GINNA PARSONS: Blackened tilapia hits the spot



We’re four weeks into the new year and are still eating healthfully at our house and making regular gym visits.

I’m down seven pounds, but I’ve always found the first five are the easiest to lose. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you go from eating fried foods, pizza, chips and dip and soft drinks one week to grilled fish and chicken, salads, fruit and water the next, you’re bound to see the scale move.

My husband and I are at that point in this process where we actually enjoy cooking again and getting in the kitchen to see what new recipes we can try. Now, instead of his daily “What’s for supper?” email, I get “How about this for supper?” with a recipe attached.

One day week before last, he sent an email saying he was craving blackened fish for supper. This isn’t something we make regularly, so I didn’t have a recipe on hand. Thanks to the Food Network, I found one to tweak to suit our needs.

The only ingredient I didn’t have in my cabinet was smoked paprika. When I got to the store, I found the cheapest bottle was more than $5. Then I looked one shelf over and saw a general-purpose blackening seasoning for $2. I waffled briefly, but in the end, I forked out the money for the paprika and I’m so glad I did.

This fish was amazing. It was smoky and spicy and it was even pretty on the plate. We served this with steamed broccoli and baked sweet potatoes.

Blackened Tilapia

3 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon dried ground thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder

4 tilapia fillets

2 tablespoons canola oil

Juice of 1⁄2 lemon

In a small bowl combine all of the spices. Press a heaping tablespoon of the spice mix onto each fillet so that both sides are liberally coated. Let fish to sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.

In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook tilapia for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

Serves 4.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

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  • rishken

    All tilapia found in stores is farmed farmed raised in China and other Asian countries.a few years a go, it was reported in The news that in China they feed these farm raised fish feces from other farm animal.(cows, pigs etc..) I won’t touch the stuff.