HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Ways to cook tilapia or other mild fish?

My girlfriend and I are trying to work more fish into our diet. We have trouble with very "fishy" tasting fish (awful, I know!) and usually stick to tilapia or other mild fish. We are getting bored and having trouble finding good tilapia recipes. I was hoping for some ideas/inspiration! Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Steam it Chinese style. Very good that way.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Joebob

      I would add just a hint of spice,ginger,scallion a sauce such as hoisen .Myself I do enjoy the stronger tasting fish .I do cook fish often and for those fish I prepare with oregano ,citrus,capers,good olives etc .This prep reduces that "fishy"taste .Try it

      1. re: Joebob

        My favorite prep for most fish, and I'm a strong fishy fish taste lover, is to steam in parchment with ginger, green onions, scallions, garlic, drizzle of sesame oil and a splash of white wine or sherry. Simple and delicious and there's more room for error so you don't end up overcooking the fish.

        1. I like simple. I like to pan fry in a very hot pan, salt and pepper on the fish, develops a nice crust, can add a squeeze of lemon at the end or a few cherry tomatoes or a few tomatoes and blanched green beans/asparagus or toss in some olives, whatever flavours you like. Pan frying those kinds of fish takes literally a few minutes and is open to many flavours.

          Alternatively, steam/bake in parchment paper with a tiny bit of oil and white wine and/or lemon juice/orange juice/etc, can add fresh herbs inside, can add slices of lemon or orange or both, can add slices of peach, ginger, any vegetable or flavour you like. Very easy to change how you cook each time, just be sure to put in ingredients cut to the correct size to be cooked in the same amount of time it takes to cook the fish which won't be very long, probably 10 minutes in parchment paper, maybe 15 depending on your oven.

          1. I basically do it two ways. As has been mentioned, tacos. I don't deep fry but use either store bought taco seasoning or Tone's Southwest Chipotle seasoning. Spice it up well and bake in the oven or in a hobo pack.

            The other thing I do with it is make Thai Fish Curry. You can google recipes for that. One tip I will give you though is to use coconut cream and fry the curry in it before adding coconut milk. Gives it that extra little bit of depth.

            You can use Basa as well.


              1. I like to cook tilapia under the broiler or lightly sear it in a frying pan with a lemon butter sauce. I'll sometimes add chopped garlic as well.
                Tilapia also works really well with fish tacos as well

                1 Reply
                1. re: chobette

                  Just broil a few minutes each side?

                2. I love fish and my favorite is Tilapia. I go to Whole Foods and order a whole Tilapia, because I love the skin and cooking the fish in the skin makes the meat much more moist and tasty. If you go this route, just stick it on a fish griller-holder and grill it - or just stick it under the broiler - just don't overcook.
                  If you prefer the filets you can cover them with breadcrumbs and then egg (not the other way around) and that keeps them from breaking up when you flip them in the pan (I would suggest using iron clad so they don't stick)

                  1. I cook it like Sole Meunière, very easy and fast, google it

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: NanaMoussecurry

                      +1. Place it on a bed of spinach and you have a healthy and cheap meal. If not spicy enough, have Schiracha sauce combine with sweet soy on the side. Eat with pasta, or rice....

                    2. one of the staples when the OH is eating "good:"
                      generally i roast/bake in foil/parchment with seasonings or stuffings...
                      -on a bed of lemon slices, onion, garlic and fresh herbs, S&P
                      -roulette style rolled around a seasoned/dressed grain salad
                      -rolled around asparagus spears and drizzled with a tangerine beurre blanc
                      -rubbed with a ginger/garlic/mint paste
                      -crusted with crushed macadamias, almond flour and coconut flour, cayenne and S&P

                      1. I brush it with olive oil and season it with cajun seasoning, then broil it and squeeze some lemon over it when it's done. This is one of those times where non-stick foil really comes in handy.

                        I've also cooked it in my electric food steamer, but I'm not a huge fan of doing that with it because it usually tastes bland and water-logged.

                        1. Had a sweet and sour tilapia last night in a Vietnamese restaurant. In my opinion, the fish should be washed first with lemon/lime and salt before frying it to eliminate the strong smell that is very familiar with fresh water fish, such as trout. And, because the fish is very delicate, I suggest that the sauce should not be too vinegary.

                          1. If you feel like something a little exotic, I love making these little Thai fish patties. A huge favorite around my house.

                            1. Veracruz-style. Season filets with salt, and white pepper. Drizzle with lime and start making sauce. Saute onions, and garlic in EVOO. Add peeled, diced tomatoes (canned works well), capers, pimiento-stuffed green olives, oregano, and bay leaves. Simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 375. Add a layer of sauce in baking dish, lay filets on top, then cover with remaining sauce. Bake for approx. 30 minutes. Serve with Spanish rice.

                              1. Good mayo mixed with an equal amount of grated Parmesan and a sprinkle of herbs spread on top of the fish and put under the broiler (I broil on each side for 3 minutes and then spread the mixture on,) and then back under the broiler for 3 or 4 minutes until it's bubbly and browning is surprisingly good for how simple it is. This mixture is also really good on thick tomato slices under the broiler.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                  I also like the mayo method for tilapia. You would never think it would be that good, but, wow! It's my husband's favorite dinner.

                                2. Brush with butter and top with sliced almonds, bake/broil until done

                                  brush with soy sauce, rub with freshly grated ginger and top with a sprinkling of chives and sesame seeds. bake or broil until done

                                  dip in egg, roll in seasoned panko and either pan fry or bake

                                  layer parchment paper with sliced lemons, fresh thyme and sweet onions. lay fish on top, roll parchment to seal and bake.

                                  all of the above works well with cod too.

                                  1. i do fish tacos:
                                    brush with bbq- sauce grill fish\

                                    grill a ear of corn(take kernals off put in bowl)
                                    dice mango
                                    dice tomato
                                    chop cilantro,red onion
                                    juice of two limes
                                    mix all this up with corn
                                    in small bown mix 4tbl mayo with dash cummin dash liquid smoke mix well

                                    spread mayo on tortilla break fish onto tortilla spoon mango corn on and fold...

                                    1. Mixture of mayo w/ Dijon and whole grain mustard spread evenly over fish in baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve w/ rosemary roasted potatoes and asparagus. Favorite white wine.

                                      1. Six flounder or sole filets, about 6 oz each
                                        10 oz frozen spinach
                                        4 oz of Feta cheese
                                        Panko bread crumbs
                                        Mix spinach, cheese , breadcrumbs in a bowl. Mix with 2 Tbs of Evoo to moisten mixture. Divide in six equal parts. Wash filets, pat dry, sprinkle with S&P, put filling in center of filet and roll. Secure with some toothpicks. Place rolls on lightly oiled pan. Sprinkle outside with paprika.
                                        Bake @ 350 for 20 minutes.