Tilapia and cod recipes
March 6, 2017 3:12 PM   Subscribe

I have many many tilapia and cod filets in my freezer. I am so bored of all the recipes I'm familiar with. Please help make fishy deliciousness happen.

My standard style for cooking whitefish involves frying the fish in butter in a regular frying pan with some herbs/spices (e.g. lemon-thyme-rosemary, or lemon-cumin-curry) and then adding a side like sauteed spinach and calling that dinner. It's pretty tasty, but I've also had it way too many times.

Simple or elaborate is fine. I always appreciate a well-balanced palate of flavors, like zesty-earthy-sweet-fragrant all in one dish. I also appreciate dishes that blend well with each other. I feel like the fish and spinach above are nice, but they sort of taste like different things that just happen to be on the same plate, rather than parts of a harmonious whole dish.

Ceviche would be an interesting choice, but can you even make ceviche (that tastes good) out of fish that has been sitting in a freezer for many months?

No dietary restrictions, low-carb preferred.
posted by danceswithlight to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
We've always enjoyed this tilapia with curry sauce from Cooking Light, although you'd need to leave out the rice in order to keep it low carb.
posted by DrGail at 3:19 PM on March 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I made this for the first time last week and everyone is begging to have it again. It was amazing. Like OMG amazing. I doubled the sauce, baked it (as opposed to broiling, which is also recommended in the recipe) and used cod.
posted by the webmistress at 3:21 PM on March 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

I do make ceviche from freezer fish, and as long as it hasn't picked up any funky flavors in storage it's fine.

They're also good for mashing/grinding/processing for any of the globe's many styles of croquette/patty/fritter/cake. If you have a food processor and they're individually frozen you can pretty much throw them in frozen.

There's many curries, like this fish makhani.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:33 PM on March 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

I love fish tacos of all types. I cut the fish into strips, dry with a paper towel, roll in seasoned flour (salt and pepper, or seasoned salt or Old Bay) and pan-fry. There's very little oil, it doesn't deep-fry but gets golden brown and adds a bit of texture while maintaining the moisture. I then serve in white corn tortillas with some combination of avocado, jarred salsa, fajita veggies, shredded or crumbled cheese, beans, and hot sauce.
posted by wnissen at 4:02 PM on March 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

I love cioppino (sic?) an Italian fish stew. I sautée the fish in olive oil, set aside, sautee some garlic, then add white wine and a tin of tomatos, and simmer. Put the fish back in, add in some frozen shrimp if you have them, serve with crusty bread. 20 minutes, tops. Delicious
posted by Valancy Rachel at 4:41 PM on March 6, 2017

Blue Apron features around one cod recipe every two weeks and they are always easy and amazing. Their recipes can be found here.
posted by tofu_crouton at 5:13 PM on March 6, 2017

Moqueca! A nice Brazilian fish stew with a tomato and coconut milk base. You can fancy it up with lots of different kinds of seafood (scallops, shrimp, etc. etc. etc.) but even with just neutral white fish, it's very tasty.
posted by letourneau at 5:25 PM on March 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Corn kernels, diced bell pepper (plus hotter peppers if you like them), diced onion, smashed garlic, chopped tomatillos (if you can get them fresh, if you can't then skip them or drain a can of them and roast them in a medium oven and add them at the end). Plus whatever other southwesternish veg you like. Sauté in a hot skillet until the onions have softened and the peppers have begun to break down a bit. Mix in liberal amounts of lime juice (and zest if you have it) and cilantro, make a bed on serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

Cook fish as desired, keeping it simple. If your carb amounts can handle some breading this is a great time for a very light crunchy panko, but if not just roasted or pan cooked is great. Do a dusting of cumin plus salt and pepper of course. Place fish on bed of southwestern veg. Serve with warm tortillas and crema or sour cream, or a big mess of greens seasoned with more lime and cumin. Also good with black beans that have been half smashed if you want more protein and fiber.
posted by Mizu at 6:09 PM on March 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

I do a cod stew w/chix broth, onions, green pepper, ginger, garlic, whatever. Add cod at the end and coconut milk.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 6:52 PM on March 6, 2017

One easy and tasty way to make a harmonious fish dish: in a frying pan which has a lid which fits , melt a little butter or heat a little oil and sauté any-vegetable-you-like (recommend sliced leeks, or courgettes (zucchini) or peppers - tomato is also good, as is a simple onion, pepper and tomato stew) over a medium heat until nearly done. Salt, pepper. Turn the heat right down and tenderly place your fish fillets on this vegetable bed, still in their frozen state if that's how they are . Slap the lid on and let steam until done. Minimal effort, minimal washing up, very delicious. It is just fish and vegetables as in your example yet the flavours mingle in a subtle and pleasing way. Family staple. Off a Sainsbury's recipe card a long long time ago I think. I believe the original recipe called for salmon, but it works beautifully with cod too.
Personally, I would not choose to make ceviche with tilapia. Fresh water fish tend to have parasites which might make you think twice about eating them raw. Frozen cod will work well, however. I live somewhere with poor access to fresh sea fish and therefore always use frozen: the resulting ceviche is excellent, obviously provided that the fish was fresh when it went into the freezer and not freezer burnt. Slice off and discard any trace of redness (blood vessels near the spine) as undesirable fishy flavours seem to concentrate in that part.
posted by Diomedea at 8:12 PM on March 6, 2017

Ackee and salt fish (because it's salted cod and I prefer fresh)
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:10 PM on March 6, 2017

On a large plate, season fish with salt and black pepper. Lightly coat fish with flour (around 1-3 tbsp, depending on how many filets you have). Then, pour a couple of beaten eggs onto the plate. Ensure the filets are coated. Fill a tray with panko bread crumbs (about three cups worth) and then transfer each filet into the tray to coat with breadcrumbs. Cover the coated filets and refrigerate until ready to fry.

Now it's time for a sauce/roux. Melt some butter and stir in your desired diced vegetables to soften for a few minutes (e.g. lemon zest+asparagus; shallots+chives; green onions+jalapenos). Add 1-2 tbsp of flour, followed by about twice as much cold milk after a few minutes. Keep whisking throughout then allow the sauce to simmer on low while you fry your fish.

Fry your fish (heat a quarter inch of vegetable oil in a skillet).

Add sauce and enjoy.
posted by ageispolis at 9:10 PM on March 6, 2017

I break the fish into pieces, marinade in chinkiang vinegar / ginger / garlic / soy / sugar for a short while, then stir fry it in its marinade with some bell peppers.
posted by batter_my_heart at 9:43 PM on March 6, 2017

Butter and soy sauce, roughly 2:1. In a frying pan, start with the butter then finish with the soy sauce. Trust me.
posted by entropical punch at 10:29 PM on March 6, 2017

Scottish traditional recipe with cod: Crappit Heid. (this dish, IMHO, goes a long way to explaining why Scots view cod as being for "Cats and Sassenachs"; this is the other reason - which you may not wish to pursue if you like eating cod).
posted by rongorongo at 11:24 PM on March 6, 2017

Fish pie - best with a bit of smoked fish added too but works fine with just white fish (some people add prawns but I don't think it's worth bothering). This is the recipie I use (I skip the prawns) - you can skip the peas or add sweetcorn as well/instead. Bonus - If you make a lot at once if freezes really well. Just defrost in the fridge and reheat in the oven as normal.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:13 AM on March 7, 2017

Cantonese steamed fish
posted by needled at 4:27 AM on March 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

This blackened tilapia sandwich with cilantro lime mayonnaise is delish and takes very little time. I serve it just like it's pictured with a chunky fruit salsa on the sandwich. The rest of my family eats the fruit salsa on the side like a fruit salad. I also grill the buns a little on my gas stove.

For the salsa, you can mix together with some salt and lime juice: cubed mango (peach, honeydew and canteloupe also work!), cubed tomatoes, diced red onion, chopped cilantro, minced jalapeno. It's also good accompanying pork or duck dishes.
posted by Liesl at 6:03 AM on March 7, 2017

Around the Mediterranean, there are several great recipes featuring salt cod and potatoes — and most of these can be adapted to fresh (or frozen) fish.
Look up brandade or mantecato for creamy delicious comfort food. Or Portuguese stews with tomato, bell peppers, onions, garlic and potatoes. Obviously you need much less cooking time for the fish, and you need to season differently.

Here in Denmark, cod is traditionally steamed, and then served with boiled potatoes, a strong mustard sauce, melted butter, chopped pickled beats and chopped eggs and a bit of horseradish. Its delicious!

When I was younger, I'd often make a dish in a pan which consisted of baby spinach, wilted in cream flavored with garlic and chili lakes and then squares of white fish on the top. Lid on, steam for 10 mins - voila. Served with rice. This is very nice with fishcakes or quenelles instead of whole fish, too.

In general, I find fishcakes are a really good use for frozen fish. They are easy to make in a food processer or with an immersion blender, and there are so many variations when you explore global cuisine.
posted by mumimor at 9:27 AM on March 7, 2017

When I want a simple fish dinner, I tend to make a fruit salsa/salad to put on it. My favorite is mango, cilantro, diced red onion, and lime juice. It's pretty fast. I've also dressed the fish with a citrusy, garlicky mojo sauce. Both could be paired with a small fresh spinach salad or even some wilted spinach as a side dish. This wouldn't be too much of a change in technique from what you are doing but would taste a lot different.

I make a simple carrot salad that would pair well with a zatar crusted fish. Shredded carrot, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, parsley, and a good olive oil. Again, very simple but would fit well within your typical routine but taste very different. Shredding the carrot makes it taste very fresh and sweet.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:00 PM on March 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Shout out to the webmistress, whose Tilapia Parmesan suggestion was ridiculously delicious. Several recipes I tried from this list were good, but this one was just outstanding. I'm excited to make it again. Mmmmmm.
posted by danceswithlight at 12:21 PM on April 4, 2017

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