What other white fish would work in this recipe?
If you aren't the biggest fan of tilapia or can't find it at your local store, you can substitute any typical white fish like: cod, halibut, sea bass, or red snapper. Just remember that the thicker the filet the longer it will take to cook. I love tilapia because the filets are nice and thin which means a very quick cooking time.
What are some great side dishes with this spicy tilapia recipe?
I love pairing any recipe with a good ratio of protein vs vegetable vs healthy carb. If tilapia isn't quite filling enough for you, you can pair with these Smashed Potatoes. My favorite vegetables to add to recipes like this is sauteed asparagus, oven roasted or steamed broccoli or sauteed spinach. You can also add some white or brown rice as well!
Top tips for this spicy tilapia recipe:
- Cook the fish about 4 mins per side. When it begins to look flaky and just starting to fall apart, that's when you know it's ready.
- Don't season the fish too long before you cook it. Fish is best seasoned right before you throw it in the pan.
- Serve with a side of lemon wedges. Squeeze some lemon juice on each filet right before serving, your friends and family with love the addition of citrus right after it's done.
- Use real butter in this recipe. My favorite brand is Clover.
Pan Fried Tilapia
- 4 4 oz tilapia fillets
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- garnish with lemon juice and chopped parsley
- Season tilapia fillets with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.
- Place the flour onto a plate or shallow baking dish and then dredge each filet in the flour to lightly coat both sides of the fish. Shake off any excess flour from the filets.
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the filets for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown.
- Garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice and chopped parsley.
- If the fillets are damp, be sure to pat them dry before dredging them in flour so the flour can stick better.
- Make sure to give the skillet time to heat up with the olive oil and butter. If the pan is not hot enough, the tilapia will not crisp up but instead absorb too much oil, making them soggy.
- You may need to add additional butter and olive oil when cooking in batches.
- Tilapia cooks up quickly! Avoid overcooking, or the fish will be tough. The fillets should flake easily with a fork once cooked through.
- Allow the tilapia to rest a couple of minutes before serving to help the fillet retain moisture.
- Avoid cooking this recipe in a cast-iron skillet. The fish is quite delicate, and a stainless-steel nonstick skillet makes it easier to flip.
- Add some cayenne pepper to the seasoning if you’d like to add a kick of heat to the fish.