Tilapia has a reputation like few other fish, both popular and controversial. Mild and flaky, its value and versatility has it at the top of many of our fish-shopping lists — and yet too many of us are enjoying it only in fish tacos or tossed on the grill. Those preparations are awesome, and popular for a reason. But there's so many more ways we can be enjoying tilapia.
When sourcing tilapia or any farmed fish, make sure it's coming from sources with responsible environmental practices, and produced without antibiotics, pesticides or added growth hormones, advises Whole Foods Market Culinary Content Editor Molly Siegler. "At Whole Foods Market, all farmed fish comes with the Responsibly Farmed seal, which signifies these standards are being met, and audited by third parties," says Siegler.
"Thin pieces of fish can be wrapped in cornhusks, banana leaves, or grape leaves before placing on the grill, or foil can be used for a similar effect," says Siegler.
Another idea? Placing fish on cedar planks when grilling imparts a subtle woodsy flavor. (Try different woods for slightly different flavors!) Soak the plank in water for at least an hour prior to grilling to prevent it from catching on fire. Most fish fillets will cook on a plank, without turning, in about 20 minutes, says Siegler.
Oil fish well with a neutral-flavored oil such as canola to help keep it moist and prevent sticking, and enjoy, says Siegler.
And if you are looking to kick things up a notch, check out these inventive expert spins on cooking with tilapia!