Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fastest Growing Tilapia Species

Tilapia is now the fifth most popular seafood consumed in the United States according to the American Tilapia Association. It is the fastest growing aquaculture crop in the United States and around the world.

Coconut and Nut Crusted Tilapia

Tilapia, sometimes referred to as St. Peter’s fish (since it is thought to be the fish caught by St. Peter in the Sea of Galilee), has been farmed in Israel for about 2,500 years. There are over 100 species of Tilapia as well as a number of hybrids. Drawings of tilapia farming have been found on Egyptian tombs dating back to 2,500 B.C.
Tilapia played a very important role for the Taiwanese people after World War II. Many people would have died if the fish hadn’t been readily available as a low cost food source. It is hoped that Tilapia can be served as a protein source to help out other poor countries.
Tilapia are high in protein, low in sodium, low in fat and contain Omega-3 fatty acids, anti-oxidants, B complex vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, potassium, and phosphorous. They also have extremely low mercury levels compared to other fish due to their short life spans.
Buying, Storage and Handling:
Purchase seafood last and keep it cold during the ride home. Fresh tilapia should have a shiny surface with tightly adhering scales. Gills should be deep red or pink, free of slime, mucus, and off-odor. The belly cavity should be clean with no cuts or protruding bones. They should have a mild aroma, similar to the ocean. Keep raw and cooked seafood separate to prevent bacterial cross-contamination. After handling raw seafood, thoroughly wash knives, cutting surfaces, sponges and hands with hot soapy water. Always marinate seafood in the refrigerator and discard the marinade when finished.
Beer Marinated Tilapia
Serving Size: 6 Categories: Main Dish
• 2 and 1/2 pounds tilapia fillets
• 2 teaspoons butter or margarine (2 to 4 teaspoons) -- softened
• 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 can beer/ale
• 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 lemons -- sliced

Fresh parsley
Rinse the tilapia fillets in cold water and drain thoroughly. Marinate the tilapia in a shallow pan with the beer and shallots in a shallow pan. Top with butter or margarine and lemon juice. Broil about 4 inches from the source of heat for approximately 5 to 6 minutes or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork. Top each portion with 1-2 tablespoons of Lemon-Parmesan Sauce; broil 2-3 minutes or until sauce puffs and turns golden brown. Place fillets on serving plate; garnish with lemon slices and fresh parsley.
Jason Dick is an Internet Security Specialist and web author whose most recent notable work can be found at He has also worked for seven years in the food services industry and is writing a series of articles regarding current food trends, many of which contain recipes for the website: