As I sit here typing, I wonder why on earth I haven’t yet shared this Panko-Crusted Tilapia since it is one of my absolute favorite fish recipes.
This Panko-Crusted Tilapia is super tasty. It has a combination of fresh lemon, garlic, ginger and other fragrant spices, including paprika and crushed red pepper, that also gives it some heat. Not a lot of heat — just enough so that Dustin eats it without even saying it’s spicy. Perfect.
Haven’t ever heard of Panko Breadcrumbs? Neither had I until a few years ago. Panko Breadcrumbs are the Japanese version of what we usually consider regular breadcrumbs. Panko holds up a lot better than regular breadcrumbs, which makes the final result much more crunchy than with regular breadcrumbs. You can find them in the baking, ethnic and/or breadcrumb section at most stores. They are pretty much awesome.
I’ve also used this recipe with Red Snapper and Sea Bass. All are yummy, but Tilapia tends to hold up to baking the best, if you care about presentation. For photos. Which is kinda what I do.
And, of course, as with all fish, the fresher the better.
[Random educational side note: I learned from Alton Brown many moons ago that the fish and seafood section at your local market should smell like the ocean, not like fish. If it doesn't, I'd recommend going elsewhere.]
I like to pair Panko-Crusted Tilapia with my Lemon Snap Peas. Such a delicious flavor and texture combination. I hope you try it out sometime. Soon.
makes 2 servings
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
2 Tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup unseasoned Panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
optional: thinly sliced lemons for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium-sized shallow dish, combine melted butter, garlic powder and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Set aside.
In another medium-sized shallow dish, combine Panko breadcrumbs and the rest of the dry seasonings. Mix well.
Gently coat each filet with the butter mixture and then with the Panko mixture, taking care to coat with as much Panko coating as possible.
Heat 1/2 tbsp. olive oil over high heat in a non-stick, oven-safe skillet. Once oil and pan are hot, add the Panko-coated fillets. Pour the remaining lemon-butter mixture over and around the fish and carefully pat as much of the remaining Panko coating on the fish as possible. Throw in a few thinly sliced lemons to brown as well (if you wish, for garnish and added lemon flavor). Heat on high until the bottom side turns golden brown and the butter starts to brown, about 2-4 minutes. Careful not to burn the butter or the fish.
Once the bottom side is golden brown, carefully flip the fillets over and place the skillet into the oven. Bake until the fish breaks apart easily with the twist of a fork, about 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of the fillets. Careful not to overcook at this point.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Garnish with a slice of lemon, if you’d like. I do.