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Tilapia is one of the juiciest, most versatile fish you can cook, and it is quite economical too. If you want to learn how to cook tilapia fish, there are various cooking methods you can try, including pan frying, baking, broiling, or grilling.
Whether you want to know how long to cook tilapia fish on the grill, how to add flavor to this delicious fish or something else about tilapia cooking, read on for some handy tips.
You can buy frozen tilapia or fresh filets. Both are bone-free. Thaw frozen tilapia in the refrigerator overnight or in a basin of cold water half an hour before cooking it.
If you want to pan fry this fish, you can either marinate it, add a coating to the filets or just cook it as it is.
Dip the fish in beaten egg and then breadcrumbs or flaxseed meal for a crunchy coating or let it soak for half an hour (no longer!) in your favorite fish marinade recipe if you prefer. Alternatively tilapia is tasty enough to cook with just a little salt and pepper added to it first. Melt some butter in a skillet or use olive oil if that is what you prefer. When the butter or oil is hot, add the fish filets. You can sprinkle some lemon or lime juice over the tilapia if you like.
Tilapia will take three to five minutes per side, depending on how thick the filets are. Watch it while it cooks and you will see when it is done. After it's been cooking for a few minutes, flip it over using a metal spatula. Thin filets are quite delicate and can snap in half if you are not careful when flipping them.
Grilling is another good option for tilapia fish. Preheat the grill to medium or it has a temperature setting, else heat up the coals and then them die down a bit.
Wrap your tilapia filets in aluminum foil, including lemon or lime juice if you like, as well as your favorite seasonings. You can also add sliced mushrooms, onion, garlic, or bell peppers to the aluminum foil packets. These will steam as the fish cooks, becoming tender.
Loosely seal the foil packages and grill the fish for about ten minutes. When the tilapia is opaque and flaky, it is ready to serve. Be careful when you open the foil packages, in case hot steam comes out. The cooking time might be more or less, depending on the thickness of the filets and the heat of your grill.
If you prefer to cook your fish directly over the heat, without the aluminum foil, that is also possible. The cooking time will be less if you are grilling the tilapia in this way. Depending on the thickness of the filets, expect them to take three to four minutes per side on the grill. Thin filets break up really easily so use the foil (or a grilling basket) if your filets are thinner than half an inch.
Baking is another good cooking method for tilapia and, like with grilling, you can choose whether to bake the fish as it is or whether to wrap it in foil. Season the fish however you like and then bake the filets at 350 degrees F for about fourteen minutes, or until the tilapia is cooked through.