Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cook Tilapia Fish

I'm fascinated by tilapia. This fresh-water fish--a type of cichlid--could hold the answer to the protein needs of undernourished people around the world. But at the same time, its introduction to regions far outside its native Africa have environmentalists worried about its impact on native species of fish and other animals.

Tilapia dish

Tilapia grow fast, and they grow large. They're also omniverous--they'll eat almost anything small enough to get their mouths around. It's no wonder that huge tilapia farms have sprung up throughout Southeast Asia and are beginning to appear in other parts of the world.
The fact I find most interesting about tilapia is how, in some countries, farmers will put the fish out in their rice fields when they plant their rice. Then, by the time the rice is ready for harvest, the tilapia will have grown large enough to eat.
Tilapia is exciting and controversial at the same time, no doubt about it. If you would like to see what all the fuss is about, you can start by picking up some tilapia fillets from your closest wholesale club and cooking them tonight.
You can cook tilapia in most of the ways that you cook other types of fish. Here's an easy breaded tilapia recipe to get you started:
1. Rinse tilapia fillets (one per person) under cold running water, and drain.
2. Beat an egg. Dredge the fillets in the egg, then coat on both sides with bread crumbs.
3. Squeeze a lemon over the fillets, then sprinkle coarsely ground black pepper over them.
4. Optionally, omit the pepper and instead sprinkle grated parmesan cheese liberally over the fillets.
5. Bake at 360 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.
Want to get fancier? Try this tilapia recipe:
2 large tilapia fillets
Cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon horseradish
1 tablespoon fancy mustard
Crushed basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1. Wash the tilapia fillets and place in glass or ceramic bowl or pan.
2. Cover with cider vinegar. Let stand in the fridge 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Mix horseradish and mustard together. Set aside.
4. Heat 1/2 cup water to boiling and place garlic in it. Then turn off the heat.
5. Take the fillets from the cider vinegar and place into the heated water. Turn heat to low.
6. Sprinkle basil over the tilapia. Simmer on low for 12 to 15 minutes.
7. Remove from heat, place a dollop of horseradish-mustard mix on fillets, and serve.
Sarah Sandori is the food and entertaining columnist for the Solid Gold Info Writers Consortium. Have you ever wanted to be able to exactly duplicate a favorite dish from a favorite restaurant? Check out Sarah's article where she reveals her source for the most mouth-watering secret restaurant recipes in America: