Tilapia is a very useful ingredient for cooking, and it is easy to cook with. It takes on different flavours well, and manageable fillets can be carved out from the large fish. Tilapia is a good source of protein, but low in fat and calories.
Tilapia with spinach and tomatoes
½ cup tomatoes (halved)
¼ tsp chilli flakes
1 (300 grams) Tilapia filet
3 cups spinach (coarsely chopped)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olives (sliced)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
In a frying pan bring ¼ cup of water to a boil. Lower heat to medium, add the tomatoes and chilli flakes, then top with tilapia. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add spinach, cover and cook for another 2 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Transfer the tilapia and spinach to a plate (leave the frying pan as is).
(Off heat) in the same frying pan, add butter, lemon juice and olives. Swirl until the butter has melted, then season with salt and pepper. Serve by plating the Tilapia over the spinach and the tomatoes, then drizzle with sauce.
Tilapia with rice and cheese
1 cup small grain (chini gura) rice
2½ tsp olive oil
½ kg (divided into 8 pieces) skinless Tilapia fillets
¾ tsp paprika
1 cup cucumber (finely diced)
⅓ cup parsley or celery (chopped)
⅓ cup feta cheese
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Cook the rice and allow to cool. Pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with paprika. In a large pan, heat 1½ teaspoon olive oil. Over medium heat, cook the fillets for about 4 minutes, until opaque throughout, flipping halfway through.
Mix the cucumber, parsley/celery, feta cheese, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil into the rice. Season with salt and pepper. Divide rice among four plates, and top each with two pieces of the tilapia.
Lemon-mustard fish cakes
Salty crackers (enough to make 1½ cups of crumbs)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 kg Tilapia fillets (skinless)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup light mayonnaise
½ cup fresh parsley (chopped)
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh mustard paste (ground from seeds)
Tartar sauce to serve
Make 1½ cups cracker crumbs by pulsing salty crackers in blender till coarse crumbs are formed. Preheat oven to 200 C. Grease two baking sheets with some oil. Place fillets on the baking sheets and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes until cooked through. Let cool completely, pat dry with paper towels, then flake fish into small pieces with a fork.
In a bowl, combine eggs, mayonnaise, parsley, lemon juice, and mustard. Fold in the fish and ½ cup cracker crumbs. Season with salt and pepper.
Place remaining 1 cup crumbs on a plate. Form 16 fish cakes and gently cover them in crumbs, pressing down lightly to help them stick.
Heat 1½ tablespoon oil in a large pan. Over medium heat, cook 8 cakes for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Repeat with remaining oil and fish cakes.
Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve with tartar sauce.
Tilapia yoghurt curry
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ kg (cut into small pieces) Tilapia fillets
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tbsp flour
5 tbsp oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 (finely chopped) onion
1 tbsp (finely chopped) garlic
1 tbsp curry powder
1¼ cup cream
Salt to taste
2 tbsp (chopped) fresh coriander
2 or 3 (halved) green chilli
Mix together the turmeric, black pepper, red chilli powder, and cumin seeds. Coat the mixture over the tilapia pieces. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. In a blender, combine the yoghurt and flour and set aside. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a pan.
Add the mustard seeds, and cook until they are sputtering and fragrant. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and curry powder and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the cream, yoghurt mixture, and salt, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce is thick. In a pan, heat the remaining oil. Fry the seasoned fish over medium heat until crisp on both sides. Add the yoghurt mixture and green chilli to the fried fish and simmer for about 5 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Serve hot, garnished with fresh copped coriander.