Baked Tilapia Recipe and How to Cook a Whole Fish – Eating Richly
will guide you through how to cook a whole fish with whole tilapia easily and affordably
I can regularly find huge bags of whole frozen tilapia for only $12. Fish are cleaned and climbed, they just need to be cooked.
I think cooking a whole fish is a great way to save money on seafood, but people are often intimidated by it. If you fall into that group of people, don’t worry. This baked tilapia recipe will guide you through how to cook a whole fish step by step!
HOW I LEARNED TO COOK WHOLE FISH
img src=”https://eatingrichly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/raw-whole-tilapia-800×800.jpg” alt=”Holding raw whole tilapia” />
Years ago, when Eric and I were in Senegal (Africa), we had several huge covered bowls brought to our group for lunch. You should have seen some of our teammates jump back when they took off their covers and saw several whole fish on top of rice and vegetables.
Most of our group decided to eat granola bars for lunch that day, but Eric and I circled around a bowl with our African teammates and dug in! The tilapia was incredibly delicious and full of flavor.
am so glad to be an adventurous eater, because if I had rejected those fish I would have missed a valuable cooking lesson.
Whole fish have all their fat, with skin to retain fat. Fish fat is lean, heart-healthy, and has a lot of flavor. By keeping the fat in the fish while cooking, you get juicy, tasty, and delicious fish.
Here’s a similar technique for cooking whole salmon.
HOW TO BAKE WHOLE TILAPIA
img src=”https://eatingrichly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/stuffed-tilapia-800×533.jpg” alt=”Whole tilapia stuffed” />
- Rinse each tilapia whole and dry very dry. Make two cuts in the skin on each side of the fish.
- Whisk the cider vinegar, mustard and dill in a medium bowl.
- Place two cloves of garlic and a sprig of parsley in the cavity of each fish.
- Place the fish in the bowl and turn over to cover the vinegar mixture.
- Use two pieces of aluminum foil to form two sections in a baking dish. Rub the aluminum foil with olive oil.
- Place a fish on each section and sprinkle the remaining vinegar mixture on the fish cavity and the bars on top of the fish.
- Bake 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees F until the fish is easily shelled with a fork (the thickest part of the fish should be at 145 degrees).
- first step to cooking a whole fish, whether you freeze your fish like me or fresh out of a tank, is to make sure your tilapia is scaled and clean. Ask the fishmonger (seafood person) if you are not sure.
- If your fish is fresh, refrigerate it when you get home and cook the tilapia that night.
- If your tilapia is frozen, place it in a sealed gallon bag and refrigerate overnight to thaw. You can also place it in a cold water sink (in the sealed bag) and change the water every half hour until the fish thaws. You can tell that your tilapia thaws when folded and twisted easily.
- I like to use vinegar for whole fish because, especially with strong-tasting fish, it can help soften any fishy flavor. It seems to me that children are more likely to eat it that way.
- Put each fish in its own small tinfoil jar on the baking sheet, so that the marinade and juices remain with the fish.
- Always rub olive oil on the aluminum foil to prevent the fish from sticking.
- Another baked tilapia tip is to put a couple of cuts on the skin of the fish on both sides before baking. This helps prevent the skin from tearing during the cooking process, and also allows the marinade to seep into the meat of the fish.
- Fill the fish cavity with aromatics such as garlic and fresh parsley to add great flavor.
HOW LONG IS TILAPIA BAKED?
Bake tilapia for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees if you cook a whole fish. Steaks will need less time. You should bake the tilapia until the meat is easily shelled with a fork. The internal temperature in the meat of baked tilapia should be 145 degrees F.
HOW TO SERVE WHOLE FISH
Once your tilapia
is cooked, you can serve one per person, divide it between two people or (if it’s a big fish) your whole family. When I make
whole tilapia, I would
give my very hungry exchange students each of theirs, while Eric and I would split one
<img src="https://eatingrichly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/baked-whole-tilapia-800×1200.jpg" alt="Whole
baked tilapia” />
Our student Asher was impressed the first time I served whole tilapia baked. I asked, “Don’t you eat only whole fish in China?”
“Yes. But there is only one fish for all of us. In America I get my OWN fish!” Their enthusiasm was contagious and baked tilapia became one of our favorite foods to serve our students.
IS TILAPIA BAD FOR YOU?
There are many stories about the dangers of tilapia, or saying that bacon is better for you than tilapia. Tilapia is typically a fish farmed in ponds. Some tilapia from China have been found to have been fed manure instead of appropriate fish feed. But that doesn’t mean all tilapia are unsafe. If you’re concerned, look for U.S.-raised tilapia.
BAKED TILAPIA SUPPLIES
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PIN TO STORE BAKED TILAPIA
img src=”https://eatingrichly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/baked-whole-tilapia-pin.jpg” alt=”Baked tilapia recipe” />
MORE TILAPIA RECIPES: BEST
- : 15 MINUTES TILAPIA PARMESAN TILAPIA
- TILAPIA WITH TROPICAL
- WRAPPED IN BACON