|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 18g||23%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||17%|
|Total Carbohydrate 2g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||2%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 7mg||36%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Tilapia is a mild white fish that happily takes on any flavors you add to it. The combination of lime and basil in this recipe makes for a fresh-tasting, flavorful main dish with minimal ingredients. The grill adds a delicious smoky flavor, but if it's not grilling season you can pan fry it in a cast-iron skillet or regular pan for an equally delicious meal. An herby marinade that doubles as a sauce gives a bright note to these tasty fish fillets. Serve alongside roasted potatoes and a salad for a complete and wholesome meal, or use the fillets as taco fillings, adding other fixings on the side like fresh avocado slices, pico de gallo, and cream. This recipe requires a 30-minute marinade, which coincidentally is also the right amount of time to allow the grill to come to the ideal temperature, plus 25 minutes of preparation and cooking, so plan ahead as the marinade is key to the overall flavor of the fish.
Tilapia is a protein-rich fish that is usually farmed. There's is a lot of misinformation about it not being a healthy seafood, but as long as you choose your fish from a responsible source there is no danger in eating it. However, because irresponsible farming practices crowd too many fish in smaller spaces and feed them an inadequate diet—not to mention antibiotics to prevent the spread of bacterial infections due to the very same overcrowding—tilapia has gained an infamous status, with consumers not differentiating one farming source from the other. As a general rule, safe farms in Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, and the United States produce high-quality fish that are great sources of nutrition. Because tilapia is also low in mercury, it's a recommended source of nutrition for kids and pregnant women.
Fresh or frozen tilapia fillets will work well for this recipe. If frozen, make sure to thaw completely in the fridge overnight before preparing. Each fillet of tilapia is a powerhouse of nutrition. At just 110 calories per 116-gram fillet (4 ounces), each tilapia fillet of this size has 23.3 grams of protein, 0 grams of net carbohydrates, and almost 50 milligrams of choline, essential nutrition that helps your nervous system control its brain, muscle, and memory functions. That's almost ten percent of the recommended daily intake. Don't miss out on this spectacular and budget-friendly fish with our easy and flavorful preparation.
"This recipe is quick, easy, and flavorful—exactly what I'm looking for 95% of the time. Make sure to really clean your grill grates and oil them before adding the fish so that it doesn’t come apart as it comes off the grill." —Laurel Randolph
4 medium tilapia fillets
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 medium lime, zested
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
Optional: 2 teaspoons bourbon
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste
Gather the ingredients.
Combine olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, fresh basil, bourbon if using, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.
Place tilapia fillets in a resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over the top. Make sure all of the fish is well coated with the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
Remove the fish fillets from the bag and pour the marinade into a saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil, immediately reduce the heat, and let simmer on low for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm.
Grill the tilapia fillets for 3 to 5 minutes per side over high heat, or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145 F and appears opaque in color throughout.
Remove from the grill and serve with a few spoonfuls of the cooked marinade drizzled over top.
Lean white fish likes to stick to the grill. Here are a few tips to help prevent any sticking:
- Make sure your grill is nice and clean before starting.
- Once the grill is hot, lightly oil the grates. Fold up a paper towel into a square and saturate it with oil. Use a pair of tongs to rub the oil on the hot grill grates.
- Don't flip the fish until it's completely cooked on the bottom side. This will help it separate from the grill.
- Use a large, flat metal spatula to flip the fish. If you're not sure if it's done, use an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature should be 145 F.
If using the fish for tacos, you can swap the basil for cilantro, if desired. Brush the tilapia with the cooked marinade as it cooks. Remove from heat once done and flake into bite-sized pieces.
Botaro D, Torres JPM, Schramm K-W, Malm O. Mercury levels in feed and muscle of farmed tilapia. Am J Ind Med. 2012;55(12):1159-1165. DOI: 10.1002/ajim.22021
Tilapia, Raw. FoodData Central. United States Department of Agriculture.