Talapia is a delicious, mild tasting white fish. With about 108 calories (before cooking), and only 1.9 grams of fat (basically zero saturated fat), it’s also healthy eating that’s as high in protein as salmon. It’s recommended to only buy North or South American Talapia due to poor environmental controls elsewhere. (For more nutritional information on Talapia, check out LiveStrong.)
Talapia has a wonderfully mellow flavor that’s perfect for inducing your family to adding more fish to their diet. Plus, it has a fairly mellow smell, so it won’t stink up your kitchen. They key is, when you go to the grocery store to buy fish, check if it has a strong fishy smell… if it does, don’t buy it… that means it isn’t as fresh as it should be.
First mix up a few eggs and some milk to make your batter. I always add some worcestershire sauce as well, to give it some added flavor.
Then soak the fillets in the mixture for 1/2 hour or so.
Soaking the fillets like this, helps to reduce the “fishy-ness”, and further mellows the flavor.
While the Talapia is soaking, take a large plate, and put a decent amount of whole wheat flour on it.
Add in some seasoning (we use sea salt, black pepper, and some fresh herbs if we have them available). Mix it well… I recommend that you stay away from lemon flavored herbs or seasonings. If you want lemon, buy a fresh one, and serve slices of it on the side.
When the talapia has been soaking for about 20 minutes, get out a skillet, put enough olive oil (cold pressed is best) in the pan so that only about the bottom 1/4 of the fish will be immersed in it. You really want to use as little oil as possible, but you need a little bit of depth, which is determined by the thickness of the fish you are cooking.
Make sure the oil is HOT before you start cooking the fish. You don’t want the fish to sit there, and just soak in the oil. It should start cooking as soon as you place it in the pan, and it should cook hot, and fast.
These fillets cook quickly. They only need about 3 minutes on each side.
While the oil is getting hot, remove the fish from the batter, and put them into the flour, covering them well. Pat them down, flip them over, and do it again. Give them a nice covering, as thick as the flour mix will go on.
Then carefully place them in the hot oil.
You can tell if the oil is hot by getting your fingertips wet, and flicking a bit at the pan… if the oil is hot enough it will splatter and pop at you. Be careful, and just use a tiny flick of your fingers when you do this.
Keep an eye on the fish because it will cook fast.
Kind of push it around the pan, and make sure that each piece of fish has a chance to spend some time in the hot spots of your pan.
After about 3 minutes or so, you will be able to tell that the one side is starting to get crispy, and firm. This is the time to flip them over, and repeat the process on the other side.
When the fish are done, remove them from the pan with tongs, and place them on a plate with a couple of paper towels to soak up the excess oil, rather than let the fillets soak it up.
Here it is. Talapia fillets, our own cocktail sauce, some freshly made pasta (I’ll post this recipe next time) and a corn muffin.