How to Cook Tilapia

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 43,532
    This video will show how to cook tilapia.

    Barton Seaver: Hi, I am Barton Seaver, and today we are making Pan Seared Tilapia Fillet with glazed parsnips and a sweet garlic sauce, and right now in this segment we are going to start showing you how to cook the tilapia. We have got our parsnips in the back burner here, just soaking up the sauce that we have already glazed them with. So we are going to start up on the tilapia. To tell you a little bit about tilapia, what we are cooking with today is a domestic tilapia. It is a farm raised product. The Blue Ocean Institute highly recommend that we eat more tilapia, it is a vegetarian fish and has very or little no environmental impact in the farming, because of it's closed-cycle aquaculture system. Absolutely fantastic. You want to learn more about that, go to So we have got this tilapia fillet, which is a very very versatile fish. It can go with almost any kind of preparation, and today we have got this nice sort of New England inspire sort of Autumn fall dish here, so we have got the tilapia fillets, which we have brined, and I will tell you a little bit about that after I season them up here. Brining is a technique that I use for almost every kind of fish with the exception of tuna. What we have done, is taken about a quarter of cold water, two tablespoons of kosher salt and one tablespoon of sugar. You just mix that together, and then you drop the tilapia fillets into the water and let them sit for about seven minutes, because they are pretty thin, it takes that about that amount of time. The purpose of brining is that it injects the fish with the salt, seasoning it throughout, thus giving it a great sense of moisture, as well, highlighting the natural flavors within. But it also gives you a lot of leeway and makes the fish lot more forgiving in the cooking process. You can take a few more minutes to take your time. So just lightly seasoned it again with salt, after I pulled it out of the brine, patted it dry. Now I have got a little bit of just regular flour here. Now you don't want to put too much on there, so what we are going to do, is just pat it dry. This is just to give it a touch of coating to it, and we have got a nice saut pan here on about medium high heat. I will turn that up a little bit in fact, just to about an eight out of ten. So these are little tilapia fillets about four ounces a piece, which is a nice portion, especially for this dish, because you have got a rich garlic sauce going with it, as well as the butter and white balsamic glazed parsnips. So I have got the two tilapia fillets, because our pan is small. I will be just cooking two at a time. So I will put flour about over here. And we are just going to take a little bit of cooking oil. Now you don't want to use too much here, because we are not deep frying, we are really just sort of pan searing. So you really want the pan to be giving most of the heat. Need a little bit more in that, because the fire will suck up a little bit of that oil as it cooks. Just spread that around. Now I love cooking with the gas stoves, because they heat up so quickly, and every professional kitchen you will see there is gas stoves, and it really makes cooking a lot more fun. Here we go with the tilapia fillets, we will just lightly lay them into the pan. Now, when you are doing this ,please be very careful, because this oil is hot. You don't want to drop the tilapia fillet in and have it splash oil on to yourself. So always lay it away form you. Now tilapia fillets will cook very quickly. One of the greatest sins that most home cooks make is that, one, they don't use enough salt, and two, is that they use too much heat. Now in this, we are just going to cook the tilapia fillets for about two minutes on the first side, and then we are going to flip it over, and lastly turn the pan off, turn the heat off, so the heat of the pan will continue to cook the tilapia fillets very slowly up through. Now our parsnips are already done over here, we have got a little bit of bacon that I have just cooked off in a pan, rendered out the fats before we started cooking here, so it's nice and crispy. We are just going to crumble that over the top. Then I have got my garlic sauce right here that we have already made. So in this next segment we will just finish up the tilapia, and then start to plate up our dish.