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Old 04-16-2007, 09:50 PM   #1
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Tilapia... Whats Your Opinion?

What does everyone think of Tilapia? I hear a LOT of great things about it, but everytime I have it.... its fair. Nothing special. I dont get it.

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Old 04-16-2007, 10:00 PM   #2
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We eat a lot of tilapia. For one thing, it's relatively inexpensive. It also lends itself well to seasoning. Yes, it is a "bland" fish, but it's not oily and "fishy."

I usually substitute it for fish that is not available here (a lot isn't) or fish that is way too expensive for our budget.

It's a good fish to use as a "canvas" for many seafood recipes.
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Old 04-16-2007, 10:03 PM   #3
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It's a versatile fish, in that it doesn't really have a ton of flavor on its own, so it plays well with any sauce or side you could think of pairing it with. But yeah, what you said is true. It doesn't really have any character of its own and while it's not a bad fish, it's very unexciting. I think it's popular because it's a lean and pretty cheap white fish, hard to mess it up pairing it with "wrong" flavors.
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Old 04-16-2007, 10:34 PM   #4
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What did you expect it to taste like?

Tilapia is a fine-textured fresh water fish that is low-fat and although it grows in the wild - most sources these days are "farm raised" (aquaculture). Thus it is a sustainable renewable resource ... like farm raised trout and catfish - which don't taste the same as their "wild" relatives since they are eating a formulated diet and not foraging on aquatic plants like they would in their natural habitat. It's most suitable for baking, broiling, grilling and steaming - although it can be poached or breaded and fried if you treat it gingerly because it can break up quite easily.

As Katie and College Cook have noted - due to it's lack of a strong flavor it can be used in a bunch of ways!
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Old 04-16-2007, 10:53 PM   #5
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I don't care for tilapia at all. But then I'm not a big fan of fresh-water fish in general, having been brought up on the north shore of Long Island & used to eating lots of salt-water fish.

Plus, I'm also not a fan of most farmed fish. After seeing both tilapia & trout swimming around in murky water - murky from their own feces & stale food, it's turned me off eating both. I also don't eat farmed salmon. Wild only here. However, I will purchase catfish if I know the farm they've come from - "Delta" is reliably tasty, & from what I've read about them, they do things environmentally right.

Sorry - but until aquaculture gets their act together, many of their products are not for me right now, thank you.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:01 PM   #6
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Breezy is right about farmed fish in general. Living deep in the midwest all my life I've never been exposed to really good seafood, but even I notice a marked difference b/w farm-raised and wild fishes. I'm sure that there is a difference b/w farmed and wild tilapia as well, but having never even seen wild tilapia, I'd couldn't tell you for sure.
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:53 AM   #7
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:32 AM   #8
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My Thoughts on Tilapia mirror what everyone else has said.
I find the fish bland, tatseless almost. It "marry's" well with any seasonings, sauces etc. and lends itself to almost any method of cooking. My favorite method of cookig is baked/broiled and not over cooked. It's fair on the grill and in the fry pan. It's inexpensive making it a good subsitute fish in some recipes. I beleive it's popularity is driven by price mostly, followed closely by it's flavor (or lack thereof) for people who do not favor a "fishy" taste.

Miss Breezy..Delta Pride is an excellent Mississippi Farmed Raised Catfish label. A couple of others are Simmons and Country Select.

Enjoy!
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:15 AM   #9
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I saw Robin Miller cooking tilapia the other day. She painted the fillets with a mixture of honey and mustard, dredged them in crushed cashews, and pan fried them.
That ought to give it a little flavor.
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:23 AM   #10
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I prefer fish that have a stronger flavor. Salmon, swordfish, bluefish, etc. I don't enjoy cooking a fish with little flavor as a vehicle for seasonings and sauces.
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Old 04-17-2007, 03:28 PM   #11
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I think it has a catfish sort of quality. I agree with all that has been said about it here, but for as far as bland fish goes, I like Orange Roughy better.
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:39 PM   #12
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ditto, ditto, and ditto: non-oily, non-fishy fish, therefore versatile in everything. how about next time, instead of cooking it with all the sauces and taking advantage of it's mere non-offensiveness, why not try it in a very subtle method of cooking, where the delicate flavor gets to shine through? say, wrap in parchment paper with just a bit of sea salt, pepper, sliver of lemon or sprig of thyme, and tiny splash of dry (unoaked!) white wine.

i like tilapia very much for when i'm serving friends that aren't the crazy seafood junkies that i am, and of course the price can't be beat. but i love tilapia when it gets to just be what it is.
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Old 04-17-2007, 05:37 PM   #13
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flat dry delicate fish. you can do anything to it, it takes all flavors well be it lemon garlic, bbq rub, curry, or terriaki. Treat it delicately as it falls apart easily. But if you place foil on the grill, you can even do it outdoors and pick up some smoke flavor. Does not hold up in stew or chowder.

as a quick easy pan fry fish with bright flavors, it is really good. No it is not Sushi grade Tuna.
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Old 04-17-2007, 06:49 PM   #14
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I agree with everyone else also, especially it is is inexpensive. And it absorbs almost any flavor... kinda like tofu- prepare it well, and it is brilliant. I like it quick-marinated in liquid smoke, or blackened seasoning, then grilled. Cooks very fast. It is also widely used in fish tacos. It is convenience food to us when I want to cook something quick. Very versatile.

Hope you find some way to prepare it that you like!
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Old 04-17-2007, 08:31 PM   #15
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As fireweaver said, a good way to bring out the natural flavor of tilapia is to cook it in parchment, a popular method for delicate fish that are very mild. To be honest though, I don't really like the natural flavor as it stands on its own. It's just way too mild for me.
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Old 04-18-2007, 04:55 AM   #16
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Oh wow!! Thanks for all the feedback!
And I'll try the parchment method.
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:41 PM   #17
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And tilapia gets very high marks as a clean farmed fish. It takes well to dishes that use snapper, for example. I think it is quite delicious--better than most very delicate white fleshed fish because it is firmer. NYTimes has a great recipe today using tilapia and rhubarb as a stir fry. Can't get much more innovative than that.
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:36 AM   #18
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Tilapia is the perfect fish for people who don't like fish.
I am a big tilapia fan!
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:18 PM   #19
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I prefer the wild to farm variety. I think the farmed tastes a little bland and muddy.
The wild has a slight fishyness but it is really enhanced by blackening or grilling.
Like Grilllingfool states, it is a great fish for those who typically do not like fish.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:47 AM   #20
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I'm in the "don't care for it" crowd. But then, I also don't care for catfish or trout (except for the smoked variety). I have given it a few chances but it just isn't for me.
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