Pan-Fried Tilapia Tacos

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8 tacos Easy
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Ingredients (10)

  • 2 cups medium-dice fresh pineapple
  • 2 medium jalapeños (seeds removed if you want a milder salsa), minced
  • 1/2 medium lime
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound fresh tilapia (about 5 fillets)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 corn tortillas


Fish offers a wide canvas for tacos: grilled, battered and fried, ceviche-cured. Here, boneless fillets are seasoned, floured, and pan-fried so they’re crisp at the edges, moist and tender inside. A simple fresh pineapple salsa spiked with lime and jalapeños gives the tacos brightness and a little bite.

What to buy: Tilapia is a fish that’s affordable and readily available, but check to make sure the fillets you buy are from a source that practices sustainable aquaculture. Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch for recommendations.


  1. 1Mix the pineapple and jalapeños in a medium bowl. Squeeze the lime half over top. Season with salt and set aside.
  2. 2Season both sides of the tilapia fillets with salt and pepper.
  3. 3Dredge in the flour so all surfaces are lightly and evenly coated.
  4. 4Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. When the skillet is very hot, add half of the floured fish pieces. Sear for 4 minutes on the first side.
  5. 5Flip, brush with half of the melted butter, and cook for 4 more minutes, until done. Repeat with the remaining fillets.
  6. 6Heat up your tortillas (we do it directly over a gas flame till they’re puffed and a little blistered), distribute the fillets among the tortillas, top each taco with pineapple salsa, and serve.

Photos, styling, and animated GIF by Chris Rochelle

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