My Recipe Box

Blackened Tilapia with Cilantro-Lime Slaw


Serves 2

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 96

Resolved to start eating more good-for-you fish? Tilapia is an excellent choice. It's mild, so spice rub really stands out but isn't overwhelming. This dish is quick-cooking and delicious with the bright slaw on the side.

  • 1/2 small clove garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 medium lime
  • 3 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 medium head Savoy cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • Two 5-oz. tilapia fillets, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter

Chop the garlic, sprinkle it with a pinch of salt, and mash it into a paste with the side of a chef's knife. Finely grate the zest from half of the lime and then juice the whole lime. In a medium bowl, whisk the garlic, lime zest, 1 Tbs. of the juice, and the mayonnaise. Toss in the cabbage, scallions, and cilantro. Season with 1/4 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper.

In a small bowl, mix the chili powder, cumin, 1/4 tsp. salt, and several grinds of pepper. Sprinkle the spice rub all over the tilapia.

Melt the butter in a 10-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tilapia on both sides until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes total for the small pieces and 5 minutes total for the large pieces. Transfer to a plate. Toss the slaw and add more lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve the tilapia with the slaw.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with Southwestern Rice Pilaf on the side.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 370, Fat (kcal): 25, Fat Calories (g): 220, Saturated Fat (g): 7, Protein (g): 31, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6, Carbohydrates (mg): 9, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 10, Sodium (g): 500, Cholesterol (g): 95, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Very promising. The fish was easy and delicious--I added some cayenne. The slaw leaves room for personality: I used purple cabbage, and would like less mayo in favor or "cilantro/lime". Next time I will add diced fresh mango, too. I've never made tilapia before so was pleased with how easy it was. Kids asked for more fish!

I've only made the slaw, and it was delicious. I used more lime juice and less mayonnaise, and used chipotle powder instead of black pepper, and I'd do the same again.

Great and incredibly fast dinner. Next time, so salt at all. Way too salty between the salt and the lime juice, at least for us.

Everyone loves the slaw ! A real treat.

great spice rub. I added a bit of cayenne, we like fish spicy in the Caribbean

This has become our favorite slaw recipe. We prefer to use a ratio of 1 part mayo to 2 parts canola oil.

I really liked the talapia, although I think that next time I will increase the amount of seasoning to rub on the fish. I thought that the slaw was good and had a unique flavor, however I found that I prefer a more traditional cole slaw.

This slaw is wonderfully fresh, cheap, easy, quick & delicious. I'll definitley make it again

This is just for the cole slaw, which I served with another fish dish from FC (Pan Seared Salmon with Cherry Tomato-Ginger Sauce). LOVED the cole slaw - I also used more lime/less mayonaise ratio in the sauce and it was a huge hit. This was also the first time I had used Savoy Cabbage, and I liked its flavor. A keeper.

Wow this is the best cole slaw. I used the lime peel and the juice of a whole lime and decreased the mayonnaise to 1 tablespoon and it was sooooo good. I will be making this a lot, so simple and tasty too. I didn't try the fish but I've used similar spices with good success with halibut and seabass.

This is a simple, tasty little recipe. I make it all the time. I use the slaw with other things too.

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