I’ve said before that I’m not a particularly big fan of tilapia, but it’s a very inexpensive fish so I’m trying to figure out different recipes to make with it where I will enjoy eating it.
I decided to try the recipe for Chili-Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus and Lemon. I used a 12 ounce bag of frozen asparagus, which is only half of what the recipe calls for, but I used the full pound of tilapia. The recipe was pretty simple. Cook the asparagus first. (I microwaved mine, which I unfortunately overcooked.) Make a spice rub of chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Coat the fish with it and cook on the stove in a skillet. Remove the fish from heat and add the asparagus, lemon juice, and additional salt, cooking for a few minutes. Serve the asparagus with the tilapia.
This recipe wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t wowed by it at all. It’s possible that my chili powder isn’t the best mixture of spices (I was pretty sure they wanted the chili powder mix instead of cayenne this time). I just ground a little salt into the spice mix, rather than measuring it, so I think I didn’t get enough salt in there. The thing that gets me about the recipe is that the lemon doesn’t actually go with the fish – it’s chili-rubbed tilapia with lemony asparagus. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, but I do think it’s kind of false advertising, even though it’s something easy enough to fix.
I don’t think I’d make this again. If I’m going to cook tilapia, I’d rather make fish sticks or tilapia cakes out of it instead. If I did make it again, though, I’d use the proper amount of salt and add a little lemon juice to the tilapia before it left the skillet to give it a little more zing.