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Sautéed Tilapia with Cilantro Chimichurri for Two

Published January 2019

Why This Recipe Works

We quickly cooked mild-tasting tilapia in a nonstick skillet over high heat to maximize flavorful browning without overcooking and drying out the fillets. We found that this fish is firm and resilient enough to cook over aggressive heat without falling apart. Dividing each fillet into a thick and a thin portion and sautéing them separately allowed for more precise cooking and even browning. Finishing with a cilantro chimichurri sauce added flavor and richness to this lean fish.

Ingredients

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Fish

2 (5- to 6-ounce) skinless tilapia fillets
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Chimichurri

1 tablespoon hot water
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Nutritional Information

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Per Serving (Serves 2)

  • Calories 339
  • Cholesterol 77 mg
  • Fat 23 g
  • Sodium 476 mg
  • Saturated 3 g
  • Carbs 1 g
  • Trans 0g
  • Dietary Fiber 0 g
  • Monounsaturated 15 g
  • Sugar 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated 2 g
  • Protein 31 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Instructions

Serves 2

You can use fresh or frozen tilapia in this recipe (if frozen, thaw before cooking). There is no need to take the temperature of the thin halves of the fillets; they will be cooked through by the time they are golden brown. Briefly soaking the dried oregano in warm water and vinegar helps soften it and release its flavor.

Total Time: 35 minutes

1. For the fish: Place tilapia on cutting board and sprinkle both sides with salt. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

2. For the chimichurri: While tilapia rests, combine hot water, vinegar, and oregano in medium bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Add parsley, cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper flakes and stir to combine. Whisk in 2 tablespoons oil until incorporated; set aside.

3. Pat tilapia dry with paper towels. Using seam that runs down middle of fillet as guide, cut each fillet in half lengthwise to create 1 thick half and 1 thin half.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add thick halves of fillets to skillet. Cook, tilting and gently shaking skillet occasionally to distribute oil, until undersides are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Using thin spatula, flip fillets. Cook until second sides are golden brown and tilapia registers 130 to 135 degrees, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer tilapia to serving platter.

5. Return skillet to high heat. When oil is just smoking, add thin halves of fillets and cook until undersides are golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip and cook until second sides are golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to serving platter. Top fillets with 2 tablespoons chimichurri and serve, passing remaining chimichurri separately.

Tilapia, Thick and Thin

Tilapia is a small fish, so a fillet comprises one whole side of its body. The belly portion of the fillet is thinner than the top portion, a disparity that leads to uneven cooking. Our solution: Using the seam running down the center of each fillet as a guide, cut the thin and thick portions apart and cook them separately.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.