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Substitute for tilapia

  • b
  • Brooklyn Boy Aug 11, 2003 11:40 AM
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I was considering making a dish that I saw on the Food Network. The recipe calls for tilapia. In the event that I cannot find tilapia, can anyone recommend a good substitute? Thanks in advance.

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  1. I use red snapper interchangably with tilapia. In fact, last night I made ceviche with a combination of red snapper and tilapia. It was difficult to tell the two apart, even in the same dish.

    1. b
      Bride of the Juggler

      Orange rouphy is generally the same size filet, which can be useful depending on your recipe.

      1. Tilapia is just about everywhere these days. It is not an exotic fish.

        1. Catfish would also work, but might be a little thicker and/or larger then a tilapia fillet. At any decent size grocery I'd expect to at least find frozen tilapia.

          1. Any small white fish will work. Snapper, catfish, etc. The reality is that tilapia are easier to find, less expensive than its "subsititutes" and I usually use tilapia to substitute for other fish. Do not despair...if you look, you will find.

            1. j
              JessicaSophia

              Tilapia also goes by the name of (I think) St. John's fish.

              1. I thought tilapia WAS a substitute fish!

                2 Replies
                1. re: flavrmeistr

                  It is - sort of. They use it to make the fake crab (surimi??)

                  However, on it's own, it is a nice, light white fish with little oil and not very fishy smelling.

                  1. re: kc girl

                    A Google showed me there are more varieties than just the white tilapia. See link.

                    Link: http://www.aboutseafood.com/dictionar...

                2. Brooklyn Boy: If your in Brooklyn, go down to Sheepshead Bay when the Paty Fishing Boats come in and buy a couple of Porgies [also called Scup or Tai]they taste better then Talipia and are more reasonable, should be in any NYC Fish Market as well, or even better I'd recommend fresh Sea Bass, it's one of the most delicious flaky white fleshed fish, now in season. Good luck, let us know your results.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Irwin Koval
                    j
                    JessicaSophia

                    I knew it was St. something!

                    1. re: JessicaSophia

                      The "Man", was right, it's even got scales and is kosher. This species of fish is awseome, was introduced into Honolulu Hawaii in freshwater, and now is in most of Honolulu Harbor thriving in Saltwater. You can catch on almost anything from Chicken Skin to Lures. now it's being Farmed and doing well. Adult's protect young by having them swim into mouth. Naturaly prolific over most of Africa and Asia Minor, many sub-species.

                    2. re: Irwin Koval

                      Interesting. I was convinced that Tilapia could not possibly be called St Peter's fish because I ran into a fish called San Pietro (St Peter) while in Italy and was told that it is known to English speakers as John Dory. (The Italians call the grizzly looking fish San Pietro because the dark spot on the side fish was said to be the imprint of St Peter's thumb.) A John Dory is a salt water fish seined from cold waters and I knew that Tilapia was farm raised and freshwater.

                      A little search found that we are both correct...the Tilapia is definitely refered to as St Peter's Fish. And what the Italians call San Pietro is the John Dory.

                      No other point to the story than to demonstrate that a quick websearch saved me correcting you when there was nothing to correct.