Question:

How do I buy fresh tilapia?

Buying and Storing Fresh Tilapia

One of the most popular fish in America recently is tilapia. According to some sources, it is currently one of the top ten seafoods in this country. What is tilapia and how do you buy it? Tilapia is a freshwater fish that has a mild, sweet flavor. Its flesh is usually white (however there is a red variety) and it has a flaky, yet firm structure. It is very low in calories and high in protein -- making for both a healthy and nutritious meal. Its versatility stems from the fact that it absorbs the flavors of whatever it is cooked with. Plus, fresh tilapia can easily be cooked either by steaming, baking, broiling, stir frying, or pan frying. Tilapia is seen quite commonly in sushi bars.

When buying fresh tilapia, you should notice a mild smell similar to that of the ocean. It should be a fresh smelling scent. Avoid it if it is an unpleasant odor, as in any whole fresh fish. Also look for clear eyes, clean gills (no dirt, grime, or slime), and scales that are moist, shiny, and tightly connected to the body. When buying fresh tilapia fillets, make certain there is no excess water in the package.

To store fresh tilapia, rinse it with cold water and pat dry. Wrap it in plastic wrap and put in a open container covered with ice. You can keep it this way for up to two days.

A very easy way to enjoy tilapia is by baking it. Simply put some dabs of butter on it. Sprinkle with some herbs and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, until a fork can break apart the flesh. When ready to eat, squeeze some fresh orange over it. Viola! There you have a tasty, citrusy fresh seafood delight.

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Heidi Splete