Tilapia: Variations on a Theme

Tilapia is one of those proteins that Jeremy likes bringing home in bulk from Costco, so I’m always on the look-out for creative ways to use it. Here is another pair of recipes that were set on the blog’s back-burner, thanks to a trip to the emergency room. No worries and no relation to the fish—turns out Jeremy had a kidney stone, and it seems to have passed. Of course, now I’ve got a bunch of tilapia stranded in the freezer because he has started associating it with intense pain. Sigh.

Thank heavens for fish, really, because it cooks so quickly. Even marinating it takes no time at all. I made the sauce for this meal in a free moment, and came back when we were ready to eat and cooked off the fish. I served it with Jaden’s garlic scallion noodles (a.k.a. noodle crack), veggiefied with shredded red cabbage, vertically sliced onion, and carrots cut into lazy-man’s julienne (I peel the carrot, then use the peeler to cut the entire carrot into thin slices, stack and julienne from there). Every time I make these noodles, Jeremy comments on how good they are and forgets he’s had them before—perhaps because I include whatever veggies I’ve got on hand. It was a perfect side-dish for the mild Asian flavors of the fish.

Five-Spice Tilapia with Ponzu Sauce

2 T thinly sliced green onions
2 T orange juice
1 T lemon juice
1 T low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
1/2 tsp five-spice powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
2 tsp canola oil

Combine green onions, juices, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and ginger in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine five-spice powder, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle both sides of fish evenly with spice mixture. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from skillet, and serve with sauce.

Source: Cooking Light.

The second recipe I chose for my tilapia this time around was a quick piccata, served with couscous that I seasoned with sun-dried tomatoes and basil. I liked it, but I think Jeremy was already wary of tilapia after his first kidney stone, so he mostly ate the couscous.

Tilapia Piccata

1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper, divided
3 T all-purpose flour
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
3 T butter, divided
1/4 C white wine
3 T fresh lemon juice
1 T drained capers

Combine salt, pepper, and flour in a large shallow dish. Dredge fish in flour mixture. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish to pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove fish from pan; keep warm.

Add wine, juice, and capers to pan; cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Add remaining butter to pan; stir until butter melts. Serve fish with sauce and pasta.

Source: Cooking Light.

Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Couscous

1 T olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 T dried basil or 1/4 C chopped fresh basil
10-12 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 C couscous
1 C boiling water

Place 1 1/2 cups of water on the stove or in a kettle to boil. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, salt, basil, tomatoes, and couscous until combined. Measure out 1 cup of boiling water and pour over couscous mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes. Lightly fluff the couscous with a fork, and drizzle with a bit more olive oil if desired.

Source: Slightly adapted from VeganYumYum.

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One thought on “Tilapia: Variations on a Theme

  1. Laura Mackey
    September 2, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Looks GREAT! Did you know that scholars generally agree that tilapia is most likey to have been the fish that Jesus Christ multiplied for the masses?

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