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Where can I buy frozen Tilapia Loins?

I know that most of the questions posted here are about restauarants, but I thought that maybe someone might be able to help me find a place to buy frozen tilapia loins around the chicagoland area. I used to find them at COSTCO but they stopped carrying them and I have searched and searched but I cannot find anything but fillets. I really like the loins so much better. I even tried the supplier of the COSTCO brand and they could not help me. Any suggestions?

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  1. You may be able to find some at Jewel supermarkets

    1 Reply
    1. re: emmeshaes

      Thanks. I was able to track some down from a wholesale dealer. Jewel used to sell them but not anymore.

    2. You could try Isaacson and Stein - 800 w Fulton. Never seen frozen Tilapia there, but never looked for it either. I'm not really sure what the difference is between a fillet and a loin.

      My understanding is that just about all fish is sent to Chicago frozen, so maybe they could let you pick it up frozen. I have seen both Tilapia Filets and whole Tilapia there.

      1. Tilapia "loins" are a headscratcher; are tilapia actually big enough to have a loin? The loin, as I understand it, is the unworked muscle tissue cushioned up against the spine of an animal. And, yes, you can have tuna loins...but, other fish? Tilapia are so small...you'd be purchasing finger-length "loins." I imagine either you misread, or the company misrepresented. I have only ever seen tilapia filets.

        6 Replies
        1. re: aelph

          I know that tilapia is a small fish but they do come in a loin cut and are far better than the fillet. The fillets are so thin, there is hardly anything there. They are more expensive than the fillet so they are not really being carried around the area. Costco had them made by High Liner Foods but they stopped carrying them. I went directly to Supreme Lobster and was able to get some. They are really good.

          1. re: carynt

            You learn something new everyday. Now, I'll be on the lookout for tilapia loins. :)

            1. re: aelph

              I just did a google image search for "tilapia loin". That looks an awful lot like one half of a tilapia filet.

              1. re: rubinow

                A fish's loin is the top half of the filet. The bottom half has less flesh because it encases the entrails and has the rib bones

            2. re: carynt

              Tilapia CAN be big. The fillets imported from China are usually from fish if 1 to 1,5 lbs. But there are also companies growing them to 3 lbs. That will give you a nice loin for sure.

              1. re: emmeshaes

                The "wild" ones in Florida lakes are commonly 5 or 6 pounds

          2. I just saw them at Costco In Mt. Prospect on Saturday. Each Costco store can carry differt items.

            1. I got them at the Costco in Lake Zurich recently, too.

              1. I agree with you; I prefer the frozen Tilapia loins to the fillets! I had bought them from one Jewel store in Wheaton on occasion. They aren't always there. But I've never seen them in the other Jewel store that I use. And I've also bought them at a Cub foods, but the store closed. When I do see them, I've bought all that they've had. They are difficult to find. Good luck.

                1. Sorry for the late reply, hope you are still reading responses. If you live downtown, try visiting Plitt Co Of Chicago. They are the best seafood distributor in the city, hands down. Ask the front desk about buying wholesale, shouldn't be a problem. Loins are simply filleting a fish & trimming off the tail, nape & belly. Size is irrelevant, loining simply refers to the trimming method I described.

                  1. We just saw some at Sam's Club in Woodridge tonight. I had never heard of or seen tilapia loins before either. And just an fyi.... Sam's carries both the fillets and loins (in their frozen section). We were going to buy the loins to try, but noticed both the fillets and loins were from China and wasn't sure of the safety after reading the recent reports on seafood from China. Better to be safe than sorry!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: wineaux

                      The loins at Costco are not from China but Indonesia I noticed. Their fresh tilapia are mostly labeled as coming from Honduras.

                    2. They sell them at Trader Joes

                      1. Tilapia is a generic term for all sorts of different species of cichlids and cichlid-ish fish. Here in north Florida our "Tilapia" is generally Nile Perch, that can grow to 400lbs+. Makes for a big loin. =O

                        1. I just saw them yesterday at the Costco on Damen at Diversey/Clyborn.