I really do like to eat seafood, I just hate cooking it. I feel like you need to plan so that you can buy the fish fresh and make it that day. It also doesn’t work as well as leftovers, and I rely heavily on leftovers for meals during the week.
In an effort to overcome these challenges, I bought frozen tilapia fillets at Trader Joe’s. I wanted to see if frozen fillets would streamline the process without sacrificing quality. There’s just one catch; you need to defrost the fish in the refrigerator for 24 hours before cooking. So it still requires a little planning, but not a trip to the store.
A note on sustainability: I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t check the label carefully when purchasing this fish. I have the Monterey Bay Seafood Guide right on my phone so there are no excuses. Depending on where tilapia is farmed, it can be rated a Best Choice (US Farmed), Good Alternative (Central/South America Farmed), or Avoid (China/Taiwan Farmed). The fish packaging was already in the dumpster when I sat down to write this post, but I promise I’ll check next time!
The fish was fully defrosted by the time I got home for dinner, and I decided to loosely follow this recipe for Chili-Rubbed Tilapia. It was so quick and so delicious. Tilapia can be a little bland but I loved the spicy flavor. I also sauteed some spinach, and I think this meal was on the table in less than 20 minutes! I am calling this experiment a success.
1 T Chili 3000 (from Penzey’s)
1 t garlic powder
2 tilapia fillets (10-12 oz. total)
2 t olive oil with garlic (such as Garlic Gold)
In a plate, combine chili and garlic powder and spread over the surface of the plate. Gently press the tilapia fillets into the spices. Turn fish over and press the other side. Use your fingers to make sure that the outside of the fish is completely coated.
Heat oil in a frying pan. Place tilapia in pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.