Cilantro & Ginger Baked Tilapia

© 2012

Here is a wonderful Asian inspired dish from theKitchn. I found this on Pinterest and decided to try it. It’s a definite keeper well worth your time to make. It’s simple, inexpensive and quick, perfect for weeknight meals.

I’m not a huge fan of tilapia and what is tilapia anyway? Tilapia is the common name for a large variety of species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine tribe of the ciclid family. Tilapia inhabit a variety of fresh water habitats, including shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes. Tilapia is known in the food business as “aquatic chicken” because it breeds easily and tastes bland. Its bland taste is why I’m not a big tilapia fan. Nonetheless, tilapia is the perfect factory fish. It is fed a diet of pellets made largely of corn and soy and gains weight rapidly, thereby easily converting a diet that resembles cheap chicken feed into low-cost seafood and Americans love it. In fact, Americans ate 475 million pounds of tilapia last year; that’s four times the amount of tilapia consumed 10 years ago. Oddly, the reason why people avoided tilapia a decade ago is why they are flocking to tilapia in droves now, namely because it’s bland and doesn’t have a fishy taste. Also, while touted as a healthy food, compared with other fish, farmed tilapia contains relatively small amounts of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, salmon has more than 10 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids than tilapia. Also, farmed tilapia contains a less healthful mix of fatty acids because the fish are fed corn and soy instead of lake plants and algae, the diet of wild tilapia. Nonetheless, tilapia is low in calories, affordable to American families and there are a whole lot worse things you can eat in the same price range.

Because of its bland taste, your manner of preparing tilapia has to provide the flavor. This is where this recipe steps up. The sauce accompanying the dish is full of flavor and spice. It is absolutely delightful and one your family will love. If you’re on a budget this is the perfect fish dish for your family. If you have a little money to spare buy red snapper, grouper or halibut and this dish will really sing.


  • 1 lb tilapia fillets
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Garlic chives, chopped for garnish
  • Extra cilantro, chopped, to garnish
  • Red Bell Pepper, peeled, chopped and sautéed, to garnish
  • White rice


Heat the oven to 475°F. Pat the fish dry, season lightly with salt and pepper, and lay in a 9×9-inch or 8×8-inch ceramic or glass baking dish.

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Put the garlic, grated ginger, chopped jalapeño, and cilantro in a small food processor/blender

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Add the white wine

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add soy sauce

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and sesame oil.

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Blend until smooth.

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Pour the sauce over the fish, rubbing it in a little.

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Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily and is cooked through. It will be very moist and even a little gelatinous, still.

While the fish is baking sauté the red pepper in 1 tbsp olive oil.

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To plate, place a mound of white rice in the center of the plate. Place 2 filets on top of the rice. Spoon some sauce over the filets, sprinkle with red peppers, garlic chives and cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

8 thoughts on “Cilantro & Ginger Baked Tilapia”

  1. You’re right about one thing — tilapia is pretty tasteless. But with your recipe, it looks like there was plenty of flavor on that tilapia! Nice job!

  2. Very pretty! This would make a great dish for a relatively inexpensive seafood dinner party!
    I rarely cook tilapia, but when I do, I make sure to use a marinade to give it more flavor.

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