Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Corn Meal Crusted Tilapia with Spiced Tortilla Chips and Lime Ranch Salsa

My kids really love fish lately so I wanted to come up with some new ways to serve it.  I get bored so easily with eating the same thing over and over again.  Tilapia is a great fish to use for breading, it really holds up to flipping around in the pan.  This corn meal crust is very light and flavorful.  The tortilla chips add a nice extra crunch too.  The sauce is something I just whipped up using the ingredients I had on hand but I think plain salsa would be great or maybe a chili lime sauce.  Use the sauce sparingly, a little goes a long way!


4 pieces of tilapia cut in half (separate thick and thin sides)
1/4 cup corn meal (or polenta)
1/4 flour
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder; divided
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon coarse salt; divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 crunchy taco shells, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup prepared salsa
1/2 packet of ranch dressing. powder
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying
fresh cilantro for garnish


Place crushed taco shells on a lined baking sheet.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray sprinkle crushed shells with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and cinnamon.  Toss to coat and spread evenly on baking  sheet.  Spray tops with a little extra non-stick cooking spray and place in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until chips just start to brown.

In a shallow bowl mix corn meal, flour, onion flakes, paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Dredge tilapia fillets in corn meal mixture patting to coat evenly.  Heat oil in a large skillet on high heat.  When oil is hot add breaded tilapia fillets 3 or 4 at a time and cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side until they are golden brown.  Transfer to a plate covered in paper towels to drain excess oil.  Add a little extra oil to pan if needed and cook next batch of fillets.  Once all fillets are cooked cover with aluminum foil to keep warm or transfer to a lined baking sheet and place in a 200 degree F oven to keep warm.

In a small bowl combine, ranch dressing mix (powder), mayonaise, lime juice and salsa, set aside.

To serve add a small handful of tortilla chips on top of a fish fillet, sprinkle with a little chopped cilantro.  Serve sauce on the side or drizzle a little bit on top or on the side of each fish fillet.

Linked to This Chick Cooks


  1. Oh how I LOVE Tilapia! This sounds incredible, printing now!!! My other favorite is the broil method, 2 minutes on each side, then paint with half a stick of butter and parmesan cheese, broil 2 more minutes until melty and bubbly, YUM! Next month I have a corn and potato chowder recipe where you top it with shredded tilapia, it sounds good. I'll share if its a "keeper"! :)

  2. The parmesan and butter sounds delicious. I'll try that next time. :)



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