Pan-Fried Tilapia with Cilantro Orange Cumin Vinaigrette
- Serves: 4
- Active Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Views: 44,519
- Success Rating: 96% (?)
Step 1: Preparing the Vinaigrette• 2 cups freshly-squeezed orange juice
• 1 tsp cumin seeds
• 1 cup fresh cilantro
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 2 pinches cayenne pepper
• 1/4 cup grapeseed or olive oil
Juice the oranges. Reduce the juice in a sauce pan set over medium-high heat. Set aside to cool completely.
Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and toast the cumin seeds until fragrant and slightly browned. Once toasted, set aside to cool.
Grind the cumin seeds in a spice or coffee grinder, but not too fine. Transfer the cumin to a food processor. Roughly chop the cilantro. Add the cilantro, salt, cayenne pepper, cumin and orange juice to the blender and blend until smooth. To finish, add the oil and blend for another minute.
Note: Make sure not to add the cilantro while the orange juice is too hot, or it could lose its vibrant green color.
For the tilapia, it is best to serve the vinaigrette at room temperature; however, any remaining dressing can be refrigerated for a day or two and used on salads.
Step 2: Frying the Capers• 1 to 1 1/2 cups grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
• 4 tbsp capers
In a deep-pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and just begins to smoke, carefully add the capers. As soon as you add the capers, you can turn off the heat. The capers will only take a minute or two to crisp up. Once done, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Step 3: Finishing the Tilapia• 1 to 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
• 4 tilapia fillets
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tbsp lime juice
Preheat the oven to warm.
Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil.
Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. You may need to pan-fry the fish in two batches depending on the size of the fish and the size of your frying pan. If so, place the cooked fish into the warm oven while you cook the second batch.
Once the oil is hot, add the tilapia presentation-side down and pan-fry for 3 or 4 minutes or until golden brown. Once the tilapia is added to the pan, immediately turn the heat down to medium low. Just before you flip the fish, squeeze a little lime juice over the top.Finish cooking the fish on the other side, squeezing the remaining lime juice over top.
Once the fish is done, transfer to a plate and drizzle a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette over top. Garnish with the crispy fried capers and serve!
- by Dawn Thomas
- February 16, 2007
Tilapia is a delicately flavored white fish that is perfectly complemented by the complemented by the cilantro and orange cumin dressing. The dressing can be served with other white fish, crab cakes or even used on salads.
Tilapia can be substituted with any white fish such as sole, basa, orange ruffi or halibut. If refrigerated, the leftover vinaigrette will keep for a day or two.