Sweet and sour tilapia

Sweet and sour tilapia

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A versatile sauce for any fish or poultry

I stumbled upon this recipe as I was looking for a different way to serve my fish fillets. Sweet, sour and salty taste combinations are always a big hit at my house. There’s even some umami in this sauce from the caramelized shallots. All you need to hit all taste sensations is to serve with something bitter like kale or spinach!

The original recipe called for dredging the fish in flour before pan-frying it:

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/sweet-and-sour-pan-fried-sea-bass-52546641

I skip this step as I find it unnecessary with tilapia. Just a bit of salt and pepper on both sides and it’s perfect. I have also modified the process to cook the sauce separately in a smaller skillet. It can easily be made in advance and reheated when ready to serve.

The sauce would be great served with any other kind of fish, but also with poultry like turkey, chicken or duck!

Ingredient substitutions

This sauce doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, and they are all items I keep on hand at all times. But in a pinch, here are some possible substitutions.

If you have no shallots, a red onion thinly sliced would be a good replacement.

Cranberries could be replaced by raisins or dried cherries or blueberries.

For the vinegar, I like to use Sherry vinegar because of it’s delicious fragrance and acidity level, but you could substitute red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

If you don’t like too much heat, you can skip the red pepper flakes.

Pine nuts work well but could be replaced by slivered almonds.

sweet and sour tilapia ingredients

How to make sweet and sour tilapia

Start by heating the cranberries with the vinegar in a small bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds (or a small saucepan). Let them sit while you proceed with the next step; they will plump up nicely.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small frying pan over medium high heat. Add shallots and cook a couple minutes until softened.

sweet and sour tilapia shallots

Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook another minute.

sweet and sour tilapia 3
sweet and sour tilapia 4

Add cranberries and vinegar and bring to a boil.

sweet and sour tilapia 5

Add orange juice. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce has reduced by about a third and thickened a bit (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and cover.

sweet and sour tilapia 6

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.

Season tilapia with salt and pepper on both sides.

Place fish in the frying pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Serve the sauce over the fish. Sprinkle pine nuts on top.

For more seafood ideas, check our other recipes:

https://cuisinewithme.com/baked-fish-in-tomato-sauce/

https://cuisinewithme.com/pecan-crusted-trout/

Sweet and sour tilapia

This sweet and sour sauce take any white fish fillet to a new level!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry, fish, orange, shallots
Servings: 4
Author: Veronique Eichler

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place cranberries and vinegar in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small frying pan over medium high heat. Add shallots and cook a couple minutes until softened.
  • Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook another minute.
  • Add cranberries and vinegar and bring to a boil.
  • Add orange juice. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce has reduced by about a third and thickened a bit (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and cover.
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  • Season tilapia with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Place fish in the frying pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  • Serve the sauce over the fish. Sprinkle pine nuts on top.

Nutrition

Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 387mg | Potassium: 720mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 102IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg
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