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Feb 9, 2013 08:39 PM

Does anyone love/prefer tilapia to other common raved-about seafood?

Tilapia was on sale at Whole Foods today and I had no idea what I wanted to make but wanted seafood and had already planned to have both tuna and salmon this weekend

I am on a seafood kick this weekend. This morning I stood at the seafood counter dazed and confused as I already planned to have both tuna, shrimp salmon this weekend and couldn't decide on another option to satisfy my ocean-loving needs. In casual conversation at the counter, another customer and the person at the counter recommended tilapia and raved about how much they liked it. It was on sale and so I went for it and now have about 2 lbs of tilapia I have no idea what to do with although they suggested that nearly any preparation works as it's so mild. As I Googled to find a good idea it seemed that the majority of the world has some vendetta against tilapia. I love the heartier, more naturally flavored fish and eat tuna, salmon, and swordfish quite regularly because they are so wonderful, but I thought I might add another fish to my repertoire. I understand the concerns about its production, but separate from those concerns do you ever choose tilapia over something else not only for price but because you like it's flavor. What are your favorite preparations?

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  1. try looking up mojarra frita.
    pretty common preparation around los angeles.
    since my favorite restaurant serves it , i end up eating it quite frequently.

    1 Reply
    1. re: westsidegal

      Love mojarra frita! I spend two months a year in Guatemala, where tilapia is locally farmed and a very important source of protein for the indigenous population. This is one of the most popular preparations, and can often be found sold from street carts during Lent.

    2. Your tilapia might be fine. I like it in a sandwich. You can grill it in a stove top grill pan and put your fixings on with your favorite bread.

      The fillets I used to get were bigger and better tasting than what I have gotten recently, so I haven't been as interested in this fish as before.

      I think it is farmed in Vietnam and possibly elsewhere under less than ideal conditions. You should check the source with seafood. I won't buy from China and I'm leary about stuff from Vietnam.

      But I have noticed a steady decline in availability of fish in general in the last decade or so.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sueatmo

        Thanks for the tip on the sandwich, sounds good perhaps a tilapia BLT. It completely escaped my mind this morning, as usually I glance at the sign to note the origin of my fresh seafood. I'll give it a look see tomorrow.

      2. I will only get tilapia if everything else is too prohibitively expensive because I find it to be somewhat "boring," and there are so many other delicious sea proteins that I'd rather eat.

        That said, my favorite way to prepare it is just simply blackened.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ohmyyum

          Tilapia is great panfried in coconut oil, french country herbs and Benedictine and Brandy, all found at Trader Joe's...Hope you try and like it.

        2. I do not eat tilapia, but I am familiar with its texture. Sorta like a thin cod or maybe rockfish? I might blacken or steam it for healthier alternatives. On the grill you can foil it in packs with onions, garlic and some butter/white wine. Poach with a smoky note.

          You cannot get those whole can you?

          I don't have a vendetta against tilapia, but they are grown in some strange sesspits in SOME places - like China. I bet the ones grown here are fine. Just fine in fact.

          Sometimes you can't get wild salmon or halibut. Or $20 a pound is a little rich... whatever. I totally get ya. I bet they are a nice vehicle for a light sauce.

          11 Replies
          1. re: Sal Vanilla

            It's hilarious that I've already spent many a $ on fish this weekend with both the tuna and wild king salmon at $24/lb and swordfish at $20/lb and yet for some reason after dropping what my bank account has declared enough money on seafood this weekend, I decided to add some random tilapia. It's fresh never frozen so I can always freeze for later.

              1. re: magiesmom

                Yea I've read/heard that. Some think it tastes similar to catfish. I guess it's just hard for me to place the taste of mud :)

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    I looked it up last night after posting a comment here - Tilapia here are fed corn meal and soy for the most part. Since they are farmed, they probably fed some sort of antibiotic. How well they are regulated... who knows? Probably as well as any other food.

                    and ps to the mud taste - saltwater catfish are bottom scavengers.

                  2. re: magiesmom

                    Me too. Not all of it but more often than not it tastes like dirt to me. I don't buy it any longer.

                    My MIL made us tilapia with a Parmesan coating. I think it was mayo, butter, Parmesan, dried basil, and something else... maybe celery seed? It was very good.

                    1. re: Njchicaa

                      Parmesan and butter make everything good :)

                  3. re: fldhkybnva

                    Most ever person makes economies. I don't eat filet mignon every night and sure appreciate a good chuck steak in the oven. Thankfully there are seafood products that even the tightest budget can afford. We buy a ton of salmon during certain times per year - but when they aren't running I happily buy $5.99 wild true cod or rockfish. Sorta bland, but a really good fish none the less. The calories and nutrition are top notch.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      How did you end up doing that swordy?

                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                        I apologize I just read this post. I did an Asian-style marinade with sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and green onion and broiled 4 minutes each side. It was delicious. In fact, I spotted your post as I returned to this post to consider pulling out that frozen tilapia to use.

                    2. re: Sal Vanilla

                      you can get them whole. you can even get them live, at some stores.

                    3. I dislike the flavor and texture of farmed fish, especially tilapia.

                      The majority of tilapia sold in the US is factory fish farmed in Asia or central America, sometimes in very questionable conditions. I'd never eat that.

                      WF tilapia is also farmed and I'm sure in sanitary conditions. I've had it once at a friends house fairly recently and I still think it suffered from that odd farmed taste and texture.

                      For the record, she made tilapia meunière. If you like tilapia it otherwise was a nice dish