25 October 2010

Kitchen adventures: Under the sea with Tilapia

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food

The Little Mermaid is one of my top three favorite Disney movies (Beauty and the Beast is number one!) But, despite my love of the song “Under the Sea,” I don’t eat a lot of fish in real life. I’m more of a meat/chicken fan and my interest in fish stays mostly within sushi and shrimp. So it’s probably no surprise that I have NEVER cooked with it.

Until this week :)

Mexico is three weeks away (!!!) and I’m still on my quest to get back in shape because I will be wearing a bathing suit. And part of the quest is always trying to find some healthy recipes to make for the week without breaking the bank and my calorie allotment.

Welcome tilapia! Friends mentioned this is a delicious, calorie-friendly protein so after some online recipe searching, I found one for Sauteed Tilapia with Honey-Scallion Dressing on Cooking Light and put on my big girl pants and decided to give it a try.

Here’s how it turned out:

Pretty colors!


  • Dressing:
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped green onions
  • 1  tablespoon  honey
  • 1  tablespoon  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1  teaspoon  bottled ground fresh ginger (I substituted with garlic and it was just as good)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  dark sesame oil
  • Fish:
  • 1  tablespoon  canola oil
  • 4  (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 4  cups  gourmet salad greens


To prepare dressing, combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

To prepare fish, heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and pepper. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Arrange 1 cup greens on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 fish fillet; drizzle with 2 tablespoons dressing.

Verdict: Light and delicious! First, this is ridiculously fast to cook, it took only 20 minutes from start to finish, which is a new record for me! The fish was nice and flavorful without the dressing, but adding it on was REALLY good. You don’t need a lot and it goes a long way. The greens were a nice touch too, although if you like dressing, you can add some balsamic separately. But do not skip the sesame oil in the dressing, it bring out SO much flavor. I really love this!

What about you? Are you a fish lover? What kind is your favorite?


  1. mandy says:

    This looks delicious! I really enjoy tilapia. There are so many ways to prepare it and its not a strong fish taste.

  2. I’ve never cooked fish, because I don’t like it… I’m trying to try it more when friends get it.. but i’m still not sold.. and i love the little mermaid reference!

  3. Mega says:

    I like salmon and halibut. The nice thing about fish is that its so fast to make. Real easy recipe for any fish is to let is marinate in some oil and selected seasoning (garlic, lemon pepper, etc) in the fridge for about 30 minutes or so. Then wrap it up in baby spinach leaves and parchment paper, bake for 25 minutes, last 5 minutes you can spread some mustard on top if you wish. I like your recipe, I shall try that.

  4. sounds yum- i like tilapia…i like really all fish!

  5. stephanie says:

    Since I don’t eat meat and Adam doesn’t really like fish, I haven’t cooked with it. Probably when we have kids I will so they get exposed to it though!

  6. I’ve never tried tilapia … I’m not a fan of fish (unless it’s beer battered … ha!).

  7. A Super Girl says:

    I love cooking fish and I mainly work with tilapia and salmon and shrimp (if shrimp counts!). As you found out, I think it’s really easy. Some recipes turn out better than others, I’m learning it’s all about the sauce you cook it with. This one sounds good, so I’ll have to give it a try!

  8. Stevie says:

    I loooooove fish. It’s one of my favorite things to cook. I cook mostly salmon because it’s so abundant in these parts and is hard to screw up, but a nice halibut steak is pretty easy to make, too.

    Trader Joe’s has tons of really good quality fish in their frozen section (and cheap!) if you want to experiment with other kinds of fish.

  9. Heidi Renée says:

    The smell of fish cooking makes me gag and I have never been able to eat it, even before I stopped eating animals.

    But! I was at the grocery store today and they had honey crisp apples, so I got some because you’ve said how great they are.

  10. That looks really good! I am the opposite of you: Don’t eat any meat BUT fish. I am a big seafood fan (especially when it comes to sushi). I have to be honest though, I never really cook at home. It just never seems to turn out when I make it at home. Perhaps I’ll have to try this recipe!

  11. steph anne says:

    I’m definitely saving this recipe! I love seafood so I have no doubt that I’ll love this too. :)

  12. Erin says:

    I’m totally saving this recipe! The only fish I’ve ever cooked is salmon (I have a killer salmon recipe that requires just the microwave if you’re interested) but this sounds so easy and tasty that I think I’ll attempt it!

  13. Cheryl says:

    I love tilapia and fish. I hate the Little Mermaid, but I hope we can still be friends…;)

  14. Nora says:

    I’m actually allergic to fish but I love that you included the Little Mermaid in this post and in the title. You are awesome :)