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Members of the enormous Cichlids family, tilapia have only one nostril on either side of there heads. The female is considerably smaller than the male, and scientists have now successfully bred tilapia, which produce offspring that are almost exclusively male. Tilapia are freshwater fish, but can also live in salt water and are found in tropical seas. There are many varieties, with colors ranging from gray to bright red. Their flesh is firm, white and moist, with a pleasant, sweet flavor.

Tilapia are available all year round. Small fish are sold whole, while larger fish are sold all ready filleted. In Egypt and Israel, tilapia are sometimes marketed as St. Peters fish (not to be confused with John Dory fish).

Tilapia with Anchovy Sauce

  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • ½ cup olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ lbs. Tilapia fillet.
  • Minced fresh parsley for garnish.
  • Lemon wedges

Preheat the broiler. Mince anchovy fillets and add their oil to the olive oil. Mix together the teaspoon of olive oil and garlic; brush the fillets lightly with this mixture and season them with salt and pepper.

Warm the remaining olive oil over low heat and add the anchovies. Cook, stirring, always over low heat until the anchovies fall apart and the mixture becomes “saucy,” about five minutes. Keep warm. Place the tilapia fillets in a baking pan and broil, about 4-6 inches from the heat source, until the fish is golden and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Spoon a little of the sauce over each one, garnish with parsley and serve with lemon. Serves four

Crispy Deep Fried Tilapia

  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 1 –2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4-6 eggs beaten until smooth
  • 2 cups unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Japanese breadcrumb ( panco)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1-teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients, all except flour ( both breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, cayenne, parsley and cheese). In a separate bowl add 4-6 eggs, beat until smooth. With a paper towel pat dry fillets. Dredge in flour and pat off excess flour. Next coat the fillets in the egg. Then cover in breadcrumb mixture and pat off excess coating. Then either deep fry fillets until golden, or pan fry in a deep skillet until golden ( If pan frying use enough oil to cover entire fish). Serves four

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