Fried Tilapia has a crispy golden brown crust on the outside and a juicy flaky inside. A super easy fried fish recipe that you can make in less than 15 minutes because you want to eat something fast but still delicious.
Fried Tilapia seems to be very popular in the spring and summer months but you can enjoy delicious fried fish any time of the year.
Fried tilapia is made from a white fish called tilapia that mainly lives in freshwaters. It is flaky, firm and has a mild flavor. It is perfect for this fried fish recipe. It is very simple to make, you just have to add some seasonings, flour, pass through your batter and fry until you get the perfect fried tilapia. In some Spanish speaking countries it is called tilapia frita but in others it is called mojarra frita but you can call it your favorite fried fish recipe.
How do you make fish taste better
The best thing you can do to make fish taste better is to soak it in lemon juice for at least five minutes. The lemon juice makes the fish firmer and less crumbly when cooking. The best part is that it helps to neutralize the fishy smell and the muddy taste some fish can have. Another thing to make fish taste better is to accompany it with a nice acidic sauce like this garlic cilantro sauce.
Do you season fish before frying
Yes, it is good to season your fish before frying because some of that seasoning will penetrate the fish and enhance the delicious fish flavor. Not only should you season your fish before frying but you should also season your flour and batter. It is very important to season all layers to maximize your flavors in your fish.
Which flour is best for coating fish
To give your fish a flour coating, all purpose flour is perfect. As for the batter the best you can use is making a mix of flours. To get a very crispy outside you should use all purpose flour and cornstarch. Another great mix is all purpose flour and rice flour. Both of them with a little bit of baking powder added because this breaks down the proteins helping you to get a nice golden brown crust.
How to fry tilapia without sticking to your pan
The secret to frying fish without sticking to your pan is in the temperature. The first thing you should do is heat your pan. Then add your oil and bring it to a high temperature. Once your oil is hot, add your fish. You can test this by sprinkling a little flour in your oil. If it is hot enough you will see the flour bubble. Another major reason for your fish sticking to your pan is that you’re moving it around too fast. Before moving it around you should let the fish form a crust at least for 1 minute.
What to serve with?
Hands down the best way to serve Fried Tilapia or any fried fish is with french fries and a couple of lemon wedges. But in many Latin American and Caribbean countries we serve it next to tostones or arañitas and mayo ketchup sauce. This will pair really well with a passion fruit mojito because of its acidity. Or pair it with a creamy mashed potato for a tasty dinner night.
How to store?
You can store fish in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. You can also store in your freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat I never use the microwave because it tends to leave a fishy smell around the kitchen. The best way for you to reheat fried tilapia is to re-fry it. Heat your oil until it is nice and hot and fry for about 1 minute on each side. You can also use your oven. Set the oven to 350 degrees and add your tilapia for 10 minutes.
How to make Fried Tilapia
1. Marinate your tilapia with half of a lemon. This is an essential step to get a great acidic taste in your fish.
2. For this recipe you will use a little bit of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Just enough to enhance the flavors, not mask them.
3. Now in a large dish add your flour and season because we want every layer to have a nice flavor.
4. Flour your tilapia. The reason for flouring your fish is to make sure your wet batter sticks to it.
5. Make and season your batter but make sure not to over mix. Just mix enough to incorporate the wet and dry ingredients. Your club soda must be cold because this will make a crispy crust.
6. Now is the time for frying. How long you fry fish depends on the thickness of the fish but usually is around 2-5 minutes per side. Since tilapia usually comes thin, with 2 and ½ minutes per each side is all you need.
Tilapia- This recipe calls for 1 pound of tilapia. You can buy fresh or frozen.
Lemon- I used lemon because they tend to be sweeter but if what you have is lime then you can use them.
Seasonings- This recipe calls for salt, pepper and garlic powder. If you like some spice you can add some cayenne pepper or chili powder. You can also add ½ of a teaspoon of some sazon to enhance flavor and color.
Flour- You need all purpose flour and cornstarch but you can substitute the cornstarch for rice flour.
Cornstarch- The reason to use cornstarch is to give the tilapia a very crunchy outside that you won’t get with all purpose flour alone.
Baking Powder- Helps to make batter fluffy.
Club Soda- The club soda is used to incorporate bubbles into your batter. You can use the same amount of beer and will not only incorporate bubbles into your mix but it will also add some flavor.
Oil- I used vegetable oil.
- 1 pound tilapia
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1-2 cups oil for frying
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces club soda cold
- Take half of a lemon and squeeze it over your tilapia. Let it rest for about 5 minutes. Remove any excess liquid. Now add your salt, black pepper and garlic powder and mix.
- In a medium bowl add 1/2 cup of flour and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix. Dust your tilapia with the flour. Give it a little shake to make sure to remove any excess flour.
- In a medium bowl add flour, cornstarch, baking powder salt and club soda. Stir until there are no lumps and make sure not to overmix. Make sure your club soda is cold as this will aid with getting a nice crispy outside.
- Take a large pan and set it over medium-high heat. Add your oil. Once your oil is hot dip your tilapia into your batter. Give it a good shake to remove any excess batter and put it in your oil. Fry for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Fry in batches. Serve immediately and enjoy.
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