When you’re saving for a rainy day or just out of spending capability, finding affordable yet satisfying ingredients for a home-cooked meal is your resort. There’s no other fish that bears this reputation more than tilapia. And if you think you’re left with no other options but a boring cheap dish, you got it all wrong. There are a lot of ways of ways on how to cook tilapia and make it come out as appetizing as other dishes. Here, we’ll show you ways on how to fry, bake, steam, grill, and boil.
How to fry tilapia?
Probably the most common and the easiest method of how to cook tilapia is to fry it. How to do it is very simple. Heat oil in a skillet and deep fry the fish in medium heat. Once it turns golden brown, it’s ready. Oftentimes tilapia is cultured in fresh water so it tends to have a bitter aftertaste. Season with salt, pepper, and other flavourings of your choice before frying. On the other hand, if tilapia is caught in salt water, you may skip this step as the fish is already tasty as it is. A way to jazz it up is to drizzle sweet and sour sauce and top it with blanched carrots and onion.
Another variation is to fillet the fish, rub it in flavoured flour and fry. By flavoured, I mean homemade version of which you’ll toss in various spices depending on your preference. You can make tilapia tempura also by coating it in batter consisting of flour, egg, and milk or water. Finish it off with a nice mayo dip or soy sauce with crushed ginger.
How to bake tilapia?
There’s a lot to love about a soft and succulent steaming hot oven-baked tilapia. If you are experimenting on different sauces and ingredients, this fish should be your subject because its mild taste easily absorbs the zest. Baking it is the best way to bring out a wonderful symphony of flavors. Oven baking is as easy as popping the seasoned or marinated tilapia in the oven and cooking until fork tender. We’ll show you the most common recipe of Lemon Butter Tilapia. Feel free to innovate.
- 2 tilapia, filleted
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Chopped herbs (parsley, rosemary, or thyme)
- Let the oven preheat to 400 ֯F
- In a skillet, heat butter until melted. Turn off the heat. Toss garlic and chopped herbs. Your intention is to cook these in the oven so their flavors will be extracted along with the fish.
- In a baking pan, lay tilapia side by side. Avoid stacking for even cooking. Squeeze lemon and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the herbed butter on the fish ascertaining that all parts are coated.
- Pop it in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. To test for doneness, do a fork test by piercing through the middle part. If it’s tender to touch, it’s done.
If you want a more garlicky taste, there’s nothing wrong about adding more. Also, you can sprinkle it with chili pepper flakes if you prefer it hot and spicy.
How to steam tilapia?
Steaming is not your typical go-to technique when it comes to cooking tilapia because it emphasizes the blandness of the meat. But, to some health buffs, this is highly preferred because you’re not adding extra oil to it. However, the secret to vivifying this dish is actually the sauce. How to cook tilapia by steaming is as easy as boiling a stockpot of water and placing the fish on a steamer basket. Don’t forget to make cut on either side of the fish so it will cook internally. In less than 30 minutes, the tilapia is already soft and tender and ready to be served.
To make the sauce, combine soy sauce, garlic, and ginger in a stockpot and allow it to simmer. Add some herbs such as cilantro and spring onion for extra flavour. Pour this over the steamed tilapia and serve. Alternatively, this dish works exceptionally well with mayo. Just rub it all over the fish and finish it off by sprinkling toasted garlic and spring onion.
How to grill tilapia?
There’s no other technique that will let an explosion of flavors happen in a bland fish than grilling. Make it more exceptional by stuffing chopped herbs and vegetables inside. Not only are you making a marvellous fish dish but you’re also producing a flavorful vegetable sidings. A delectable combination would consist of tomatoes, garlic, onion, and cilantro. Once stuffed, throw it in the grill and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes. Spray or brush the body with oil so it won’t stick to the pan.
When buying tilapia intended for grilling, make sure to tell the vendor not to have the scales removed. Without this, the fish becomes so fragile that it may not withstand the heating conditions and may either stick to the grilling pan or be broken into pieces.
How to boil or simmer tilapia?
Finally, have the option as well to boil tilapia. What we love about this technique is that it produces a soup that tastes really nice and hearty. In itself, of course it will not taste as phenomenal but with the addition of other ingredients, it will. Let me tell you how to do this. Just boil water on a stockpot with shallots, ginger, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tilapia and let it cook until soft and tender. Add leafy vegetables such as bok choy or cabbage. You have a humble yet healthful tilapia dish.
If you’re seeking a more flavorful dish, try making it soy-based. You can do this by sautéing garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Add soy sauce or oyster sauce for a zestier outcome. Once simmering, drop the tilapia and cook. Spice it up by adding salted black beans or fresh cilantro.
There are a hundred ways to cook tilapia. Why it should be your option is not only because it’s an affordable meal but also, it’s a forgiving dish. Play around with a variety of flavors and enjoy your dish!