Recipes > Tilapia with Pink Peppercorn Beurre Blanc

Tilapia With Pink Peppercorn Beurre Blanc


Classic beurre blanc infused with pink peppercorns. Serve over pan-fried tilapia or any other type of white fish.
  • Serves: 2
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Views: 40,685
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Peppercorn Beurre Blanc

Making the Peppercorn Beurre Blanc
  • 1 tbsp shallots
  • 2 tbsp vermouth
  • 8 tbsp unsalted, cold butter
  • 2 tsp pink peppercorns
  • lemon juice (to finish)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • white pepper. to taste
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar


To prepare the beurre blanc, first mince the shallots. Crush the peppercorns using a small, heavy fry pan or mallet. Cut the cold butter into tablespoon-size pieces and set aside. Gather the vermouth and white wine vinegar.

Place a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, vermouth, white wine vinegar and crushed pink peppercorns. Bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid by about two-thirds until it reaches a syrupy consistency.

Turn the heat to the lowest setting and whisk in the cold butter one piece at a time to slowly form the emulsion.

Once all of the butter has been incorporated, season with salt and pepper. You may want to add a few more drops of lemon juice to brighten the flavor of the sauce, if needed.

Monitor the sauce closely while you cook the fish. Keep the sauce warm to the touch and whisk often to prevent it from splitting. You may need to turn the heat off and on to keep it at the correct temperature. The heat does not always need to be on, as the residual heat from the pan will keep it warm.

Step 2: Cooking the Fish

Cooking the Fish
  • 2 tilapia fillets
  • 2 tsp grapeseed oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper. to taste


To prepare the fish, heat a non-stick fry pan over medium heat and add the oil.

Pat the fish dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Place the fish, presentation-side down into the pan and pan fry until just golden; about 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish. Once done, transfer to a plate.

Step 3: Straining the Sauce & Serving

Straining the Sauce & Serving
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorns


Before serving the sauce, strain it to remove the crushed peppercorns. For nice presentation, whisk in whole pink peppercorns.

Pour over the fish and serve immediately.


  • Sarah H
    Sarah H
    Hi! I was just wondering if you had any ideas of what this would go well alongside. Thanks!
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Most any vegetable would go (ex. green beans, sauteed carrots), as would a nice rice pilaf or maybe some couscous. You can search for any of these things in the search field at the top of the page. Cheers!
  • Nichon G
    Nichon G
    I have been researching about vermouth and there are several different kinds, sweetened, unsweetened, red etc... Which do you use in dishes?Would make a big difference! I am looking forward to making this dish! Thanks!
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Because this dish is served with a white sauce it is best to use a white vermouth. As for sweetness we recommend that that you choose a dry white vermouth and not a sweet vermouth as you want the acidity from the vermouth to come through and not the sweetness, especially in a nice butter sauce like this one. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Amanda G
    Amanda G
    ok, stupid question... are whole peppercorns edible?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Whole black peppercorns need to be crushed first to make them suitable for eating. Cheers!
  • Dwayne E
    Dwayne E
    Hi I have made a butter sauce for a pork roast on a few occasions that worked well. The gastride was port wine with dried cherries , reduced the port then added the butter , whisked in , small amounts at a tim\e. The recipe I used had a 1/4 cup of heavy cream added to the gastride to help hold the sauce when done. The recipe stated that this sauce can be made ahead, left off heat , even placed in the fridge to re-heat slowly later. I did this twice and it worked well, (really a flavourful butter when solidified). Last evening I made a variation of this with white wine instead of port, and placed the heavy cream in as usual, also added orange zet and a 1/2 cup of orange juice along with cranberries. The result was fantastic, I let it sit on the stove top to cool like i did before with the beurre rouge but this time as I reheated slowly the sauce split. (good thing I had a quick back up for my dinner guests). Any thoughts on the reason for splitting? I have watched your videos and get the sensitvity of the sauce but seem to have developed confidence that the heavy cream acts as a stabalizer. here are the ingredients to this sauce: 2cups white wine 1cup dried cranberries 1tablespoon grated orange zest plus ½ cup juice 4leaves fresh sage, plus 2 teaspoons minced 2 shallots, minced ¼cup heavy cream 16tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled 1tablespoon Grand Marnier 1teaspoon salt ½teaspoon pepper 2cups white wine 1cup dried cranberries 1tablespoon grated orange zest plus ½ cup juice 4leaves fresh sage, plus 2 teaspoons minced 2 shallots, minced ¼cup heavy cream 16tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled 1tablespoon Grand Marnier 1teaspoon salt ½teaspoon pepper your advice is appreciated as this is a nice sauce to make ahead dwayne
  • Dwayne E
    Dwayne E
    addendum this is the caption added to the recipe, and seems to work but I guess not always:( WHY ADD CREAM TO A BUTTER SAUCE? "To dress up our pork, we turned to a classic French preparation: beurre rouge. The beauty of this sauce, which translates as “red butter,” is that at its most basic it requires just two components: butter and an acidic liquid. (Red wine and red vinegar for beurre rouge and white for beurre blanc are traditional.) The preparation is equally simple: Just whisk cold butter into the reduced acidic liquid. The problem is that butter sauces, like any mixture of fat and water, don’t always stay emulsified. That’s because the butter is highly temperature sensitive: If the sauce gets too hot (above 135 degrees), the butter—itself an emulsion of fat and water—will “break” and the butterfat will leak out. If it gets too cold (below 85 degrees), the butterfat solidifies and forms crystals that clump together and separate when the sauce is reheated. The key to foolproofing a butter sauce is thus stabilizing the butterfat so that it doesn’t separate. We do this by whisking in the butter a little bit at a time, which keeps the temperature of the sauce relatively stable. Even more important, we also add cream. Cream contains a relatively high proportion of casein proteins that surround and stabilize the butterfat droplets so that they don’t separate from the emulsion. Cream is such an effective stabilizer that our sauce can be made ahead, chilled, and gently reheated before serving."
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Dwayne - The sauce split because the amount of acid and or the reaction of acid with heat exceeded the stabilizing effect of the cream and butter. it likely also got too hot. In terms of your ability to resolve this, you can either decrease your acid and increase the available stabilizers, or do a combination of these approaches. Also, use gentler heat. You may need to reduce the wine further, omit some juice, or add more heavy cream/butter. Be sure to watch your temperature, as this can also cause separation if you let it get it too hot (or too hot for a long time). Gentle heating is important. ~Ken
  • Tatyanna samantha P
    Tatyanna samantha P
    Hello, any suggestions for vermouth substitution? i don't have any. Thank you. sam
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Hi Tatyanna and thank you for your question. So white grape juice, white wine vinegar, or non-alcoholic white wine could be used to substitute for dry vermouth and for sweet vermouth, you could substitute apple juice, grape juice, balsamic vinegar, non-alcoholic sweet wine, or water with lemon juice. I hope this helps and thank you for cooking with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Rose lee P
    Rose lee P
    If you use white pepper and crushed pink peppercorns in the Beurre Blanc, and ground black pepper on the fish, and then whole peppercorns as a garnish is this a very spice dish? It sounds like a lot of peppers.
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Rose lee. Good observation. We think this is balanced, albeit pepper forward. You can try it yourself to decide. Pink, white and black pepper all have very different flavor profiles and black peppercorns are the most pungent. You can eliminate the black pepper here if you would like. Pink peppercorns are actually a berry from South America. They are pungent but also fruity. Lauren
  • Rose lee P
    Rose lee P
    Thanks Lauren I made the dish and it was just fine. Not too spicy at all.

Leave A Comment

Please login or join the Rouxbe community to leave a comment.