Tilapia is fast becoming a staple at the fish market. These farm-raised fish are sold as tilapia, cherry snapper, nileperch, sunshine snapper, or mouthbreeders. When buying whole tilapia, you may find them in white, green, black, silver, or red. Because they can be farmed easily, tilapia is available all year.
Tilapia can be grilled, baked, steamed broiled or fried. It is a meaty fish with a subtle, sweet flavor. You can enjoy this fish in almost any recipe that calls for a firm, white fish. Quick frozen tilapia is the next choice after live or fresh fish. The fillets will be not be stuck to each other if they are quick-frozen. You can freeze tilapia for up to 6 months.
Since almost all tilapia is farmed, read the labels about the source of the fish. Sometimes tilapia can have a muddy flavor if it has been harvested without a cleansing period before processing.
One way to avoid that it to double check the source of the fish. Another way is to soak the tilapia in buttermilk for an hour before cooking. This was the method most recommended by Cook’s Illustrated to make sure every bite of your tilapia is delicious.
When you are ready to cook, wash your tilapia fillets well and then dredge them in beaten egg. After the egg, dip it in breadcrumbs or panko crumbs and let them bake for half an hour at 350 degrees F. You can replace the breading with parmesan cheese and get a delicious, cheesy portion of fish. Seasoned flour can also be used.
Tilapia can be steamed for 12 minutes to create a light, healthy meal. If you want to cook the whole fish, remove the scales and make sure the fish has been gutted. This is a great fish to steam. Just do not eat the skin; it is very bitter.
Tilapia fillets stand up well to pan frying, too. Use oil or butter to prepare this quick meal. All you need to do is cook for 3 or 4 minutes per side.
During the summer, many of us use the grill. If you want to grill your tilapia, choose the thicker cuts and rub them with a bit of oil on both sides. Preheat your grill to a medium heat and oil your grate. In about 10 minutes, you can have a delicious fish cooked perfectly.
As soon as the meat is opaque white and the juices are clear, you are ready to eat. You can also cook tilapia in foil pouches on the grill with cut up vegetables, lemon slices and salt and pepper.
As you can see, tilapia is a very versatile fish. It is also one of the least expensive fish you will find in your local fish market. Do not sweat over the high prices of seafood when you have a delicious, inexpensive alternative to enjoy. If you like it, most fish markets will let you buy it by the case for wholesale prices in some places.
Picture, recipes and/or content upgraded: 01-10-16
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