We often post about food successes here at The Kitchen Minions, but today I am here to tell you about a failure. I recently read an article online that said that tilapia is poised to become the chicken of the fish world, because it grows quickly and doesn’t taste like fish. When I saw that our local grocery store was selling it for $3.99 a pound, I bought several bags and decided to see what I could do with it. I tried several different approaches but failed to reach deliciousness every time. I agree that tilapia doesn’t taste like fish, but for me, it doesn’t taste like anything.
My first attempt was perhaps the nearest to success. I simply seasoned the tilapia with salt and pepper and sautéed it for a few minutes on each side. This was okay, but it wasn’t amazing. My next few attempts proceeded from the assumption that breading the tilapia would make it better. I started with a cornmeal base and added a number of different tasty herbs and spices, but each time they seemed to get lost on the way to the plate, and the result tasted like a bland mushy mess. I tried breadcrumbs as well, and then I decided to get really creative and try quinoa. That was perhaps the worst attempt of all, as the crunchiness of the quinoa made the bland mushy mess into a bland crunchy mess that took longer to eat. Undeterred, I decided to try one more time, following a recipe originally designed for trout that had proven to be delicious in the past. Again, I was left with a bland mushy mess. It seems that for me, tilapia is a flavor black hole, overwhelming any attempts to season it.
Anyway, having failed again, I turn to you, Internet, to see if you have any advice. Has anyone succeeded in making tilapia taste good? Perhaps I’m not adding enough spices to the breading? Maybe I should just give up on breading and try to season the fish directly again? Maybe I should stop spitballing and try an actual recipe? Or maybe I should just give up on tilapia forever. I’ve heard rumors that the fish has a somewhat checkered environmental record, so maybe it’s for the best.