My Dad is a big fisherman, so I've grown up my whole life eating fish. Now that I'm married, whenever my Dad comes to visit he brings me a couple packages of fish that he's caught and it goes into my freezer, so I'm never short of fish. My only problem is we've ALWAYS had it the same way growing up (and even now) - egg wash, and seasoned bread crumb mixture, then fried. It's delicious, but it doesn't really get me excited when I'm adding it to my meal plan. I'm always like "ah...fish again". For the meal plan this week I was really wanting to use up meat I already had in my freezer, so making fish was kind of a given. Only this time I was clever - I went searching for something a little different that your regular salt and pepper breaded fish. I found this Pecan Crusted Tilapia at steamykitchen.com and couldn't resist. It's essentially the same process as my tried and true method, only the breading has crushed pecans and the fillets are brushed with honey. SO GOOD!
I made the recipe exactly as is and wouldn't change anything (except cooking time; check my note at the bottom). It was extremely fast to put together...probably only 15 minutes from beginning to end.
Recipe from Steamy Kitchen
4 whole tilapia fillets, cut in half lengthwise - you should have 8 pieces about 6″ x 2.5″ each (I used 9 small perch fillets)
3 tbsp honey
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup crushed pecans (I used my food processor)
salt & pepper
3 eggs, beaten in a bowl
Honey Glaze: 3 tbsp honey mixed with 2 tbsp hot water
3 tbsp olive oil, for frying
Wash your fish fillets and pat dry. Using a brush, brush both sides of the fillet with honey. Generously salt & pepper both sides of the fillet.
Combine the Panko and crushed Pecans. Lay out your ingredients in this order: Tilapia - Egg mixture - Panko/Pecan mix. Dip the fish in the egg, coat with Panko/pecans on both sides, set aside. Repeat with all fillets.
Heat a large fry pan over medium heat. Add olive oil. When the oil is hot, turn the heat down to low. Add the fillets to the pan, make sure the fillets don’t touch each other. You may have to do this in separate batches. Fry on low for 2 minutes until the underside is golden brown. Turn. Fry another 2 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Pour the honey glaze over the fish.
Note: if you don’t fry on low heat, the panko/pecan coating will burn before the fish is cooked through.
Click here for printable version of Pecan Crusted Tilapia with Honey Glaze
I served this with Garlic Scallion Noodles (also from Steamy Kitchen) and frozen peas/corn. This was such a great meal! My whole family absolutely loved the fish. I would DEFINITELY make this fish again. It was such a nice change from my regular savory version. It has a nice nutty flavor from the pecans and the honey adds beautiful sweetness. If you are trying to get your family to eat more fish, this would be a great recipe to try out. My 14 month old couldn't get enough of it. I think kids would be really turned on by the breading as well as the sweetness. LOVE IT!
*Note: While Steamy Kitchen says to cook the fish on low for 2 minutes per side, I found I had to cook it on medium low for 5 minutes on one side and 3 on the other to get it nice and brown. Could be the change in altitude. Just keep an eye on it because you definitely wouldn't want it to burn.