Tilapia comes in several colors, but red and black tilapia is the most well-known species. After preparation, the meat of both varieties is completely white. Both types of tilapia can thrive in either fresh or salt water. The taste will vary depending upon the water type since the fish absorbs the flavor of the water in which it is raised.
Preparation, Uses, & Tips
Tilapia can be broiled, fried, grilled, baked, poached, sautéed, or steamed. The skin has a bitter flavor and should be removed before eating. It is an excellent substitute in recipes calling for many kinds of fish including sole, snapper, pompano, flounder, cod, sea bass, and orange roughy.
When marinating tilapia, be sure to do so for only a short time or it will start to break down the structure of the meat.
Fillets are great for grilling but are small and thin, so be careful during preparation as they can tear. Because of its mild flavor, tilapia goes well with most seasonings.
Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Place thawed fillets in buttered or oiled baking dish. Brush fillets with melted butter or olive oil and season. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Spoon pan juices over fillets before serving.
Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of oil or butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season thawed fillets and place in hot skillet. Cook for approximately 2 to 4 minutes on each side until fish flakes easily. For additional flavor, spritz with lemon juice after turning.
If you purchase frozen tilapia, it will stay fresh for up to four months if it is wrapped tightly and stored at 0°F (-18°C). Thaw frozen tilapia in the refrigerator or under cold running water. Thawed or fresh tilapia should be refrigerated at 32 to 38°F (0 to 3°C) and used within two days. Do not refreeze.