Parmesan and Panko Crusted Tilapia Fillets

December 17, 2013

This method of preparing tilapia will forever be my favorite.  I of course love to season up and pan sear fish {especially tilapia} but there is something about having fried fish that is comforting to me.  I know frying foods should be eaten sparingly, but I don't think this one isn't too bad to eat since it's "pan fried" instead of deep fried.  I also use a mixture of olive oil, which is a health fat, and butter.  The butter can be omitted for a healthier version, but I love the butter flavor that the crust gets when it's used. I am warning you - this fish is ADDICTING.  Once you make it, that's it. You'll be hooked! LOL! You could use any other type of fish for this recipe as well.  Flounder, catfish, whiting, trout, etc.

The side selections are also endless, of course.  My favorite is to have fried fish, coleslaw and cornbread. YUM! :) 

4-6 Pieces of Fresh or Frozen + Thawed Tilapia Fillets
2 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
1 Cup Flour
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup Olive Oil
1 Cup Half and Half
Salt and Pepper to Taste

{In a shallow dish, mix your panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, dried parsley, salt and pepper.}
{Rinse your tilapia and pat it dry.  Lightly season on both sides with salt and pepper.}
In another shallow dish, add your flour and lightly season with salt and pepper.}
{In a large bowl, add your half and half, and lightly season with salt and pepper.  It's important to season {not over season!} every layer of ingredients.  This will give you perfectly flavorful pieces of fish.}
{Now it's time to start dredging.  First, coat the seasoned fish with the seasoned half and half.}
{Next dip the fish coated in half and half in the seasoned flour.  Evenly coat both sides.}
{Dip the flour coated fish back into the half and half.}
{Now, coat the wet fish with the breadcrumb mixture.}
{Be sure to firmly pat the fish into the breadcrumb mixture so that every inch gets a nice thick layer of the breadcrumbs.}
{In a large skillet {I used cast iron} heat your oil and butter over medium low heat.  It is important to not have your temperature up too high as your breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese will surely burn before the fish is done.  Low and slow is how you want to cook this fish. :)}
{Once your fish starts to get golden brown, carefully flip it.}
{Pan fry over medium low heat for about 4-6 minutes per side.  It doesn't take long at all. }
{Once done, dust them with a verrrrrry light sprinkle of sea salt as they drain on paper towels.  Keep your fillets warm in a 200 degree oven while the others cook / you prep your sides.}
I made one of my favorite 5-minute side dishes to go along with it.  It's so delicious and easy!
{In a skillet over medium heat, place some frozen broccoli florets and a few tablespoons of water.  Cover and let this steam for about 2 minutes until tender.}

{When the broccoli is tender, drain any remaining water and add in some store bought teriyaki sauce.  I love this Mikee brand!}
{Let this heat through over medium heat for a minute or two.  The sauce will thicken a bit.  Mix the broccoli well and coat each piece with teriyaki sauce.}
{Serve and Enjoy!  The mix of textures in the meal was phenomenal.  You had the crispy crunchiness of the fish with the flavorful and perfectly firm-but-soft broccoli.  It was delicious!  I chose to forego a starch this time since the fish was fried, otherwise, some fluffy jasmine rice would have been the perfect companion!}
Do you normally do fish, greens and black eyed peas for New Year's Eve / New Year? My mom fries fish every year, since it's one of the seven lucky foods for a new year {well, WHOLE fish is, lol!}. It's a tradition I look forward to every year. This fish would be perfect for that occasion!
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

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