Pan-seared Tilapia

Fish...the healthy, light dinner option.  Ever since making Parmesan Crusted Tilapia and a couple of salmon dishes, I've been converted from a fish avoider to a fish fan.  My husband is thrilled about this so when I mentioned my interest in cooking Pan-seared Tilapia, he was more than happy to offer his taste buds for the finale.  Sofar I've stuck to oven-baking with the fish recipes I've made, so this time I got out the cast iron skillet for some good old fashioned pan frying.  Of course this recipe won't be quite as light as a baked version, but I can live with that.

I followed the basics from a pan-seared tilapia recipe, but decided to add in some panko bread crumbs and seasoning to add more flavor and crunch.  Paprika has worked out great in dishes like Paprika Parmesan Chicken, so that felt like the perfect fit.

On a plate, I mixed together flour, panko bread crumbs, paprika, salt, and pepper.  After washing off the tilapia, I dipped both sides in the mixture and scooped more over the top, pressing the flour mixture onto the fillets to get it to stick.

I warmed up some olive oil over medium-high in my skillet.  Though the original recipe called for 1 tablespoon, I added about 2 (and more throughout cooking) to avoid the pan becoming too dry.

I cooked the fillets for 3 minutes, then flipped them to brown the other side.  I only had to cook them about 2 minutes on the other side before they started getting a bit too brown.  I knew they were definitely ready when the fish started flaking apart.

And the fantastic smelling fish dish was ready to go!

Wow, the breading was really phenomenal.  I'm glad I tried adding the panko, because these were so crispy and flavorful.  The paprika gave a nice taste, and I think next time I may toss in some cayenne pepper to really spice things up.  For my first fish frying experience, this was the perfect choice.  My husband's only disappointment was that I only cooked 2 fillets, because he was ready for more!

Pan-seared Tilapia Recipe


2 tilapia fillets
1/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter


Add flour, panko bread crumbs, paprika, salt, and pepper to a plate and mix until combined. Rinse tilapia fillets with water, then dredge in the flour mixture, pressing it into the fillet. Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add fillets and cook 3-4 minutes on each side, until browned. Melt butter in a small dish, then pour over fish just before serving.

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