Tilapia is a freshwater or brackish fish native to Africa and the Near Middle East, where a rudimentary aquaculture system already existed. The Egyptians were already stocking tilapias in ponds more than 4,000 years ago. Adapted to all tropical regions of the globe, Tilapia is the second most widely grown freshwater fish in the world and an important source of protein for people in developing countries.
However, commercial breeding will not begin until the Second World War in South Africa due to a shortage of meat. The Belgian and English settlers then dig thousands of small ponds in order to raise tilapia and other local fish species to feed the miners and their families. Today, tilapia is produced in over 75 countries, with the largest producers being China, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea, Egypt, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
It have been reported to have been grown in India since ancient times in Bengal, Madras and Kerala. They were introduced in South America and Southeast Asia in the 20th century and their breeding exponentially grew there, so that in 2004 its sales exceeded those of salmon and rainbow trout. In 2010, they consumed 215,000 tons of tilapia.
Tilapia has become the most present fish in Europe today. In addition to fish, which is sold whole or in pieces, in some countries, notably in Brazil, the skin is also transformed into utilitarian objects like bags, belts, portfolios, briefcases, etc.
Known for its flesh of sweet flavor, tilapia is often called aquatic chicken. Resilient to disease and resisting the accumulation of hard metals and toxins, tilapia develops quickly and is easy to reproduce. An adequate environment and plenty of food is all that is needed. There are the most common being Nile tilapia and Java tilapia as well as also many hybrids called red tilapias.
It is not expensive, and does not taste like fish. It has neither bones nor skin. However, virtually all the Tilapia we eat is farmed, which means that you cannot find wild Tilapia in any restaurant menu. In the wild Tilapia would eat algae and lake plants.
Among the popular recipes are tilapia fillet, grilled tilapia, fried tilapia, baked tilapia and breaded tilapia. It is found throughout the year, usually in the form of fresh or frozen fillets. Occasionally, whole tilapia can be found in Asian fishmongers. Tilapia is often appreciated by consumers who like little fish because the taste is fairly light. In addition, the tilapia fillets are virtually devoid of bones, which attracts more children!
This fish can be cooked in a stove, oven, steam and even frying. It cooks quite quickly, and is ideal for the pressed. As soon as the flesh becomes opaque, it's good!
As fresh, the Japanese eat it raw, sushi, sashimi or ceviche, that is to say marinated a few hours in lemon juice.
You can add flour and fry in vegetable oil. Add lemon juice, butter and parsley and reheat. Top the fillets with this sauce.
You can sauté them in a mixture of oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and add chopped garlic, return to the heat for one or two minutes, then serve.
You can marinate it for half an hour in olive oil based sauce, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, parsley, oregano, garlic and Tabasco sauce, and then grill them in the oven or barbecue.
You can put them in a gratin dish, pour white wine (about a cup), herbs, garlic and chopped green onions, add a knob of butter on each fillet, cover the dish with aluminum foil and put in an oven set at 175 ° C (350 ° F) for about half an hour.
You can bake them after cooking them with a sauce made from crushed tomatoes, pitted and coarsely chopped olives, fresh thyme, garlic, minced onion, olive oil, lime juice and, if desired, finely chopped hot pepper.
They can be poached for a few minutes in water, white wine, fish stock or any other liquid of their choice. They can be curried in milk and coconut cream, hot peppers, garlic, ginger and other spices of their choice. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve with sautéed vegetables.
You can grill and serve with a ratatouille or a shiitake mushroom sauce and yogurt.
You can dip them in a beaten egg, pass them in seasoned bread crumbs herbs of choice and cook them in a frying pan.
You can marinate one hour in a sauce made of oil, lemon juice, honey, fruit chutney and minced garlic. Cook them on the grill, brushing them a few times with the sauce to glaze them.
You can prepare leftovers in salad.