Take On Tilapia

by in Healthy Recipes, January 20, 2009
Paula's Grilled Tilapia
Paula's Grilled Tilapia

Tilapia has gained popularity over the past 20 years. Once a fish that no one had heard of, now it’s the seafood everyone wants to try. It is easy to see why – tilapia is affordable, easy to prepare and has a mild flavor that appeals to those who may not love fish. You might say it’s the perfect “starter fish.”

Types to buy:
Since it is almost completely farm-raised, tilapia is available year-round. Unlike many other farm-raised fish, tilapia is ecologically sustainable so you can feel good about buying it. The Monterey Bay Aquarium group’s Seafood Watch, which helps consumers buy eco-friendly seafood, advises avoiding tilapia from China and Taiwan because they may be raised in polluted waters. They label tilapia raised in the United States as the “best choice” while tilapia from Ecuador, Brazil, Honduras and Costa Rice are “good alternatives.”

You can find tilapia fresh or frozen at most fish markets and grocery stores. When buying, choose pieces that are firm, brightly colored and odorless (a fishy smell means it isn’t fresh). Cook that fish right away — within 24 to 48 hours of purchase.

Other benefits:
Tilapia is low in fat and high in protein. It is extremely mild and tastes good with just about anything. Grill it up for fish tacos or steam it with ginger and coconut milk. I love to prepare this firm, white fish with garlic and citrus or toss it into a warm pot of creamy chowder.

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Comments (10)

  1. sharon krukewitt says:

    I have read that Tilapia is full of Omega 6. Is this true?

  2. Toby Amidor says:

    Hi Sharon,
    A 3-ounce piece of tilapia contains about 176 milligrams of omega-6 fats. It also contains about 185 milligrams of the omega-3 fats.

  3. Robin says:

    How is this comparative to recommended/allowable levels?

  4. Toby Amidor says:

    Guidelines set forth for omega-6 fats (also called linoleic acids) for female over 18 years is between 11-12 grams per day and males over 18 years is between 14-17 grams per day. Recommendations for omega-3 fats (also called alpha linolenic acids) is 1.1 grams per day for women over 18 years and 1.6 grams per day for men over 18 years. So consuming tilapia in moderation (amounts I gave you before were in milligrams) will not send your omega-6 amounts through the roof.

  5. Carole says:

    I love tilapia. I try to eat it at least twice a month if not more. i don’t mess with recipes, it’s just too good dipped in a little corn meal mixed with flour…soooo gooood, and sooo goood for me.

  6. SANDY says:


  7. I have been told that farm raised talapia (which are most) are raised in tanks below bass and eat the bass waste. UGH! I haven’t been able to eat Talapia since!

  8. Joy says:

    I always buy my Tilapia at asian grocery stores. They sell it alive. They can clean it and deep fry it for you for free. When lightly salted, it is very crunchy. I serve it with salsa – tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lemon. Yummy!

  9. Gabby says:

    I have found the easiest and a very tasty way to prepare tilapia is to melt a tablespoon of orange marmalade in a non-stick pan and place the tilapia in the skillet, cooking until tender.

  10. Crewsor says:

    I saw the same thing and haven't eaten Tilapia since.

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