco” ranks high– it’s fun for them to […]

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