Quick Family Fish Dinner (Turmeric-Seasoned Tilapia with Vegetables)

I once asked some family members who are also avid cooks, what do you believe is the most under utilized seasoning?  To my surprise, all three family members replied in unison, “turmeric!”  Hmm… time to start cooking with turmeric.

Last night I was feeling pretty uninspired making dinner.  UGH.  Time to make dinner.  What do I have to cook with?  I’ve started to buy food in bulk at Wegman’s and then store in the freezer until I’m ready to use, as a way to cut down on cost.  (PS this works!)  Last night the only frozen food option was tilapia.  Tilapia it is.

When making tilapia, I usually scramble eggs, coat the fish in egg batter before I lay in a bed of bread crumbs, and lightly pan fry before I bake, adding lemon.  This is my staple for my kids.  But to be honest, last night I didn’t feel like going through the hassle.

Yes I said it.  The often unappreciated effort to make dinner look appealing, right?  The dinner, the kitchen, the house, the laundry, the car… the list goes on.  (Just being human here 🙂

Ok, back to my story.  Using very few ingredients I changed this fish dish into something easier, faster, AND including turmeric.

Simple Fish Ingredients
Simple Fish Ingredients

I bathed the fish in a bowl of milk (lactaid for my family), and then briskly laid the fish in a plate of flour (white whole wheat flour to be exact) before placing the fish in the pan.  I used a thin layer of vegetable oil on the pan, which was set to a med/high temperature.  Cooking tips: use vegetable oil vs olive oil for pan frying fish because of the higher smoke point.  Other cooks recommend grape seed oil or clarified butter as options, but I find that vegetable oil is the most convenient.)

Cooking in med/high, I liberally shake turmeric and garlic powder on the fish.  I also add salt and pepper.  I do this to both sides and cook each side for about 4 minutes or until a nice brown but not burnt before I place the fish in a baking sheet.  The fish needs only 10-15 minutes of baking at 350 degrees in the oven.  (For thicker fish like cod or catfish, I would cook for 20-25 minutes.  Also you could just fry the fish and be done, but I prefer to bake it, as a way to use less oil overall.)

To accompany the fish, I sautéed fresh green beans and carrots in sesame oil and a little salt, and heated corn that was in the freezer.  This entire meal took me about 20 minutes to make, and the display was eye catching for my kids.

Fish plate
Fish plate

The next best thing to having food appear magically in your kitchen is cooking (fish) made easy.

Tag. You’re it! #eatbettertogether

~ Emma

“Hey mom! A fish!” ~ 5 year old son