Can we talk fish for a moment? Tilapia sure have been getting a bad reputation for a while now. These fish are generally farm-raised, cheap to bring to market and best of all don’t have that strong “fishy” taste that generally turns people off. Cheap and tasty – that’s what makes Tilapia so popular. Yet we hear warnings. So are Tilapia bad for us?
Yes, and no. Just as any food, it is important to know where your fish comes from. I like Rocky and Rosie Chickens better than Foster Farms. Why? Because of their farming practices. While that costs me more pound for pound in price of the birds, the meat is better, it tastes more like – well chicken.
The same can be said for Tilapia. Some farming practices are safer than others. Look for fish that has been farm-raised in Canada, Ecuador, the Netherlands, Peru or the United States. There are stricter regulations in these countries, which lower the chances of eating contaminated fish. Notice that I say lower, not eliminate the chance of contamination. We don’t live in a perfect world. Better still, eating wild-caught fish of any kind is even better to avoid chemicals used in some fish farms. Then all you need worry about are the polutants in the oceans. Now there’s an unsettling thought.
The other reason Tilapia gets a bad rap is the Omega Fatty Acids. Omega-3s are good. Omega-6s not so good. Unfortunately, Tilapia is higher in the Omega-6 variety. Solution? Don’t eat it every day.
I’m all in favor of healthy living. The key here is “living”, which should include indulging within limits. I love Chocolate. Despite being a diabetic, I still enjoy a bite of chocolate every now and again. I just don’t eat a pound of chocolate bars every day. That would be bad, very very bad. Eating fried Tilapia every day is equally bad. However; shopping smart and cooking smart makes this a delicious piece of fish.
Seasoned Tilapia Fish Fry
2 lbs Tilapia Fillets
1 tablespoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Turmeric
1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
Kosher Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
Lay fish on a cutting board and pat dry. Sprinkle with Cumin, a pinch of Turmeric and Smoked Paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add fish to the pan, cover and cook for about 2 1/2 minutes. Uncover, flip, cover and continue to cook another 2 minutes or until cooked through and nicely golden.
To check for doneness, cut fish in the thickest part of the filet. If cooked through, the flesh will be white and flaky. If still pink or translucent, continue to cook another minute or 2, turning as necessary to prevent burning.