I hate frying. I really do. I usually mess up real bad and either burn something, fill the house with a cloud of smoke that doesn’t go away easily, or get the whole kitchen dirty with oil.
Most of the time it’s all of the above.
I also don’t like the idea of food diving into a deep pot full of oil. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE fried food, who doesn’t? But if I make fried food myself, when I eat it I can’t help but think about all this oil and how bad it is for us.
Bottom line, it’s going to have to be a real special dish for me to take out the frying pan and pour the oil.
This fried tilapia is exactly that. It’s so good, it’s worth the mess. And I don’t fry it in deep vegetable or canola oil, just a little bit of olive oil, that’s all.
Start with a cup or so of all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached, in a flat dish. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of salt, 1/2 a teaspoon of pepper, and 1/2 a teaspoon of paprika. This will be enough to coat 8-10 fillets. If you are not making so many, cut those amounts in half.
If you want it a bit spicy, you can use hot paprika or add some cayenne pepper to taste.
Mix the spices and the flour together and spread the mixture on the dish.
I use tilapia fillets that I get from Costco most of the time, but you can use cod, or catfish or any other kind of fish you want.
Coat the tilapia with flour…
From both sides. The flour will stick to the fish, I never use eggs or make any kind of batter. This is just so simple and quick.
To a pan, add enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Heat the oil on medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, lower the heat a bit, then add the fish and let it fry for 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, line a plate with napkins or paper towels.
Flip the fillet to the other side and fry for an additional 3 minutes or so.
When it’s golden on both sides, take it out of the oil and place on the plate you prepared before.
Of course, like everything fried, it’s best to serve it right away… But, not before you make this amazing yogurt, garlic sauce to go with it…
I use a pint jar to make this sauce because if we have any leftovers we dip celery or carrot sticks in it another time.
Fill 2/3rd of the jar with plain yogurt. You can use 0% or 2% or if you’d like it a bit richer you can do half sour cream and half yogurt.
Then add 2 tablespoons of mayo…
Three or four garlic cloves, minced. We love garlic so I usually go with four large cloves.
Then add, salt, pepper, and the juice of one lemon.
Mix it all well and it’s done. You can close the jar and shake it or mix it with a spoon. If you have some dry or fresh dill or chives, throw them in, they’ll add a lot of flavor.
That’s it. I serve the fish with brown rice or white rice or potatoes. And of course, a salad.
Don’t forget to add the sauce on top of the fish before you dive in.