Classic fish recipe flavour ingredients like lemon and garlic come together with the help of some optional sriracha to create a baked tilapia worthy of the highest praise. Boring fish recipes be gone; say hello to Sriracha Lemon Garlic Tilapia!
People often ask me how it is I have a story to tell to accompany every recipe. And, I’m about to set up another story for this Sriracha Lemon Garlic Tilapia recipe. To tell the truth, I don’t feel that each recipe post does come with a story. I don’t see my constant babbling as a story. Or, maybe I’m underestimating just how much I really do talk! (I’m sure there are a few of you who know me personally who are nodding your head in agreement to me ‘underestimating how much I really do talk’ bit.)
I don’t see these posts as stories as much as I see them as reflections. There are times, I admit, when I struggle to find things to write about in each and every blog post. But, in most cases, I often will relate the story/reflection to the recipe I’m promoting. First, let’s talk about the recipe and then we’ll get to story time.
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INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this Sriracha Lemon Garlic Tilapia recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Tilapia – This light and flaky white fish is usually sold in what I like to call a double fillet. What I mean by that is that the fish looks like two fillets that are joined together on one long side. One fillet is always bigger than the other. I call this a whole fillet, although, when cooking, I do cut the fillets into two pieces.
- Lemon Juice – Use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled. Fresh makes a huge difference when pairing with fish.
- Garlic – A little bit of freshly chopped garlic goes a long way. Because tilapia is so delicate, use very little garlic so that it doesn’t over power the fish.
- Seasonings & Spices – You will need salt, ground black pepper, and paprika.
- Sriracha – This popular hot sauce is optional. I add just a little bit, but you can certainly add more.
- Lemons – The fish is baked on a bed of lemon slices.
- Parsley – For freshness and garnish.
HOW TO MAKE SRIRACHA LEMON GARLIC TILAPIA
Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. Next, in a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, paprika, sriracha, salt, and pepper. Set that aside.
Lay the lemon slices on a baking sheet – about 3 or 4 slices in a row, so that the fillets of fish can sit nicely on top. I made 4 rows about 3 inches apart. Dry the fish with paper towel and lay the fillets onto the lemon slices.
Top the fillets with the sauce mixture and bake for 20 minutes. Once done, remove from oven, plate and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
IT’S STORY TIME!
For the purpose of this Sriracha Lemon Garlic Tilapia recipe, I’m going to tell you a story that might seem a little funny to you. But at the time, it was almost completely horrifying to me. Since I’m setting up this post as a story, I’m tempted to start it like Sophia. “Picture it! Florida. 2005…” I miss the Golden Girls! Seriously though, the setting for this story is indeed Tampa, Florida in 2005 or 2006.
The company I work for hosts an annual management meeting in Florida. This coming April will be my 13th time attending the conference. Well, my very first trip there, I was a little green around the gills and quite young and inexperienced. On a dinner excursion with over 100 employees, I found myself at a table with complete strangers. The company has locations throughout Canada and the United States. So, management teams from each location were present. I had never met any of them before.
We didn’t order from a menu. The company had ordered ahead. Since it was a family style restaurant, big platters and bowls of various dishes began to arrive at each table. One of those dishes happened to be a Cajun style tilapia, which was unbeknownst to me at the time. The bowls and platters were passed around. Each of us would take a little bit of everything. Truth be told, I had no idea what tilapia was!
LET’S BLAME IT ON THE FLU!
But, to be polite, I took a bit of it and passed the plate to the person on my right. I ate a few things on my plate, but mostly moved things around. Now, there were two reasons for this. First, I managed to pick up a flu virus on my very first day in Florida. I really didn’t feel that great at dinner anyway. And, secondly, I had no idea what most of the food was! Even though it was family style, the presentation was completely high society to me!
Finally, I heard one of the ladies at my table exclaim, “That tilapia is the best tasting fish I’ve had in a long time!” I forget her name, but I remember her being from Toledo, Ohio. Thank the Lord she said something! That strange, burnt (Cajun!) thing was on my plate was tilapia! I tried it and my love of tilapia was born.
Before my life with John.e, the vegetarian, I used to prepare fish dishes quite often. But, when we moved in together, that stopped. Recently, I convinced him to incorporate fish into his diet. I think that was about eight months ago. So, in the past eight months, he has tried tilapia twice. I haven’t explored other seafood options with him yet. The Sriracha Lemon Garlic Tilapia was very well received though!
Tilapia is such an inexpensive fish. It’s very tasty, flaky, but holds up well to grilling, frying, and baking. The best thing about tilapia is that it can handle almost any flavour you throw at it. That’s why this particular dish demanded strong flavours like garlic, sriracha, and lemon – lots and lots of lemon! Enjoy!
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Sriracha Lemon Garlic Tilapia
- 4 tilapia fillets
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 2 whole lemons, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, paprika, sriracha, salt, and pepper. (You can use more sriracha if you want a spicier fish. Or, if you don't care for spicy food, just leave out the sriracha completely.)
- Lay the lemon slices on a baking sheet – about 3 or 4 slices in a row, so that the fillets of fish can sit nicely on top. I made 4 rows about 3 inches apart.
- Dry the fish with paper towel and lay the fillets onto the lemon slices.
- Top the fillets with the sauce mixture and bake for 20 minutes
- Remove from oven, plate and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
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