Catfish & Tilapia recipes?
January 14, 2008 3:48 PM   Subscribe

Give me your favorite simple Catfish or Tilapia recipes!

I'm trying to change my diet to a mostly fish diet. I got some catfish and tilapia filets, and I'm looking for good and simple ways to bake, broil or fry it, if you've got any.

No mustard or beef/pork in the recipes please.

I suck at cooking, so please don't abbreviate too much. Thanks!

(yes, I know about mercury).
posted by cashman to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Catfish steaks on the grill are THE best. Just season with salt and pepper, oil, and throw 'em on.
posted by wafaa at 4:08 PM on January 14, 2008

"mango-licious" tilapia. It really is delicious.
posted by gaspode at 4:11 PM on January 14, 2008

I love tilapia. My mom makes a terrific tagine out of it, and just the other night I made a great curry with tilapia and scallops. I was out of curry paste, so I used Golden Curry cakes - the kind you get at any supermarket.

From memory, one good-sized pot:

brown onion, potato, carrot, whatever else you want in there - I used a very light olive oil;

once the onion is caramelized and the veggies brown, add a few cups of water; if you are serving it over rice, use the cloudy water that you used to rinse your rice as the extra starch is a good thickener;

add broken-up cake of curry powder, cook until thicker, bubbling & totally mixed;

add tilapia (I cut the filets into halves).

at a rolling boil, it takes 2-5 minutes for the tilapia to cook, and the big scallops i added took maybe 2 minutes longer than that, although i like them a little raw in the middle.

I made enough for 2 very hungry adults and there was lots left over, and it kept well for 2 days in the fridge. longer than that though and it might get a bit over-fishy with the seafood and all. Without the seafood it'll keep a week in the fridge easy.
posted by luriete at 4:15 PM on January 14, 2008

Best answer: Well, you could use either for a very simple broiled dish - I'm not going to list a detailed recipe since it's really simple, but just put some crushed garlic, a few sliced onions, some chopped cilantro on your fish, salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with a little olive oil and place in the broiler until fish is done. Steam up some rice with sliced jalapenos, a bit of cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Serve fish on bed of rice, squeeze some lime juice on top of everything and chow down. Very fast and easy! Oh, tilapia cooks WAY faster than catfish so watch your time.
posted by elendil71 at 4:17 PM on January 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Here is a simple one that I came up a long time ago.

Start with cleaned fish fillets.

Make a mix of sake, water and miso paste. I usually use about 1/2 cup sake, 1/2 cup water and a tablespoon of miso.

When you have a mix, use some aluminum foil and fold up the corners to fit as close as possible to your fish fillet.

Then place your fillets in the pan you have made and pour your mixture over it.

Cover loosely with another piece of foil.

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Also, check out this site.
posted by slavlin at 4:19 PM on January 14, 2008

Pan-seared Tilapia with Chile-Lime Butter is very easy and essentially impossible to screw up. 412 Epicurious reviewers can't be wrong. I like to dredge the tilapia in a little cornmeal for a nice crunch.
posted by CaptApollo at 4:29 PM on January 14, 2008

When I'm in a rush this is what I do w/ my catfish fillets. Sorta silly I guess, but I <3>
My rice cooker can also act as a steamer. I simply put rice in the bottom w/ water, put the steamer basket thingie on top, put a catfish fillet or two in it (frozen), and put the lid on. I set it to cook and walk away. When the rice is done the catfish is done.

Then, I toss the catfish in the bottom of a latte mug (which we use for bowls here at my house), dump the rice on top of it, and add a sprinkle of soy sauce. Sometimes I stir it up to get catfishey rice, sometimes I just leave the catfish on the bottom for catfish with rice. It's very good and very nutritious.
posted by TomMelee at 4:32 PM on January 14, 2008

I do the bake in foil with liquid thing similar to above, except I usually do individual foil packets for each serving of fish. You could use various flavorings but I usually do the following:

Soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, chopped scallions or thinly sliced onions, thinly sliced chiles, thai basil, and/or cilantro.

(Serve over rice.)
posted by yarrow at 4:57 PM on January 14, 2008

If you want a simple tilapia recipe to go along with the fancier stuff, here it is:

1. Defrost fillet.

2. Heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a flat frying pan. (Or EVOO, as Rachael Ray calls it. Yum-O!)

3. When the oil is smoking, turn the heat down to medium and put the fillet on.

4. Brush (if you don't have an actual brush, you can "brush" it with a fork or spoon like I do) the fillet with two teaspoons of soy sauce and squeeze enough lime (or lemon if that's what you have) to coat it.

5. After about 5-6 minutes, flip it, and add soy sauce and lime to that side, too.

6. Cook for another 5-6 minutes. You can toss on some slices of scallions (for extra flavor!) at the end if you want.

7. Poke with a fork to check doneness. You should be able to easily penetrate it. It's not the end of the world if you undercook it, though.

I'm certainly not a master cook, but I'm able to follow this procedure at the end of a long day at work without much difficult and produce some moderately tasty tilapia.
posted by ignignokt at 4:57 PM on January 14, 2008

Get a bowl, get some breadcrumbs, ground almonds, a little thyme, mix it all up...rinse the fishy, pat him dry and then drop him in a little milk, dredge the milky fishy in the breadcrumb/nut mix and stick it on a rack, drizzle butter allllll over him and bake him at 350 for around 10 minutes.

If you'd like to get a little fancy, you can put some lemon zest in the mix too

posted by legotech at 5:10 PM on January 14, 2008

1. Blend together 2 medium pieces of ginger (cleaned), one clove of garlic, half of a small onion, a dash of cayenne pepper powder or altternatively half a habanero (as much heat as you can handle), a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of worcestershire sauce and the juice from a lemon.

2. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil (or peanut oil if you prefer a more pungent taste/aroma) into the blended mixture and stir till oil is incorporated

3. Brush mixture onto fillets

4. Wrap fillets in foil and bake for 15 mins

5. Open foil wrap and let fillets broil for 3 to 4 mins

6. Once done, use a few thin slices of lemon to garnish the fillets

Goes best with rice pilaf or butter and herb mashed potatoes.

posted by ramix at 5:13 PM on January 14, 2008

Catfish with Tomato-Kalamata olives topping

Preheat oven to 375. Spray ovenproof dish with oil (I use one of those Misto pumps), and arrange fillets in a single layer. Cube some Roma tomatoes ( for 4 fillets I use about 2 cups). and mix in 1/2 cup of Kalamata olives. Salt and pepper to taste and arrange on top of the fish. Sprinkle some chopped parsley and bake for 25 minutes.

Tilapia with grapefruit

Dredge the tilapia in a small amount of flour to coat. In a skillet, over medium heat, melt 1 teaspoon of butter and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Brown the tilapia two minutes per side and dispose them in an ovenproof dish.
Wash, trim, and quarter 1 lb of fresh mushrooms and saute' in the same skillet together with a clove of garlic, adding a little more oil if necessary. Add some chopped parsley.
Peel one grapefruit, cut in round slices and arrange on the fish. Cover with the mushrooms after removing the garlic clove.
Broil 5 minutes.
(To save some time, I use sections of grapefruit from a jar, instead of fresh grapefruit if I am in a hurry)
posted by francesca too at 5:18 PM on January 14, 2008

Saute the fish for a few minutes on each side until it separates easily with a fork. Season with salt and pepper while it's in the pan. Put the cooked fish in a bowl large enough to hold it, and gently break it up a bit. Add mayonnaise, capers, finely chopped celery, some finely chopped onions of shallots, and mix gently. The fish will break up some more, but you want it to maintain some substance (no puree!). Serve with decent crackers (Stone Wheat Thins) or good bread, as a warm tuna tilapia salad.

You can do the same thing with Tempeh, and it's even better.
posted by OmieWise at 5:51 PM on January 14, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you! Please add any more you'd like to! I marked the one I made tonight - yummy! But I'll be trying more of these soon.
posted by cashman at 5:56 PM on January 14, 2008

Chowder! simply find a recipe for clam chowder on the intarwebs, and substitute fish for clams. Salmon works pretty good for this, too.

That is, unless cream/butter counts as beef. And you'd have to leave out the bacon, which all good chowders come with, but I bet you wouldn't miss it...
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:28 PM on January 14, 2008

Tilapia make good tacos. I typically deep-fry small chunks or strips. Provided you know how to deep-fry, it’s a really simple recipe. I usually dip the fish in buttermilk and batter the pieces in a mixture of flour, corn meal, and some spices (salt, pepper, maybe dried oregano or paprika.) Fry the pieces in peanut oil, preferably, or some other oil that can take high heat. Watch them closely; the small pieces will cook in only a couple of minutes. With a little practice, you should be able to tell when they are done.

The rest of the ingredients of the taco are up to you: lettuce, tomato, peppers, onions, cilantro… I like red cabbage and fresh jalapeño with tartar sauce.

Every time I make tacos, I make guacamole. For that I smash together 2 or 3 ripe avacado, some cilantro, onion, garlic, tomato, and jalapeño, all chopped finely. Some salt, pepper, ground coriander and cumin, cayenne, and the juice of 1 lime.

Since you’ve got a pot of hot oil, you might make your own corn chips. Cut 6 or 8 small corn tortillas into wedges and fry them for about a minute and a half. Toss some salt on them when you take them out of the oil.
posted by ijoshua at 6:33 PM on January 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

This recipe from the site slavlin mentioned is a definite crowd-pleaser when I cook tilapia.

I alternate between that one and a simple flour, egg wash, breadcrumb with a dash of garlic powder deep fry number. (Seriously simple, just follow those steps.)

They both taste fantastic. Happy cooking!
posted by gummi at 7:50 PM on January 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding the fish tacos, although tilapia holds flavors well so it works fine with a non-frying method.

I usually just bake or non-deep fry the fish with some onions, a little pepper or Mexican seasoning and drizzles of olive oil and lime juice (or whatever improvised flavoring you want... seriously, it needs very little). Then I serve them either like regular tacos (cheese, lettuce, sour cream, etc.) or the more traditional sort of cabbage, maybe some avocado and/or mango (or any other fruity salsa, like Mrs. Renfro's or Newman's Own peach), etc. route. Either way, squeeze it liberally with ime juice. Yummmmmmmm.
posted by Madamina at 8:13 PM on January 14, 2008

Fried Catfish Po Boys
posted by JABof72 at 9:46 PM on January 14, 2008

Best answer: The simple tilapia recipe I swear by is similar to a few of the others you've gotten, but possibly healthier and easier.

Preheat your oven to 400F. Get out a cookie sheet and cover it with aluminum foil. Spray it with nonstick spray (Pam).

Get out bread crumbs -- how much depends on the amount of fish you're making; start with about a quarter-cup and be prepared to add more. Any seasoning is fine, and if you get ambitious, you can always start experimenting with making your own. Anyway -- this is the genius part -- put the bread crumbs in a sandwich ziploc.

Separate two eggs, do anything you want with the yolks (they won't be needed), and put the two whites in a small bowl. Grab a fork and briskly whisk until they're white and frothy.

Take a filet of tilapia and put it in the bowl; get it covered in egg whites. Transfer it to the ziploc of bread crumbs, close the ziploc, and shake until the fish is covered in bread crumbs. (That was the genius step.) Take the breaded fish out and put it on the cookie sheet. Repeat for all your filets.

Once they're all on the cookie sheet, spray them with Pam again. Put them in the oven for 6 minutes. Take them out and use a pair of tongs to flip them, spraying underneath each, then again over the entire sheet. Put them back in for 4 minutes. Repeat the flip-and-spray. Put them back in for 4 minutes.

Take the fish out, turn off the oven, and eat -- ideally with steamed baby carrots. Mmm.
posted by booksandlibretti at 1:18 AM on January 15, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks booksandlibretti. Are these dried bread crumbs, or just bread crumbs?
posted by cashman at 6:56 AM on January 15, 2008

I don't think I saw a real braised fish recipe here, so I'll add one (but the oven ones sound really easy and fish tacos are the best thing ever).

Braised Tilapia:

heat about 2T olive oil in skillet with a lid

toss in some chopped shallots or some onion and a little garlic and stir over medium heat til soft

(here you can add in some other veg if you want, like leeks, carrots, greens)

lift most of the stuff out to a bowl at the side and add a touch more oil if needed. get it hot but not smoking and lay the tilapia filet in there. let it cook without touching it for at least 2-3 minutes--you're browning one side of the fish for that awesome browned fish flavor

pour some liquid (water, fish stock, chicken stock) around the fish and put the lid on. After it bubbles a bit you should be able to shake the pan a little and see the filet move. If it does, it's "released" from the pan. If not, you may want to help it with a spatula. Turn the heat down and cover until fish is flaky.

If you like you can then remove the filet to a warm plate and reduce the cooking liquid into a sauce, scraping the browned bits (the fond off the bottom. When it's down to just a bit of liquid, stir in a bit of butter to thicken and pour over your fish and veg (or put the fish in a taco and dip it in the sauce!).
posted by Mngo at 7:22 AM on January 15, 2008

Are these dried bread crumbs, or just bread crumbs?

If you just go to the grocery store and buy a canister of bread crumbs, it's them. They're dry and crumbly, but (around here, at least) the container won't specifically say they're dried bread crumbs. If you want to make your own at home, you would start with toasted or stale bread to get it to be dry enough.
posted by booksandlibretti at 2:22 PM on January 15, 2008

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