Easy Pan-seared Blackened Tilapia topped with delicious Asian inspired sauce
With a jam-packed schedule between work, internship, and grad school, easy weeknight recipes will forever be my go-to. This Blackened Tilapia with Sriracha Scallion Sauce is one of my favorite ways to make a delicious meal with easy cleanup. I am able to whip up an easy and full of flavor weeknight recipe in less than 20 minutes for the entire family. Not to mention, this recipe is budget friendly and made with just a few simple ingredients!
What Does Blackened Fish Mean?
Blackening is an easy cooking technique used with firm- fleshed fish, chicken, steak, and other meats. When blackened, the meat is covered in butter, sprinkled with a mixture of herbs and spices, and cooked in a very hot pan. This method results in the food forming a “black” crust on the outside of the item. While it may appear burnt, the dark color is a result from the charred spices and butter, offering a smoky, flavorful crust.
What Spices Make Up Blackened Seasoning?
Although this method of cooking is commonly associated with Cajun cuisine, the flavor has been replicated in a simple seasoning available at most grocery stores! While this recipe uses store bought Blackening Seasoning, some of the blend’s common spices include paprika, garlic powder, pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, and thyme. If you are up for making your own seasoning, you can find a quick recipe here!
Benefits Of Tilapia
Like most seafood, tilapia is a great option for quality protein, offering 25 grams in a 3.5 oz fish fillet. It is also rich in many vitamins and minerals such as niacin, vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium, and potassium.
Basic Nutrition Facts for 3.5-ounce serving of tilapia (Retrieved from USDA FoodData Central):
- Calories: 121
- Carbs: 0 grams
- Protein: 25 grams
- Fats: 2 grams
Tilapia is an inexpensive type of fish that can be found in most grocery stores, both fresh and frozen. At Aldi, a pack of frozen tilapia will only set you back $4.19 ($0.26 per oz). When looking for tilapia, opt to choose wild-caught vs farmed fish to avoid unethical fish farming practices.
Tilapia is a mild white fish that can easily be dressed up with seasoning, sauces, and salsa. If you are looking to introduce more seafood into your diet, this fish dinner recipe is a great place to start for a healthy meal!
Ingredients For Easy Asian Tilapia Recipes
- Tilapia fillets- you can use frozen or fresh tilapia (both provide the same nutrients)
- Blackened Seasoning- this is key for extra flavor
- Sesame Oil- this really brings out the Asian flavors
- Sesame seeds
- Fresh ginger- Ginger paste or ginger powder would also work
- Lime juice- Fresh or bottled is perfectly fine
- Scallions (green onions)
- Salt and black pepper- to taste
Kitchen Tools Required
- Large skillet
- Small mixing bowl
- Cutting board
Best Serving Suggestions To Go With Tilapia Filets
Since tilapia is a great and quick protein source, I like to stick will easy prep sides as well to complete this main dish recipe. Plus, since tilapia doesn’t require a lot of cooking time, I don’t want to send extra time with extravagant sides. For example, I love serving these fish fillets with rice to soak up the extra sauce! Some other great pairings to serve with tilapia could be:
- Sauteed fresh green beans
- Basmati or brown rice
- Cauliflower rice
- Roasted broccoli
- Stir-fried green beans
- Grilled Corn
- Side tossed salad
- Roasted Zucchini
- Lettuce wrap (to make fish tacos!)
Tips For Making The Best Asian Tilapia Recipe
- Due to tilapia fillets being thin, it cooks very quickly which makes it the perfect easy weeknight dinner recipe. If pan frying on medium heat, 3-5 minutes per side is all that is needed!
- If using frozen fillets, keep in mind you will need to thaw them in advance to ensure the whole fish is ready to be cooked!
- Overcooked fish is not the move. Be sure to not overcook the fillets to prevent it from burning or becoming dry/chewy. The internal temperature for tilapia should be 145 degrees F.
- The best way to check if the tilapia is done is to take a fork and poke into the thickest part of the fish. If it easily flakes, then it is done! Flaky fish is perfection.
- When the fish is ready to serve, generously drizzle the sauce over the top of the fish and let it soak into your rice (or other side choosing)! In my opinion, the sauce is the best part.
- I love adding a tablespoon of sesame seeds to top all the plates off for this Asian-style tilapia recipe!
Blackened Tilapia with Sriracha Scallion Sauce
- 4 4 oz Tilapia fillets fresh or frozen
- 1 1 tsp Ginger grated
- 8 Scallions chopped
- 2 2 tsp Sriracha
- 2 tbsp Sesame oil
- 2 tsp Sesame seeds
- 1 Lime 2 tbsp juice
- Blackened seasoning
- Black pepper
- Peel and grate ginger. Chop scallions finely.
- In a small bowl, combine scallions, sesame oil, sesame seeds, ginger, juice from lime, sriracha. Season with salt and pepper to taste; adjust sriracha to taste.
- Pat tilapia dry with paper towels and sprinkle fillets with blackened seasoning. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add tilapia fillets and cook until browned and cooked through (about 3-5 minutes per side depending on fillet thickness).
- Arrange tilapia on plate and drizzle sauce on top of fillet to taste.