I almost always have tilapia in the freezer. It’s cheap, healthy, thaws and cooks quickly, and it’s hard to mess up. Tilapia also ranks highly on the Sustainable Seafood Watch list, as long as it’s not farmed in Taiwan. Basically, it’s the perfect fish.
However, it can also be kind of bland if you don’t load it up with seasoning and spices. This citrus tilapia recipe is a nice break from my go-to chili lime seasoning, as the recipe involves making a quick citrus glaze in the same pan you used to cook the tilapia. This whole dish came together in literally 10 minutes (it took me a little longer because I was taking pictures as I went, but if I subtract the picture-taking-time out then it was probably even less than 10 minutes).
[Side bar: how cute is that mini-grater? It’s about the size of my thumb, and works great for garlic and ginger. I first eyed it when Nate and I were grocery shopping shortly after moving to Virginia, back before I got a job. I spied the grater and immediately begged Nate to get it, but he said no and that I could buy as many mini-graters as I wanted once I was gainfully employed. Eventually, I got a job and one of the first things I did was go to the grocery store and by myself a cute, tiny mini-grater.]
Moving away from kitchen gadgets and back to dinner… I dredged the tilapia in some flour and pan-fried it until it was browned on each side. I prepared the glaze ingredients while the fish was cooking, took the fish out of the pan, put the glaze in, let it cook for a minute and I was done. And the fish turned out great! I think I may have used a little too much lemon and not enough orange juice (and you can always add more ginger, but that’s just me), as it was bit sour. Tilapia can be boring, but the glaze gave it a bright flavor and was easy enough for a quick weeknight dinner!
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound tilapia fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice or high-quality store-bought orange juice
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Add the orange juice, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and the ginger to the skillet. Increase the heat and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Taste and add lemon zest or more lemon juice if necessary. Return the fish to the skillet, coat with sauce, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through.