Citrus and fish, unbeatable combo!  Until now, I accepted the idea that one of my favorite preparations for delicate fish filets came with a small tax to pay for the fat used to fry it. But, when I saw this recipe on How Sweet It Is, I hoped it would be my ticket to a lighter version of the classic.  To be completely honest, I had my doubts, because not too long ago I tried a similar method for pork schnitzel  (from Everyday Food) and it was a huge disappointment.   I am glad to report NO disappointment here, quite the contrary, this recipe is a keeper!

(adapted from How Sweet It Is)

4 fresh (or thawed) tilapia filets
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
zest of 2 oranges, 1 lime and 1 lemon
2 egg whites, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, place a wire rack on top, and spray the wire rack with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, add bread crumbs, flour, citrus zest and a pinch of salt. In another bowl, lightly beat the egg whites, add a teaspoon of water to make it looser.

Season each piece of tilapia with salt and pepper. Dip each piece of fish in the beaten egg whites, allow the excess to drip, then coat with your mixture of breadcrumbs, pressing well to adhere. Place on the wire rack and spray lightly with olive oil spray.

Bake for about 18 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden. Depending on how thick your filets are, it could take slightly longer.  Test with a knife to see if the fish flakes easily, then it’s done.


to print the recipe, click here

Jessica  served her fish filets with a beautiful blood orange salsa,  perfect complement to the dish, but this time I took a more austere route, went with white rice and stove top blasted broccoli (a favorite side dish of ours).

This recipe was a breeze to put together, the fish turned out moist, perfectly cooked, with the crust delivering a burst of citric flavor.  The secret for success is spraying the olive oil over the coating before baking the filets.  That ensures just the right amount of fat to moisten the crumb layer and give it a hint of color.   Much lighter than the usual method with a frying pan, but without skimping on flavor.  I am not at all interested in reducing calories if it will hurt my food.   This is  a perfect example of a make-over that is worth adding to your repertoire of meals.

I highly recommend you stop by How Sweet It Is to get her full recipe, including the blood orange salsa.  It will be on our table next time, all I need is to find that elusive orange for sale. 😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Bran Muffins: not just for hippies!

TWO YEARS AGO: Chocolate Flourless Cake

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    • I bet it’s good with chicken too. The problem I had with the pork schnitzel was that the crumbs were very dry, and the meat got tough. Not a nice combination, I can tell you…


  1. Sally, I love this recipe, and the fact that I won’t have to deal with the oil after frying the fish filets, I hate that!

    I guess all I have to do is find a rack to put the filets in the oven, I think the one I have is coated with some material that might not be oven-proof


    • Good point about the oil leftover from frying the filets… I should have added that to the post, but I’m glad you brought it up… 😉

      I have racks coated with a black teflon thing, but used a stainless steel rack for this, as I wasn’t sure about the black ones in such a hot oven


  2. This is my favourite way of preparing fish. For some reason it does not leave quite the fishy odour in the house which is such a bore in the winter. Lovely.. and i shall certainly pop over to your friends site and see what hse is up to.. c


    • You and me both. I can think of a few items we simply never run out of, and lemons / limes / oranges are always in our fridge. Ginger too, by the way. Probably my favorite flavors in cooking are citrus and ginger.


  3. Sally, this looks really good. I oven fry my chicken in this manner for years and enjoy how it comes out. I like the crumb mix of flour and panko in this recipe. I am definitely going it very soon!


  4. I just saw some of those oranges in Whole Foods a few weeks ago. If I had only known! This looks fantastic and would be a meal that all four of us would be happy to sit down to eat together. This one is being printed and put in my folder of things to make soon!🙂


    • Kristy, I suffer from the same problem. Drive all the way to Whole Foods, see a bunch of cool things that I end up NOT bringing home, and the moment I sit at the computer the perfect recipe pops on my screen…. Murphy’s Law never ever fails!


  5. Pingback: almond-crusted tilapia « Foodie Joanie

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