I am not a huge fan of fish, but I had a bag of Simply Balanced Tilapia I bought at Target last year and in an attempt to clean out my freezer, I started searching Pinterest for ways to cook it. I found a recipe on Once Upon A Chef that sounded pretty good. I was most excited for the lemon and garlic mayonnaise dipping sauce. I cooked 7 fillets which gave us 14 fingers. We had the tilapia fingers with the dipping sauce and veggies one night and the next day we made sandwiches with the leftover tilapia by just spreading a new batch of dipping sauce on a few Sara Lee 80 Calories & Delightful Wheat Hamburger Buns. Below is my modified version of Once Upon A Chef’s recipe. Modify your breading ingredients based on the amount of tilapia fillets you wish to prepare. For reference: 1/2 a fillet per bun.
Ingredients for Tilapia
- 7 Tilapia fillets
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2-3 cups panko
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive oil
Ingredients for Dipping Sauce
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- Garlic powder, to taste (I used about 2 tablespoons)
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1 lemon
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- If tilapia fillets are frozen, follow thawing instructions on packaging.
- Mix the mayonnaise, garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover bowl and refrigerate.
- Cut the tilapia fillets in half.
- Set up three large shallow bowls in an assembly line (1. flour, 2. beaten eggs, 3. panko bread crumbs).
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Dredge the fish fingers in the flour mixture, shaking excess into the bowl so just a light coating remains; dip in the eggs and turn to coat evenly; then dredge in the panko, turning several times to coat evenly. Set the breaded tilapia fingers on the prepared baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.
- Line a plate with 3 paper towels and set by the stove. Coat a large non-stick sauté pan generously with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the pan is hot, place the first batch of tilapia fingers in the pan and cook until the first side is golden brown (about 3 minutes). Flip and continue cooking until done (about 3 minutes).
- Transfer the fish fingers to the plate with paper towels and let sit for a minute to drain any excess oil. Remove any brown bits out of the pan, add more oil and continue to cook the fish in batches until done. Season the cooked tilapia fingers with more salt if desired.
- Spread dipping sauce onto buns, along with tilapia fingers, lettuce and tomato (if desired) and enjoy!