Seafood dinners have been happening a lot more regularly in my house lately. I have been feeling a little nostalgic. It could be because I long for those days when I lived on the east coast and travelled only two hours to Maryland to indulge in seafood some weekends. It could also be that I have been trying to step away from my usual chicken dinners. Tilapia has always been an easy go-to option when I do not want to eat chicken or a casserole.
This tilapia is breaded in some seasoned breadcrumbs and is then baked for about 17 minutes. I use two whole pieces of tilapia and I cut them up into smaller pieces. Cutting them helps to stretch out the fish for another day and also makes it easier to coat in bread crumbs when I am using a small bowl. I like to spray the tilapia with a little bit of olive oil first. You can use any kind of cooking oil you have at the ready. Spraying helps the bread crumbs to adhere to the fish.
The tilapia then goes into the oven for 17 minutes and is baked at 375°F/190°C. Baking the tilapia at this 375°F/190°C temperature gives the outside of the fish the perfect crispness. Meanwhile, the inside is flaky and tender. This right here truly is a winning combination.
Some sides that I like to pair with this Baked Tilapia are: creamed corn, roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus, creamed spinach, seasoned rice and/or steamed rice. Depending on my mood for that particular day, I might have a squeeze of lemon with it to give it some tang.
Also, if you find that you do not like tilapia or just do not want to use it, cod is a great replacement. Simply swap out tilapia for cod and follow the seasoning and baking instructions all the way through. Another replacement you can make is replacing traditional bread crumbs with panko. I have tried making this dish with panko and it was absolutely delicious. Panko produces a lighter, flakier and crunchier consistency on the outside, while traditional bread crumbs can be a bit drier and produce more of a crust. I usually switch back and forth between traditional bread crumbs and panko. Do whatever suits your mood and taste buds the best. If you want something crispier, go with panko. If you want more of a crust coating, then stick with the traditional bread crumbs.
When I make this for only myself, the recipe is just enough to last me for 2 days. If you are making this fish for your family or more than just yourself, feel free to double or triple the recipe. It translates to bigger quantities just fine.
In all, enjoy, the most important step is to make sure you do not overcook the fish. Remember, keep it crunchy on the outside and nice and flaky on the inside. Enjoy your Baked Tilapia and any sides you choose to pair with it!