Fake-Fried Tilapia (Baked)
When I first started cooking, I had to google “how to boil an egg.” Yes, that bad. So, for those of us unskilled in the art, special consideration is given in the following recipe. I apologize to those persons who stumble upon this article for the elementary nature of its instruction; it’s an article meant for the younger me – the non-chef who’d like, every once and a while, to cook something edible.
Tilapia is one of the easiest fish to prepare. It’s not a “fishy” fish, so it can be widely enjoyed by even those persons who “don’t like fish,” which just so happens to include me. Fried is wonderful, but fake-fried is just as tasty yet significantly healthier. Bake-fried is becoming a popular way for people to eat their favorite fried food without all the calories and fat. The batter in this recipe mimicks the fried taste and texture successfully. The following is for two, but simply double or triple the recipe for families.
2-3 Tilapia filets
1 egg white, beaten
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
A pinch of teaspoon white pepper, optional
½ cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning OR your favorite all-purpose seasoning
Preheat oven to 450F, and spray a baking sheet with cooking oil. For easy clean-up, use foil. Don’t forgo the oil, though, or the batter will stick to the pan. Mix flour, salt and pepper in one bowl. In another bowl, mix cornmeal and seasoning. Dip fish into egg, then flour mixture, then egg again, then cornmeal mixture and place onto the pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes, turning once if necessary. The batter will begin to brown, and the fish will be white and flakey when fully cooked.
Be careful with the white pepper if you choose to use it, just a little goes a very long way. That’s where the spice-kick comes from in this recipe. For children, I’d suggest omitting white pepper altogether. It’s important to keep an eye on the fish and not overcook it.