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Blackened Tilapia with Cilantro-Lime Slaw

Scott Phillips

Servings: 2

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

Nutritional Information

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


  • 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.

Serve with Southwestern Rice Pilaf on the side.


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Reviews (12 reviews)

  • bigtish | 05/04/2018

    I love the cilantro slaw. It also goes fabulous with pulled pork!

  • VYinLA | 11/18/2014

    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!

  • eselque | 07/22/2012

    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.

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