A four ounce tilapia filet has 110 calories, 2 grams fat, 0 carbs, and 23 grams protein. A four ounce tilapia filet from your freezer also has about 0 flavor. But this is a great fish because it’s firm, with great texture, and it takes on the flavor of anything you add to it. The pecan crust adds another texture and makes the fish richer with the good fats in the nuts. Getting it just a bit blackened works for me, too. It has another depth to the flavor and makes the pecans come forward.
The salsa is simple and really bright. I ate mine with a bit of the red chili and wow! I loved it. Aurelia ate the salsa without the chili pepper and decided she liked the fish once I took the “breading” off of it. So, toddler friendly enough and the best protein we had all day.
Pecan Encrusted Tilapia with Orange Jicama Salsa
Adapted from PaleOMG
For the fish
4 tilapia filets
2 egg whites, beaten
1 1/2 cups pecans
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
4 Tbs coconut oil, divided
For the salsa
1 orange, peeled and diced
1/2-1 fresh or dried hot chili pepper
1/2 jicama, peeled and finely diced
juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbs)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
pinch of salt
Add your pecans and coconut to a food processor. Pulse until they turn into the size of breadcrumbs. Fine, but not getting to a paste. Then add your seasonings along with the salt and pepper and pulse a few more times to incorporate.
Whisk your egg whites in a separate large, flat bottomed bowl. Now put your pecan bread crumbs on a plate or any wide dish that will be convenient enough to put your filets in. Now heat up a large skillet with 2 Tbs of coconut oil on medium heat.Dip your tilapia in the egg whites then transfer over to your pecan bread crumbs and coat on both sides. Repeat with another filet. Add pecan crusted tilapia directly to your hot pan. Cook for 3-6 minutes per side, depending on how big your filets are. Clean out your pan, heat the other 2 Tbs of coconut oil and repeat with the last two filets.
Now chop up all your ingredients for you salsa, add to a large bowl and mix thoroughly. I made one bowl of salsa with the chili pepper and one without. You can make this as spicy as you like. Once fish is done cooking, top it off with your orange jicama salsa. I served the fish on a bit of smashed roasted squash, but it will be great on its own, too.