Chicken of the Sea (not tuna)

I don’t recall ever hearing of tilapia until about 15 years ago. Growing up there was tuna, salmon, cod, haddock, and quite a few others, but I don’t recall ever hearing about tilapia. Once I heard of it, it was suddenly everywhere. Just like Chilean Sea Bass (not Argentinian Sea Bass mind you), it is suddenly upon our awareness. When I was a kid, tuna was the “chicken of the sea”. Now, Wikipedia refers to Tilapia as such.

Tilapia is such an easy fish to cook with. It does not have a strong flavor of its own, so it is good to mix with other flavors. This combination of pecans and butter work really well.

This is another case where the recipe specifies my side dishes (green beans and wild rice). They work, so I followed it, but I still found it a bit strange. How come it didn’t include my wine that I was drinking?

Mixing up the butter and pecans.

A quick fry to the fish.


Tilapia With Pecan Brown Butter

Prep Time: 20m | Cook Time: 20m | Makes: 4


  • 1 cup wild and long-grain rice blend
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 4 6-ounce tilapia fillets, halved lengthwise


1. Cook the rice according to the package directions. Steam the green beans until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the pecans and cook, stirring, until the butter is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Keep warm.

3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the tilapia with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. In 2 batches, cook until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

4. Drizzle the tilapia with the sauce and serve with the rice, green beans, and lemon wedges.

Nutritional Info:

Calories 533 Fat 24g Sat Fat 9g Cholesterol 103mg Sodium 441mg Protein 40g Carbohydrate 44g Sugar 3g Fiber 8g Iron 3mg Calcium 72mg


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Fried, kosher, Low Carb, Recipes, Seafood

Author:The Ranting Chef

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3 Comments on “Chicken of the Sea (not tuna)”

  1. May 9, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    I do like this. I have used other types of nuts (such as almonds) in more of a coating manner i.e. crush them up and use some egg and coat and fry. Can top with various sauces or such i.e. ive done a tilapia coated with a almond-wasabi blend. Just make a soy-ginger based sauce. The pecans in this sense do intrigue me. Dish looks very good.


  2. May 9, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    i love cooking tilapia and you’re right about it not having strong flavor.. here in my country it’s almost an everyday food because they are cheap and easy to cook.. we love it deep fried with just salt and pepper to taste and for the dipping, the favorite would be soy sauce with calamansi, or even ketchup.. the possibilities are endless.. my son loves the sweet and sour dip.. another popular way to cook it is either grilling the whole fish on charcoal or oven bake it with chopped onion, tomatoes stuffing, salt and pepper to taste and a drizzle of olive oil, and sliced lemon on top then wrapping it in foil and put in the oven.. again, you could make your own stuffing..


  3. Pinay Flying High
    May 9, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    I love tilapia! It’s like the most common fish in the Philippines and I usually get excited whenever my mom cooks it for lunch. Crispy, fried is my most favorite when it comes to cooking it. 🙂


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