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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Parmesan-Panko Crusted Tilapia


I always make one trip to the grocery store and buy all of our food for the entire week at once, but my last trip didn’t happen until late in the day. So, I was looking for something to make for dinner that night that would be extremely quick to prepare but still be healthy. I decided to go with the fresh tilapia that was on sale at the seafood counter.

Once I got home, I searched the pantry and fridge for vegetables and decided to serve the fish with steamed broccoli and baked potatoes. The meal went from the grocery bag to the table in just under fifteen minutes, and the best part is that I mostly used items that were already in my kitchen.

I started by preheating my broiler and a large skillet on the stovetop. I made a mixture with 3 tablespoons panko bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes:

tilapia prep 2

Then I topped the tilapia with salt, pepper, and lemon juice:

tilapia prep 1

Then I sprayed the skillet with a small amount of nonstick cooking spray, added the tilapia, covered it with the panko mixture, and immediately put the skillet under the broiler:

tilapia prep 3

Five minutes later, the fish was finished. I really like this method because the fish quickly cooks from both sides (the bottom in the preheated skillet and the top under the broiler), which allows it to cook evenly as well.

The bread crumb topping also adds a nice salty crunch to the top of the fish without adding all of the calories from the normal three step process of dredging in flour/egg wash/dipping in bread crumbs. There is just enough cheese in the mix to melt and allow it to adhere to the fish without the extra steps, and since the fish is only breaded on one side, it remains pretty healthy. In fact, the entire amount of the panko mixture clocks in at under 100 calories. Not too bad for breading!

I think this recipe would also work well with thicker pieces of fish, such as cod or even salmon, but I would cook it for a full minute or two in the skillet before breading and broiling. In the amount of time it would take to cook thicker fish entirely under the broiler, the panko would definitely burn.

Please let me know if you give this one a try, and I hope you enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Such a great meal idea! Gotta love those quick dinners. I have made something similar to this before, but I love your idea of cooking it in the skillet a bit first. We had sort of a bad experience the last time we went to make tilapia (so sad since I used to eat it at least once a week), so I think we'll stick with another kind of fish for a while - cod sounds delicious.

Anonymous said...

trying it tonight. I breaded both sides and cooked in an aluminum skillet. needed a little extra lemon after, but it was delicious! I'll definitely make again!

Anonymous said...

Try coating the fish with dijon mustard,olive oil and cilantro mixture first. then coat with panko. You could substitute the panko with potatoe flakes too. Very tasty!

Anonymous said...


5 Minutes and I'm a hero?!@!

Thank You

Anonymous said...

Made this for lunch today!! I like the idea of just sprinkling the breading right onto the fish instead of doing the whole flour, egg process before hand. I put the breading on both sides and then broiled. Served with Jasmine Rice and Carrots and Green Beans. Yummy and healthy!

Anonymous said...

Tried this recipe last night and it came out delicious. I have never been a fan of dredging in flour, egg wash and bread crumbs. I cooked it in a pan with a light coating of olive oil and served it with rice and sautéed baby carrots and zucchini. Total time was 20 minutes! This dish not only looked wonderful but was fast, low calorie, filling and easy to prepare and extremely tasty. The whole family loves it!

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