Tilapia is a white freshwater fish that is often served in fillets and sometimes in strips. It’s a great lean source of protein, and many people find it to be very tasty. However, some people can’t get past the fishy taste and look for ways to improve it, so it’s more palatable.
If you want to reap the health benefits of this fish but don’t love its flavor or texture, here’s how to make tilapia taste good.
One of the best cooking methods for any meat is grilling. Grilling your meat gives it an incredible char and smoky flavor, instantly elevating any dish you make. And the same goes for your tilapia. Pop your tilapia on the grill, and in a matter of minutes, you’ll have a delicious piece of meat that will rival any chicken or steak cut.
You will have to be particular about putting your tilapia on the grill, though, because unless you put the fish on as a whole, it could fall through the grill grates. When grilling tilapia, either put the pieces in a tinfoil pan or wrap each fillet in an individual foil boat. This will ensure you still get the taste and texture that you’re after from the grill without losing your fish to the coals.
Tilapia is also wonderful baked. Baking tilapia is always fun because it’s simple, and you can easily experiment with flavors. Tilapia is a pretty neutral fish, so it can take on savory, citrusy, or spicy flavors, and it’ll still taste great.
However, experimenting with taste isn’t the only reason to love baking tilapia. Baking is perfect if weather conditions aren’t great for grilling or if you want to do an easy sheet pan meal with some other vegetables or starches alongside your fish. Plus, while the fish is baking, you’ll have time to make a sauce, chutney, or another go-with to put on top of your fish, as well as other sides to eat with it.
Baking your tilapia will also bring out its natural flavor, and you’ll be very satisfied with the results.
Many people also love to fry their fish, and you can do so with tilapia. Tilapia is delicious when fried. It’s super simple to do, and this method has lots of versatility.
You can use Panko breadcrumbs or just a simple flour mix. You can experiment with spices and try using different oils. No matter what you do, you’ll end up with a tasty, crunchy texture, and you’ll have that rich fried flavor that’s impossible to resist.
Frying tilapia is also great because it can go with a variety of sides. Whether you want to have hearty, traditional sides or light, healthy ones, fried tilapia is the basis for a great meal.
Pan Sear It
If you are averse to the texture of fish, perhaps you will like it when it’s pan-seared. Pan-searing fish leaves it with a caramelized texture, and it’s one of the tastiest ways to enjoy a cut of tilapia. You can pan-sear your vegetables, as well, and make for a delicious caramelized and crispy meal all around.
And trust us, pan-searing is not nearly as intimidating as it sounds. By researching the technique prior to attempting it, you’ll be able to master it in no time.
One final suggestion for a cooking method is to broil your tilapia. Broiling can be done after you’ve baked your fish just to give it a little extra caramelization on top, or it can be the sole method of cooking your tilapia.
Broiling is done in the oven, and it’s a fabulous way to make a healthy meal in just a matter of minutes. It gives the fish tons of texture, and you have many options for spices to improve its flavor. If none of the other cooking methods appeal to you, broiling is by far the quickest and easiest, and it’s essentially foolproof as long as you’re keeping an eye out for it to prevent any burning or unwanted charring.
If you conduct a simple Google search for tilapia, nearly every photo you’ll see includes either a lemon wedge or slice. And this is for good reason. Lemon is great for all fish, especially white fish because it brings out its natural flavors.
Citrus brightens fish up and makes for a much fresher and lighter taste. If you are not serving your tilapia with lemon because you don’t like the taste of lemon, just try a little bit. You won’t taste the lemon but instead will taste better fish.
There are so many spices that will improve the taste of your tilapia. You can go a very basic route with salt and pepper or a traditional route with lemon and garlic. You could also go a spicy route and add some red pepper flakes or paprika. Or you can do a combination.
There are so many different spices and spice blends to try that will all be fun to experiment with. If you mix and match spices with cooking methods, you’ll soon find one way that gets you eating tilapia more than you had ever anticipated.
Serve It with Veggies
You don’t need to have a simple meal of fish and starch. You can also have some fresh vegetables that you baked with your tilapia or ones you cooked using a different method.
Peppers, asparagus, onions, avocados, okra, and so many more vegetables will all taste delicious with your tilapia. And you don’t just have to have it as a salad or a side. You could also eat it in a bowl or in a taco shell.
If you can do it with chicken, you can do it with tilapia, so let that be your guide while you are finding new ways to eat and enjoy this food.