Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
Serving Size: 2 people
Fried tilapia is a very common Filipino dish that we probably have all had on our dinner tables at one time or another. Here is a new way to prepare it that doesn’t require much added investment in time or cost. The tilapia is flavored in a smoky, Southwestern crispy coating and is served with a fresh tomato salad. The salad, which is actually very much like our ensaladang kamatis, complements the spices here perfectly. You can add chili powder if you’d like your tilapia spicy, although it is just as good without.
- 2 pieces tilapia, scaled and gutted
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- vegetable oil for frying
- 4-5 native tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 2 sprigs cilantro (wansoy), leaves picked and chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: a couple of dashes cayenne, chili pepper, or chili flakes if you want it spicy
- On a flat plate or dish mix the flour, cumin, paprika (and chili, if using) thoroughly. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix the chopped tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper, mix again and set aside.
- Pat the tilapia dry with paper towels. Cut two diagonal slits on each side of the fish. Season the tilapia with salt and pepper making sure to rub in the seasoning on both sides, inside the slits, and inside the cavity.
- Dredge the seasoned tilapia in the flour mixture until fully coated. Tap off excess flour mix.
- Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan in a thin layer. When the oil is hot, add the tilapia. Cook until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes, and then flip to the other side. Cook the remaining side until likewise golden brown and crisp around the edges, and cooked through.
- Serve the tilapia with the salsa fresca.