Today’s catch is a white fish called Tilapia.
Technically, tilapia is not the name of one specific species of fish but rather a common name for nearly a hundred species of cichlid fish. Tilapia was one of the three main types of fish caught in Biblical times from the Sea of Galilee. One common Bible story I recall as a child was; Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish, which some surmise were tilapia. In Ancient Egypt the “Nile Tilapia” is represented by the hieroglyph K1, of the Gardiner List, and was one of many fish caught along the nile river.
Tilapia are a fast-growing species of fish native to Africa whose popularity in the commercial food industry has risen in recent years, and is now the fourth most-consumed seafood in the United States, after tuna, salmon, and shrimp. Due to high demand, much of the tilapia consumed by the public is now farm-raised rather than wild-caught. In a report from the Earth Policy Institute says the population of farmed fish now exceeds beef production, and is expected to exceed consumption of wild-caught fish.
One of the reasons the tilapia is so popular is they are short-lived and primarily vegetarian, therefore they do not accumulate substantial amounts of mercury by consuming other fish, as other food fish do. The tilapia is more farm raised efficient because they eat lower on the food chain.
Cooking tilapia is very easy in under five minutes on the stove and this fish can take on many various flavor profiles, as the tilapia has next to no fish flavor at all. This makes tilapia a little more kid friendly at dinner time.
So if want to go Cajun and make it blackened
Lightly breaded or battered
Fish Taco Tuesday, go for it.
With tilapia the sky in the limits to what you can create for lunch or dinner….
4 oz Tilapia
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dill
2 lemon & lime wedges
1 tsp zest from lemon & limes
1 Tbsp olive oil
Rinse the tilapia fillets in cold water. Pat them dry with paper towels when you’re finished.
Season both sides of each fillet with salt and pepper, garlic & onion powder, dill and zest.
Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Now get out you slotted/fish spatula
Place seasoned tilapia in heated skillet and immediately squeeze a wedge of lemon & lime over the tilapia, and repeat when you flip the fish over.
Cook the tilapia in the hot oil until the fish flakes easily. It should take about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side to cook the tilapia, depending on the thickness of filet.
To serve you can try the following options
Squeeze additional lemon juice over tilapia, or brush melted butter onto the tilapia right before you remove it from the skillet. and enjoy it while it’s hot. You can eat it on it’s own or enjoy it with some mixed greens, salad, roasted potatoes, or another side dish.