Breaded Tilapia (Nori Crusted Fish Recipe)

Breaded Tilapia (Nori Crusted Fish Recipe) Recipe

Tilapia is an easy fish to prepare but can be pretty bland on its own. To enhance the flavor, I breaded the fish with a blend of shortbread cookies, white miso paste, wasabi and nori sheets. I covered the fish fillets with nori-flavored breading, pan-fried it and finish the cooking in the oven.

If you're trying to introduce seafood to your children, I think tilapia is a good fish to start with. It's mild in flavor and the other plus is it's inexpensive.


Yields: 6 servings

6 tilapia fillets, (1-3/4 pounds total)
1/3 teaspoon wasabi powder
1 clove garlic , finely minced
6 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white miso paste
1 tablespoon dried black fungus mushrooms
½ teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
1 teaspoon agave nectar (or any sweetener)
2 small toasted nori sheets
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, slightly toasted
1-½ tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 (2 per packet) shortbread fingers
1 tablespoon curly parsley, + extra for garnish


Tilapia marinade: Ask your fishmonger to prep 6 nice rectangle fillets. Wash and pat dry using paper towels. Place the tilapia in a small, deep dish. Season with salt, ½ teaspoon wasabi powder and garlic. Make sure the spices coat the fish. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Plastic wrap the dish and refrigerate for about 3 hours.

For the black mushrooms: Soak the black fungus mushrooms in boiling water for 2-3 minutes then drain. Chop finely. Set aside.

Breading tilapia:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Finely chop the nori sheets.

In a bowl, combine the chopped nori, white miso paste, a pinch of wasabi, agave nectar and sesame seeds. Toss well.

Grind the shortbread cookies into a fine powder (you could use a mini-blender, a grater or a mortar and pestle). Add the nori mixture, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar and 2-3 tablespoons oil and parsley. It should form coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Remove the fish from the refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking to bring it back to room temperature.

Remove the fish from the dish and pat dry the excess marinade. Season with more salt and black pepper.

Using a silicone brush, coat the fish with oil.

In a non-stick grill pan that can be used in the oven, heat some oil, add the fish and sear it. Cook for about 2 minutes. Flip the fish using a large spatula. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Cover with the nori crust by gently pressing it against the top of the fish using a spoon.

Baking tilapia:

Drizzle with a little oil. Immediately transfer to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until golden, depending on how thick the fillets are.

Do NOT over-cook. Remove the pan from the oven and check for doneness. The fish should be opaque white and not translucent and a thermometer should register 140°F. If the fish is not cooked through, bake for 4-5 more minutes.

Drizzle with a little rice wine vinegar and garnish with parsley.

I served the fish with sautéed choy sum.

Bon appétit!


For flavor reasons (they're less salty), our family prefers the (seaweed) nori sheets sold in small packages. They're small nori sheets, sold in (6 x 0.17-ounce) packages. Look for the Wang brand. We always have toasted nori sheets in the pantry. It's a great source of protein and iron. The girls love munching on it as a snack.

I buy white miso paste (shiro miso) at the Korean store. It's less salty than regular miso and it has a very smooth texture. I buy it at Marina Foods -10122 Bandley Drive -Cupertino, CA 95014.

Fungus mushrooms (nấm mèo in Vietnamese), also called black mushrooms can be found in any Asian markets.

Agave nectar is a natural sweetener. You can find it in specialty stores such as Whole Foods and in many regular grocery stores. Agave nectar is made out of the purified sap of cactus-like desert plants.

I used Walkers shortbread fingers.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on August 5, 2010.


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