What’s for Dinner? Tilapia (two different ways)

So for dinner today, I was working with tilapia (my absolute favorite fish!)

I didn’t want to fry it like I do usually. I thought about grilling it like I did last time, but I wanted it still to be juicy enough inside (without becoming tough).

I wanted a breaded crust, but I didn’t want to use oil (or anything of that nature) and I also didn’t want too thick of a crust and didn’t want to use egg to coat. I decided to try using those non-stick cooking sprays, but I wasn’t sure how well that would work.

So: I tested the tilapia two different ways using the non-stick cooking spray.

I cut each of the tilapia fillets in half, and marinated all of the fish with the seasonings I wanted. I used salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice. Besides the lemon juice, I use the combination of the aforementioned things in pretty much everything as a base.

Then, I sprayed the skillet with the non-stick cooking spray (just enough to coat) on medium heat.

Method one: I took the marinated tilapia, and coated it in Italian-seasoned bread crumbs before putting it in the skillet.

When I put it in the skillet, I didn’t get the sizzle noise I was hoping for (the kind you would get from frying or even pan-frying).

Method two: I just put the marinated tilapia directly into the warm skillet.

As soon as I put the fish in the skillet, I got the sizzling noise I was looking for. Plus, the fish was moist, juicy and absolutely delicious (and light!)

I did one of each in the same skillet the first time to test it out — both pretty much had an even cooking time.

The breaded tilapia wasn’t dry like I thought it would be (without the sizzle) and the inside was still moist. Surprisingly, the seasoning on the tilapia was more apparent in this version. What I didn’t like was that the second side of the fish would start to create a dark crust before cooking through properly (I guess I would need to perhaps spray the skillet when flipping the fish, but I don’t know…)

While I ended up liking the method two version better (without the bread crumbs), my mom liked the breaded one better… which is why I ended up making both for dinner!

Because I was working with eight fillets, for both methods, I cleaned the skillet in between every time I put a new set of fish in to cook.

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P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

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