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I don't like Tilapia. Do you?

Fake Name Aug 25, 2013 05:28 AM

Moderators suggested this post be moved to its own thread.

Adapted from Thy Holy Movie Pulp Fiction.

Tilapia are filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals.

[VINCENT]
But bacon tastes good, pork chops taste good...

[JULES]
Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie,
But I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherfuckers.
Tilapia sleep and root in shit, that's a filthy animal.
I don't eat nothin' that ain't got sense enough to disregard its own feces.

[VINCENT]
How about a dog? A dog eats its own feces

[JULES]
I don't eat dog either

[VINCENT]
Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?

[JULES]
I wouldn't go so far as to call a dog filthy, but it's definately dirty.
But, dogs got personality, personality goes a long way.

[VINCENT]
So by that rationale, if a Tilapia had a better personality, he would cease to be a filty animal. Is that true?

[JULES]
We' have to be talkin' 'bout one charmin' motherfuckin' Tilapia.
I mean he'd have to be ten times more charmin' than that Nemo on Finding Nemo, you know what I'm sayin'?

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  1. b
    Beach Chick Aug 25, 2013 06:08 AM

    Won't touch the stuff...and I am a huge fish lover.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Beach Chick
      C. Hamster Aug 25, 2013 08:46 AM

      Me neither!

    2. sunshine842 Aug 25, 2013 06:51 AM

      other discussions here:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/850884#8164557
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/755710#6164219
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/414217#2686847
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7006...

      Do make sure you put shrimp, lobster, crabs, escargot and pork (in some instances) in the same category.

      1. Tripeler Aug 25, 2013 07:04 PM

        Yeah, tastes pretty Tilapidated to me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Tripeler
          s
          sedimental Aug 25, 2013 08:12 PM

          You should mosey on over to the "jarred" thread, where some folks throw a hissy fit over making up words related to food :)

          It's enough to make one tilapiaphobic.

        2. Chemicalkinetics Aug 25, 2013 07:50 PM

          I don't hate Tilapia, but I rather have something else.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
            melpy Aug 27, 2013 03:06 AM

            Ditto. I will eat it if I have to and I have bought it once in a while because my fiancé likes it.

          2. Cheese Boy Aug 25, 2013 10:08 PM

            Hate those toilet dwellers.

            1. r
              ratgirlagogo Aug 25, 2013 10:12 PM

              I don't like tilapia much either - not my favorite fish. But I also hope none of you are not eating RATS - the most perfect and exalted animal in all of creation - and not filthy in any way.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ratgirlagogo
                m
                Miri1 Aug 25, 2013 10:33 PM

                Can't stand the stuff. Im visiting NY from SoCal where tilapia is not common. Here in NY it seems to be everywhere! I ade my boyfriend take me all the way to Long Island to fibd some god grilled fish that was NOT tilapia. Shudder.

                1. re: Miri1
                  Cheese Boy Aug 25, 2013 10:43 PM

                  Play the video --> http://www.limanrestaurant.com/

              2. westsidegal Aug 25, 2013 11:02 PM

                if servio is cooking mojara frita, i'll be happily eating tilipia.
                any other preparation, not really

                1. h
                  Harters Aug 26, 2013 03:34 AM

                  I don't much care fo tilapia. Mercifully, I rarely see it offered and, even rarer, feel obliged to eat it - last time was, I think, about 3 year back as a course on a "no choice" tasting menu.

                  1. j
                    Just Visiting Aug 26, 2013 10:32 AM

                    Do you eat catfish?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Just Visiting
                      o
                      ospreycove Aug 26, 2013 11:07 AM

                      Only U.S. Farm Raised Catfish, and then only on occasion, not my #1 choice of fish. Yellow Edge Grouper, SW Florida Gulf fresh caught preferably by me or one of my friends is my #1.

                      1. re: ospreycove
                        scubadoo97 Sep 8, 2013 05:07 PM

                        Show off! ;)
                        We are lucky to be in a place that has such an abundance of fresh fish if you are willing to look for it.

                        No the Publix seafood counter is not the place to look

                      2. re: Just Visiting
                        j
                        jahammer Aug 26, 2013 04:12 PM

                        luv catfish grew up on fresh caught boston fsh but when mom cd get catfish (not farm raised I am 70yr} we partied on it. I have had it fresh out of rivers down south som were swee as cd be som kind of muddy bbut still great got to be careful of farm raised fish and know how its farmed and where it comes from some are loaded with chemicals an drugs luv all fish xcept tilapia no taste unless u know what ur doing and horrible if over cooked it sure is cheap tho

                      3. b
                        bobbert Aug 26, 2013 12:57 PM

                        I always thought the appeal of tilapia was:
                        1. It's cheap.
                        2. It's bland.
                        Because of this, it appeals to many non-fish lovers who would not go near any kind of gamey fish like salmon or tuna. To me it tastes like whatever sauce or seasoning it was cook with. Alone, it's just bland. As a vehicle to highlight some seasoned bread crumbs, it does quite well although personally that's not what I'm looking for when I purchase fish. Combined with the vast population out there that knows not what they eat, you end up with a pretty successful product.
                        As far as what tilapia eat, well, there are a lot of critters that we eat that eat some crappy stuff, like pigs. In fact, no self respecting cannibal would go near me if they got one glance at my diet.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: bobbert
                          fldhkybnva Aug 26, 2013 02:33 PM

                          Yea, I never understood the desire to want to eat fish that doesn't taste like fish.

                          1. re: bobbert
                            Chemicalkinetics Aug 26, 2013 02:42 PM

                            I believe that flaky meat is also its selling point.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              nokitchen Aug 27, 2013 11:25 PM

                              Yep. I don't love tilapia but I don't get the hate for it either. It's the boneless, skinless chicken breast of fish. Once you know its limitations (which are considerable) and its possibilities it's a good arrow to have in the fish quiver. It makes a perfectly good baja-style fish taco (particularly fried ones), for example, and is even better with fish tacos using a spicier salsa. It's not a fish you'd lovingly descale but leave the skin on and roast with lemon slices and rosemary. So what? In particular, if you eat a lot of fish it's good to have some tilapia from time to time because in exchange for low omega-3s you also get lower mercury levels.

                              1. re: nokitchen
                                Bill Hunt Aug 28, 2013 07:19 PM

                                Hm-m,

                                I could see it, when done with some zest, being a good fish for tacos. We normally use farm-raised catfish, but then we are both from the Deep South. I know what my next Fish Tacos will contain, and will try to get that "zest" into the Talapia.

                                Thank you,

                                Hunt

                                1. re: Bill Hunt
                                  nokitchen Sep 8, 2013 07:45 PM

                                  My pleasure. I hope you enjoy it. I love a proper catfish, but it's pretty difficult to get one up here in NYC, at least at a price point that doesn't make you cry. So I'm glad to have decent tilapia for spicier, saucier applications.

                          2. pinehurst Aug 26, 2013 02:44 PM

                            No. I tend to like "fishy" fish...mackerel, salmon, swordfish.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: pinehurst
                              NanaMoussecurry Aug 26, 2013 06:20 PM

                              high five

                              1. re: pinehurst
                                fldhkybnva Aug 27, 2013 08:01 AM

                                Me too, I don't get the point of eating fish or really anything with out much flavor.

                                1. re: fldhkybnva
                                  k
                                  kimfair1 Aug 29, 2013 11:32 AM

                                  While I'm not a fan of tilapia, one could say that hake, haddock, cod, all great fishes don't taste "fishy" either. I'm not a fan of strong tasting fish, especially tuna in a can. Tuna steak is one of the greatest things on earth, but cook it through, and stick it in a can, and it's catfood.

                                  1. re: kimfair1
                                    Bill Hunt Aug 30, 2013 07:25 PM

                                    I agree with you. I like a milder fish, so Talapia does make my "list," albeit near the bottom.

                                    The "fishy" aspect is one reason that I do not like most "farm-raised" Salmon, and prefer Alaskan Wild, or Scottish, over most of the rest.

                                    About the only time that I can appreciate the more "fishy" fish, is say a Sheepshead in a great Gumbo. Otherwise, I want a clean, sweet flavor, with no "fishiness" to it. The possible exceptions would be Mullet, and Catfish, which each have a certain level of "earthiness" in the flavor, but that pairs well with many Pinot Noirs.

                                    Hunt

                              2. carolinadawg Aug 26, 2013 05:30 PM

                                No, always tastes muddy to me, and has a mushy texture.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: carolinadawg
                                  chefjeannine Aug 30, 2013 10:14 AM

                                  I thought I was the only one that detected a muddy flavour! I've tried explaining this to friends and family, but they don't detect any dirt-like/muddy flavour. I love a simple white fish every once in a while, but tilapia, can't even take a tiny bite.

                                  1. re: chefjeannine
                                    Cheese Boy Aug 30, 2013 02:15 PM

                                    Tilapia tastes like "poo" for a reason. (Video included here).
                                    See for yourself --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGoR4d...

                                    1. re: chefjeannine
                                      Bill Hunt Aug 30, 2013 07:26 PM

                                      Catfish and Mullet do have a "muddiness," or "earthiness," but I have never detected that in Talapia - but the prep might well mask that?

                                      Hunt

                                  2. Bill Hunt Aug 26, 2013 06:36 PM

                                    It all depends on how the talapia were raised, the conditions of the farm, and then (most importantly), the prep. I have had great talapia, but also some that were less than Mrs. Paul's Fishsticks (even the new ones). It just depends.

                                    Hunt

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                                      fldhkybnva Aug 27, 2013 08:01 AM

                                      Are there any variables you suggest to evaluate? Place of origin, etc?

                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                                        f
                                        ferret Aug 27, 2013 08:07 AM

                                        According to the much-referenced Monterey Aquarium Seafood Watch guide, US-sourced tilapia farmed in closed systems are your best choice.

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                                          Bill Hunt Aug 27, 2013 06:25 PM

                                          I am not familiar enough with the various points of origin, but have enjoyed several variations:

                                          Blackened (just like Redfish)
                                          Courtbullion (again, popular in S. Louisiana with Redfish, and some other fish in the "Drum family")
                                          Thai seasoning - very good
                                          Yellow Curry - again, very good
                                          Deep Fried w/ Cajun/NOLA spices - very good

                                          I had Talapia at Campton Place, or Farallon, both in San Francisco, but cannot recall which, that was also very good. It was done in an Almondine Style, and reminded me a bit of Speckled Trout.

                                          I would guess that I have had Talapia maybe a dozen times, and 10 +/- have been good. The others? Well, not so much.

                                          Hunt

                                      2. v
                                        Violatp Aug 26, 2013 06:39 PM

                                        10 years ago, I remember seeing it at LA markets for $1.19 a pound.

                                        I don't eat it because I simply can't wrap my head around. not just the ridiculous price increase, but restaurants trying to push it like it's a delicacy.

                                        In my mind, it's still a buck a pound fish that tastes like a buck a pound fish.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Violatp
                                          Bill Hunt Aug 26, 2013 06:51 PM

                                          First time that I encountered talapia was at Disney World, in their Epcot The Ocean (think that is the name of that area). They had a full talapia farm there, as part of the attraction, but then served it in their restaurant. It was not bad.

                                          Later, someone got several New Orleans chefs to do their recipes for the fish, and all were very good.

                                          Lately, I have been seeing more of it offered, and some has been very good, but most has been rather blah.

                                          Now, I am a big fan of catfish, both farmed and wild, so perhaps it's my Southern Heritage that carries talapia, in some cases.

                                          I can remember when redfish were not considered all that great, but in South Louisiana, there were many restaurants, that did wonderful dishes. We would catch them, filet them, and then cut those into large chips, to be deep fried - great too. Then, Chef Paul Prudhomme hit on Blackened Redfish, and the world changed. Now, there is a Redfish Season, for gosh sakes!

                                          Maybe it depends on where one grew up, and the fish that they grew up on?

                                          Hunt

                                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                                            a
                                            acgold7 Jan 21, 2014 11:20 AM

                                            Believe it or not, the farm-raised Tilapia at Disney World are not at the Living Seas Pavilion but at The Land (next one over), where they are raised in clear Lexan tanks, in a room next to where they also conventionally and hydroponically grow many of the vegetables used in the restaurant for that Pavilion.

                                            Fascinating and they actually prepare the stuff very nicely too.

                                            It's been a few years since we were there but at least this used to be the case.

                                        2. JayL Aug 26, 2013 07:13 PM

                                          No...not good.

                                          1. Atomic76 Aug 27, 2013 02:43 AM

                                            Not a fan either. The filets are way too thin, when you cook a portion of it, it shrinks down to practically nothing. Also it has no flavor.

                                            1. j
                                              jpc8015 Aug 27, 2013 03:48 AM

                                              It is just another mildly flavored white fish that is a vehicle for whatever sauce or flavoring it is prepared in.

                                              I eat it on a regular basis.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: jpc8015
                                                Bill Hunt Aug 27, 2013 06:28 PM

                                                Good description.

                                                I see it as a protein, where the prep is the key factor (and probably the farming, as others have mentioned).

                                                I find it light, flaky, and seldom "fishy." The better versions would probably have worked with many other fish, but because of the ability to raise a bazillion Talapia in tanks/farms, seems to be a better technique, than some of the over-fished species.

                                                Hunt

                                              2. chartreauxx Aug 27, 2013 06:34 PM

                                                i generally dislike tilapia here in the usa. when i lived in thailand, i'd sometimes end up eating it because friends served it, but it was usually something they'd caught themselves that day and cooked (commonly in curry, or spicy seafood "salads"). in those cases i didn't mind it too much, though as a rule i don't care for tilapia... and FORGET it when it comes to swai!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: chartreauxx
                                                  Bill Hunt Aug 27, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                  The Thai, and Curry preps, have been some of my favorites.

                                                  Hunt

                                                2. k
                                                  klyeoh Aug 27, 2013 07:43 PM

                                                  I like tilapia - but I guess it's because of the way the fish is prepared here in Singapore/Malaysia (various Chinese regional styles, Thai-style, Indonesian-style, Malay-style, etc) is different from the way it'll be served in the US.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: klyeoh
                                                    Chemicalkinetics Aug 27, 2013 07:52 PM

                                                    Wow, finally a person strong enough to admit he/she likes tilapia. I don't like tilapia, but I don't hate it neither. I know many people prefer tilapia. It isn't a popular fish simply because it is cheap.

                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                      k
                                                      klyeoh Aug 27, 2013 08:21 PM

                                                      [Smile]
                                                      Tilapia is a common enough fish being served on a daily basis in South-east Asia, though I'd not seen it offered in, say, Italian, French or other Western/European eateries here.

                                                      In Indonesian preparations, it's usually deep-fried whole till crisped on the outside, whilst still moist on the inside, then served with "sambal terasi", very spicy chili-sweet soysauce-fishsauce dip.

                                                      In Malay preparations, the fish is marinated or covered with spices, onions and other aromatics, wrapped in banana leaves and barbecued over open flames.

                                                      In Chinese preparations, the most common version I see in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore is steamed, smothered with lots of minced ginger and drizzled with light soysauce. A handful of fresh coriander leaves and finely-chopped scallions will be scattered on top prior to serving.

                                                      The Indians here sometimes cook tilapia whole in a tandoor oven, marinated in yoghurt and spices, then served with a mint-coriander-yoghurt dip.

                                                      In Portuguese-Malaccan cooking in Malaysia, the tilapia is fried, then covered in an ultra-spicy sauce typical of Eurasian cooking here.

                                                      Bill Hunt has mentioned the Thai preparations. I'd say 'Pla Sam Rod', deep-fried then covered with a spicy-sweet-sour sauce (chillis/fish sauce/molasses/lime juice) is the most popular.

                                                    2. re: klyeoh
                                                      alliegator Aug 29, 2013 10:56 AM

                                                      I'll jump in klyeoh's camp on this one. Here in the US, I'll choose another fish if it's on offer, but I like tilapia. However, I'll only use it in Asian preparations for home cooking. Some people talk about a muddy type flavor, but when dressed with strong and clear southeast Asian flavors, I've never noticed it.
                                                      It's generally quite firm, and it's cheap, so when making a curry type dish, you can feel free to cut away the sections that look like they could be a bit icky.
                                                      And it's the best for any kind of fish cakes where you need a ton of fish to turn out a decent portion of cakes.

                                                    3. EWSflash Aug 29, 2013 11:29 AM

                                                      I've had tilapia that was really pretty good, and some that was muddy and awful. Same with catfish, only I've never had farmed catfish that wasn't delicious. I'm sure the difference is where it's farmed, how well the pond was kept, et cetera.

                                                      1. C. Hamster Aug 30, 2013 07:51 PM

                                                        Almost all of the frozen tilapia sold in the US if from Asia.

                                                        Farmed in questionable conditions .

                                                        That and the fact that it doesn't taste good to me ( the wonder bread of fish) is enough to keep me away from it.

                                                        1. TSAW Sep 8, 2013 05:34 PM

                                                          I like the colour and texture but to me it has a mildewy mold taste that I can't get past.

                                                          1. z
                                                            zin1953 Sep 10, 2013 10:57 AM

                                                            No. Won't eat it.

                                                            1. arthurb3 Jan 21, 2014 08:17 AM

                                                              No, I consider a trash fish!, yuk!

                                                              1. z
                                                                zackly Jan 21, 2014 08:27 AM

                                                                I avoid tilapia, swai, catfish and farmed salmon & shrimp not for health reason but because they don't taste very good.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: zackly
                                                                  l
                                                                  laliz Jan 21, 2014 11:11 AM

                                                                  same here

                                                                2. n
                                                                  Nanzi Jan 21, 2014 10:36 AM

                                                                  I didn't hate it when I tried it.....then read all about it and will never, never eat it again.

                                                                  1. a
                                                                    acgold7 Jan 21, 2014 11:25 AM

                                                                    My wife loves it for the same reasons many people hate it: it has virtually no flavor or texture. When I make it at home I make sure we have a really good sauce to put with it.

                                                                    Its diet bothers me not a whit. The best and most delicious things in life have horrible filthy diets and living conditions. I'm not giving up shrimp, lobster or pig.

                                                                    1. j
                                                                      joonjoon Jan 21, 2014 11:26 AM

                                                                      Nothing wrong with tilapia...it's a very pedestrian fish, but no reason to *dislike* it..

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