Thursday, March 23, 2006

Roasted Tilapia

For a person who doesn't have much preference for fried-anything, I liked the taste of fried fish. Not the concept of frying, but the taste of fish, fried. Even then, I did not think I'll be cooking fish often! Fish curries are yummy and fish fries taste wonderful, but the time it takes to sweat in front of the stove to fry fish, the process of deep-frying and the stink in the kitchen after cooking were major put-offs. Fortunately, I discovered the pleasure of roasting meat / veggies in the oven and there! there was no looking back! We roast a LOT of fish at home and enjoy it, without any calories from fat. Roasting gives the meat or veggies a unique taste, even better than fried ones, and yes, it's crispy!

Here are our latest roasting episodes with Tilapia! Tilapia fillets that we got from Sam's club, look like a leaf with a split in the center. I went ahead and cut the split all the way till the end. Like any frozen fish, Tilapia has to be thawed before marinating. Just immerse the fillets, in cold water (yep, with the plastic covering that comes with it) for about 20 mins. Peel the plastic cover and cut the fish fillet to your preference and marinate them. 20-30 mins time is good for the marinade to soak in and they are ready to be roasted. Unlike Salmon, Tilapia is not an oily fish, so you might want to add 1-2 tbsp oil extra in the marinade. Also, Tilapia is a very light fish when compared to Salmon.
Roasted Tilapia - with homemade marinade

After reading Tony's idea on using Asafoetida on Fish that asafoetida masks the smell from the fish, I decided to try it. I made a marinade of asafoetida+turmeric+chilli powder+salt+olive oil and smeared it all over the fish fillets and marinated for 30 mins. Roasting time was (At 375-400 F, baking 4 mins on each side + broiling 5 mins). There was no stinking smell involved at any stage and the fish tasted great. Thanks Tony! We had Rice, a simple rasam and roasted Tilapia and it was a very nice meal. We LOVED it.

Roasted Tilapia using store bought marinade

This time, it was a last minute meal without any planning. And I wanted to finish off all my masala powders before moving. Shaan's Tandoori Chicken Tikka BBQ powder is what I used, with no extra salt. Just the powder + 2 tbsp olive oil . Same method for roasting (At 375-400 F, 5 mins baking time + 5 mins broiling time) Oh! It tasted great, but I won't be buying anymore of this powder again because of the food colors added. I also, suspect that their might be more chemicals than what's printed on the package. I didn't have to bake on both sides, because the fish was cooked at the first 5 mins baking time. So, I just moved onto broiling mode. We had Roasted tilapia with Rice, Chayote Squash kootu and Rasam. I usually don't combine two heavy proteins together, but as I said, before the meal was unplanned and also, was a way to finish my freezer stock.

1.Use greased Al foil sheet on baking tray or lined grilling tray for roasting.
2. Baking is done at the bottom shelf of the oven and broiling at the topmost shelf (that's where the heat comes from, for each of these processes).


Unknown said...

WOW!!!! Tat looks super delicious. I too always bake my fishes. Itz tastier & saves my time

Priya said...

iam not so fond of any non vegetarian except for fish, but still iam picky , i just love fried fish. thats it no curry, ntg else with it. Ur baked fish looks yummy, and frankly always store bought marinades seems to be more attractive, But taste wise and even lookwise homemade ones looks much better and healthy too. U never know what they add in the readymade masalas.And urs looks just perfect.

KA said...

Roasted fish looks yum!! I am going to try this next time. I am not a huge fan of tilapia due to its smell. I usually bake catfish.

sailu said...

Your healthy versions of roasting fish is a winner,Kay.
Yes,go slow on those ready made powders,Kay.Take care of yourself.

Kitchenmate said...

Hey, You know I was looking out for this and looks double delicious.
I make my own marinade like yours adding pepper powder, ginger-garlic paste AND deep fry it, i didn't know about oven roasting them:( not any more:)
I always buy fresh tilapia fillets and will try this for sure!

Tanuja said...

wow ur Tilapia looks so yummy yummy kay:)

Kay said...

Thanks Pushpa! Yep, It saves a LOT of time and headache, associated with frying! (with the help of the timer, it almost never fails!)

Thanks Priya, I agree, homemade masalas taste a LOT better than storebought. And heaven knows when they were actually made. Do try it sometime.

Thanks KA! After your comment, I realised the second one had a mild typical-fried-fish smell, whereas the first one didnt. Tony's Asafoetida tip helped to tone down the smell to a large extent. You might want to try it.

Thanks Sailu! :) Yep, I've got ridden of almost, all those store bought powders too..

Thanks Karthi, Try roasting them! You'll love it! And save a LOT of time. Yeah, homemade marinades win! :) I keep alternating my combination of marinades all the time..

Thanks Tanu, Do try it sometime.

lost in thoughts said...

Looks yummy !!

Adaengappa !! said...

One word : !! WOW !!

Thats an easy fry !!

Sumi said...

Good one Kay,
Even I always roast my fish inthe oven, to avoid more oil..
the more we use the oven , the more healthy is the food , isnt?

Anonymous said...

Kay, I always used to fry tilapia and this time I roasted it with my marinade foloowing your instructions. It came out awesome. There was no difference between the fried fish and roasted fish. I had tried roasting before but it never came out well as nobody mentioned the exact temperatures and time and baking/broiling techniques. U are very thorough.

Anonymous said...

I want to bake chicken legs - drumstick. There is any way of getting it done without drying it out. I did try many year ago but didn't come out good.

Kay said...

Anon, Drying out happens only when there's too much heat or when the chicken is left in the oven for long time.

You might want to marinate the drumsticks with lemonjuice(or)curd + chilli powder + pepper + 3 tbsp oil and salt(little).

Preheat oven at 375 for 15 mins, bake for 15 mins, turn over the sides and bake for another 15 mins. Most probably, by now, it might be crispy.. if not broil for 4-7 mins.. Remove from the oven as soon as its done. Else it will dry out. Also, dont broil for a long time.

You can even cover the baking tray with a foil and bake for 15-20 mins and goto broil for 4-5 mins.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I was looking for frying fish without using oil. Your receipe of bake & broil turn out Excellent for me. My fly & I had it with rasam, Rice & Roasted Tilapia(amost equivalent in taste to pan fried fish) & healthier too. Thanks for sharing the receipe.

Anonymous said...

Excellent method of roasting.searching for a blog on grilling fish for a long time.Thanks to pati for giving me this link.nice recipes kay