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Old 10-12-2008, 12:57 PM   #1
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How to cook whole tilapia

Hi,

I was near a fish market today and brought 2 whole tilapia.

They're about 1 1/2lbs each and have the heads and tails on but they've been scaled and cleaned.

Any ideas on how to cook them?

I quite like spicy fish but it doesn't have to be.

thanks,

Mike

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Old 10-12-2008, 01:25 PM   #2
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you can put a nice spicy rub and pan sear it in some butter and oil

you can do anything with it.
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Old 10-12-2008, 01:30 PM   #3
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Mike the first thing that came to my mind was Cafish Courtbouillon (COO-be-yahn) Not to be confused with the classic French Court-Bouillon. In my area Catfish, and Redfish are two of the most popular fish used...Sometimes Red Snapper...really any fish so I don't see why Tilapia wouldn't work.

Cut the heads & tails off for stock...Cut a filet off one side. From here Google Catfish or Refish Courtbouillon for various recipes, and methods...they are numerous. You can adapt the recipes to the ingredients available to you...

Have Fun & Enjoy!!
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Old 10-12-2008, 01:51 PM   #4
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If you like spicy fish, I would leave the heads & tails on & cook them Asian-style - either wok-fried or steamed with a spicy sauce. That's actually my favorite way to enjoy bass-type whole white-fleshed fish like Tilapia. I don't have any recipe available that isn't copyrighted, but I'm sure their must be hundreds on the internet.
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
If you like spicy fish, I would leave the heads & tails on & cook them Asian-style - either wok-fried or steamed with a spicy sauce. That's actually my favorite way to enjoy bass-type whole white-fleshed fish like Tilapia. I don't have any recipe available that isn't copyrighted, but I'm sure their must be hundreds on the internet.
thanks, but nearly all of them are for filleted fish ..
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
If you like spicy fish, I would leave the heads & tails on & cook them Asian-style - either wok-fried or steamed with a spicy sauce. That's actually my favorite way to enjoy bass-type whole white-fleshed fish like Tilapia. I don't have any recipe available that isn't copyrighted, but I'm sure their must be hundreds on the internet.
thanks,

I'll try that at will look on the web now to see how long to bake them for.
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:21 AM   #7
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thanks for all the replies. I'll cook the fish today and see how they turn out ...
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:04 AM   #8
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thanks, but nearly all of them are for filleted fish ..
Really? Then you must be searching with the wrong wording. Do searches using "Cooking Whole Tilapia", "Cooking Whole Tilapia Asian-Style", & "Cooking Whole Fish". Lots of interesting recipes & suggestions for both Tilapia specifically & cooking whole fish in general.
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:43 AM   #9
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thanks,

I'll try that at will look on the web now to see how long to bake them for.
same as the other basses..not to long, so they are to dry
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
Mike the first thing that came to my mind was Cafish Courtbouillon (COO-be-yahn) Not to be confused with the classic French Court-Bouillon. In my area Catfish, and Redfish are two of the most popular fish used...Sometimes Red Snapper...really any fish so I don't see why Tilapia wouldn't work.
Cut the heads & tails off for stock...Cut a filet off one side. From here Google Catfish or Refish Courtbouillon for various recipes, and methods...they are numerous. You can adapt the recipes to the ingredients available to you...

Have Fun & Enjoy!!
This reference to Courtbouillon was a revelation for me. Thanks Uncle Bob. Reputation points to you.
Chau,
Marty
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:10 AM   #11
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same as the other basses..not to long, so they are to dry
Can they be a bass? They are vegetarian and don't bite or fight like a bass. Their body shape is also more Whiting.
Chau,
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:17 AM   #12
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Actually, Tilapia aren't bass. They're members of the Cichlid family, most members of which are known to us in the U.S. primarily as pet tropical fish (Oscars, Fire-Mouths, Convicts, etc., etc.). In their countries of origin, many of these are considered food fish.
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:10 PM   #13
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Actually, Tilapia aren't bass. They're members of the Cichlid family, most members of which are known to us in the U.S. primarily as pet tropical fish (Oscars, Fire-Mouths, Convicts, etc., etc.). In their countries of origin, many of these are considered food fish.
You are al right, i means: you can cook it as a bass.

www.filleting-fish.com
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:25 PM   #14
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You are al right, i means: you can cook it as a bass.

www.filleting-fish.com
Point well taken. It is a good eating fish. But a bass it ain't.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:31 PM   #15
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kuijt never said they were a bass he just said you cook them the same way you would cook a bass. I just found this site cause i got a couple whole tilapia from the asian market a few days ago. i stuffed the cavity with slices of lime, ginger, onion, minced garlic & chopped up cilantro leaves. I cut 3 slits on each side & put some salt & pepper squeezed a little lime juice over the outside of the fish. I also put lime, ginger, garlic, onion, cilantro around each fish & wrapped each one in a banana leaf & loosely tied the top together. then i grilled them till the banana leaf was browned ~ 15 min. I don't really even like fish ( i just made it for the rest of my family) but even i thought this was really good.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:03 PM   #16
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I had it deep fried in a restaurant once. It wasn't the best way I've ever had talapia, but the look on my companions face when they stuck a whole fish in front of her was priceless!
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:17 PM   #17
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I really like fish like this (pompano, pomfret, etc.) deep fried Asian style. You cut off any fins, leave the head and tail on, slash each side diagonally about an inch between slices and going down to the rib bones (or the fish will distort as it cooks), then dip in flour and deep fry until skin is golden brown and the meat flakes easily, drain oil on paper towels. Then serve with a sauce over. I prefer Thai curry topping although sweet 'n sour (with onions, pineapple and bell pepper) is good too. You could use almost any kind of topping that you like.

I should point out that the skin comes out nice and crispy and you're supposed to eat it. If you don't like the idea of eating the skin then this method of preparation would not be good for you.

Alternatively I'd suggest baking whole fishes. Grilling might be interesting too although I haven't done it.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:48 AM   #18
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I really enjoy barbecueing my whole fishes on a plank these days. We have lots of Sargento Bass and Corvina here in Panamá.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:30 PM   #19
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I really like fish like this (pompano, pomfret, etc.) deep fried Asian style. You cut off any fins, leave the head and tail on, slash each side diagonally about an inch between slices and going down to the rib bones (or the fish will distort as it cooks), then dip in flour and deep fry until skin is golden brown and the meat flakes easily, drain oil on paper towels. Then serve with a sauce over. I prefer Thai curry topping although sweet 'n sour (with onions, pineapple and bell pepper) is good too. You could use almost any kind of topping that you like.

I should point out that the skin comes out nice and crispy and you're supposed to eat it. If you don't like the idea of eating the skin then this method of preparation would not be good for you.

Alternatively I'd suggest baking whole fishes. Grilling might be interesting too although I haven't done it.
I agree that your method is fantastic for fish. Leaving the head on really alters the flavor. I tried a side-by-side test one time and the fish with the head on tasted much better. The fats in the head boil out and into the body, flavoring the meat. The skin is very rich in fish oil also. Very good for you!
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:37 PM   #20
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Oh, absolutely, Timothy: there is a gel in the head and cheecks that just enhances the flavor ot the whole fish.
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