Tilapia is a family of fish that originated in Africa. They are small fish, weighing around 1 to 2 pounds. They are also a very important fish and will become more so in the years to come. The reason for this is that the Tilapia that you buy is raised on fish farms. This means that the species is controlled in population and we don't have to worry about them being fished to near extinction like the Chilean Sea Bass or other species. This also means that there is a consistent and constant supply of Tilapia year round.
Tilapia has a good flavor and texture. They are versatile and easily adapted to most any kind of cooking. Tilapia is a white fish though red skinned Tilapia will have a reddish colored meat. This fish is very low in fat, free of saturated fat and high in protein.
While you might not be familiar with this fish, Tilapia has been around for thousands of years. Originally found in the Nile River, Tilapia is one of the first fish to be farmed. It is also supposed to be the fish that Jesus Christ feed the masses with. Now it is believed that over 1 billion pounds of Tilapia are produced every year. Talk about feeding the masses.
Tilapia is easy to prepare and is a great fish to grill, though be careful grilling because these are small thin fillets, typically and you don't want to handle them on the grill too much. Tilapia has a mild flavor and lends itself easily to any kind of seasoning you want to add. I like Tilapia with lime and chili peppers. Tilapia is a great fish for fish tacos. Tilapia can be substituted for many kinds of fish, especially red snapper, sea bass or porgy.
Tilapia can be prepared with a dry rub or a marinade. Marinating should be for a short period of time because the excessive time will start to break down the structure of the meat. In some parts of the world, you can get a whole, cleaned Tilapia. Prepare these much the same way but do not eat the skin because it has a bitter flavor.