Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tilapia with Ginger Soy Glaze

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch or join us as our family of 6 eats, or tries to, on $6/day.

You don't expect picky people to like fish. Kip and I were married before I knew that he was not only willing to consume fish, but also perfectly happy to do so (at least in most cases). Go figure. And tonight, when we sat down to eat with our 4 children who pretty much can't agree to all like the same meal even if it's something as non-threatening as spaghetti, they ALL--did you get that--ALL ate at least some of the rice and fish, although Mark did slather his small bite of fish in BBQ sauce. Elizabeth and Savannah asked for more. Again, go figure.

So, even if you're not a fish person. Or you don't think you're a fish person because you're picky and how could a picky person also be a fish person (don't ask me), well, this is a great recipe to start out with. The white fish is mild, the glaze is sweet and savory all at once. Oh, and the glaze/sauce also makes for a great warm vinegarette on your spinach salad if you're that kind of girl. I, my friends, am that kind of girl. Omega 3's, anitoxidants, here we come.

And if that's not good enough, this meal takes all of 15 minutes to make. If you have it with rice, that'll add another 15, but it's still very solidly within the last minute meal range. Enjoy.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, how we're managing to eat fish on a mere $6/day....Well, someone at Kip's work brought in a bunch of thawed tilapia the other day. Kip's co-worker couldn't use it all before it went bad, and we were happy to help the poor guy out by taking some of it off his hands. Free food (and the people who give it), how I love thee, let me count the ways.

Tilapia with Ginger Soy Sauce
Serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cost: $5.50
(1 lb tilapia: $5 if you find a sale, soy, ginger and other seasonings: .30-.50)

A note on the fish: This recipe should work with any mild white fish. Tilapia, however, is our favorite.

3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp balsalmic vinegar (to cheapen it, I expect you could get away with 1 Tbsp balsalmic, and 2 Tbsp cheap distilled, but I thought about trying it too late--sorry)
1 scant tsp ground ginger
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 tilapia filets
1-2 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil

On plate or in bowl, combine sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and garlic. Mix it together and place the filets in the mixture to marinate. You can do this for up to 20 minutes, but I always just put it in for a few while I warm up the pan and put my ingredients away. (Sometimes if my fish is frozen, I even just put it in the marinade to de-thaw and marinade at the same time for 20 minutes. Because I am a multi-tasking genius, and apparently not a thinking ahead genius.)

Heat oil in skillet over medium to medium high heat. Take filets out of marinade and place them in oil. Cook on each side for 4-6 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Remove the filets to a plate. Try not to let them break up like crazy, but you can see from the pictures that I'm no expert in this realm.

Pour reserved marinade into skillet and heat over medium heat until mixture reduces to a glaze (about half as much liquid as there was before, and it'll be thicker). This usually takes about 2-3 minutes. Spoon glaze over fish (and over your spinach salad if you wish--yum), and serve immediately.



  1. Ironic, this. Fish is the one food that my husband flatly dislikes me to make, unless it is fresh grilled salmon. He's such a seafood snob after growing up in Boston. Tilapia, or any seafood available in any normal grocery store, makes his little Eastern seaboard nose snootily turn up in disdain. Oh well. This sounds delish. Maybe I'll just make the salad :)

  2. We had tiliapia for dinner last night, too! Two of my kids ate it with ketch-up, but at least they ate it. Doug didn't grow up eating fish, so he had to get used to the idea of eating it. I'll have to try it with the ginger soy sauce next time.

  3. Wow,you guys, a food my husband will eat that other husband's have trouble eating. Seriously, I think fish is so weird for a picky eater, but I'll take any cooperation I get from the peanut butter gallery (for the record I'm not including Kip in the peanut butter gallery--he is a little more mature in his tastes).

  4. Pete won't touch fish, at all. The kids like it though, so I fix them fish when Pete is gone... but I usually go for less healthy things like salmon patties or fish sticks :)

  5. We have made this 3 times now, so I just have to say how delicious it is. I have a hard time with fish, but not this. It is so good. The kids like the sauce enough to eat the fish. And, the sauce is so good drizzled on greens, broccoli, and even watermelon :) Thanks for the recipe!



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