Lessons in the Kitchen; Lemon Onion Tilapia

It’s always a good idea to have a few easy, quick recipes on hand, and especially so with the upcoming holiday season. I like having recipes that mostly use things I generally have on hand, and ones that don’t take much effort are even better. This recipe definitely checks all those boxes, and I keep it on my menu rotation pretty frequently. It has the added benefit to me of the memory of the afternoon when my grandma taught me this recipe.

I use Tilapia, typically, but you can use any kind of fish. I like keeping individually wrapped tilapia filets in my freezer, and eat them a lot for lunch and occasionally for supper. A basic white fish like Tilapia, Whiting, or Cod are good to keep on hand because they are so versatile. There are tons of sauces and toppings you can put on them, and multiple ways they can be cooked, too. It’s also one of the recipes you can buy in bulk at your regular grocery store.

For sides, you can make whatever you like. I try to have some sort of vegetable, but I also like having some kind of carb, too. Tilapia is a light fish, so I like having something filling, like rice, as a side. This time I made fried rice with peas and egg. The rice isn’t so much a recipe as it is a method, but I’ve included instructions below anyway. It should get you started. Of course you could always do a more simple white rice, steamed veggies, and/or salad. This one is really up to you. If I made it this week, I would probably make sides of white rice and blanched spinach with sesame oil and garlic. Next week, I might just stick a simple salad and toast with it.

Lemon Onion Tilapia

One Tilapia filet per person 

Half a lemon per person

Quarter onion per person

One tbsp butter per person

One clove garlic per person

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Slice the lemon and onion, then layer half on the bottom of your dish.

Add the tilapia, then cover with the remaining lemon and onion. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Add crushed garlic clove and butter to the pan, then bake at 375 for 20 – 30 minutes, until done.

I like to cover the pan with aluminum foil for the first 15 – 20 minutes, then remove it for the final baking time. The fish should flake easily and be opaque when it’s done cooking. Periodically spoon the butter and juices back over the fish during bake time.

Fried Rice

Cooked rice (white or brown, however much you want)

Some kind of frozen or canned vegetable (I normally use frozen sweet peas, but corn or carrots would work really well, too)

Sesame oil

Canola oil

One egg

Soy sauce

I try to cook the rice ahead of time. Heat a little oil in your pan, then add your rice.

Stir for a moment as the rice cooks, then make a hole in the middle. Add your egg and scramble to cook. Once cooked, add frozen peas and mix everything together.

Add sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. Literally, taste the rice and adjust seasonings as needed. 

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