Tilapia has gained much popularity over the years, but it’s important to ask a grocery store representative where their tilapia comes from and how it’s raised. Since tilapia retain much of the same flavor as the water it swims in, farm-raised varieties may not only taste off, but also contain dirt and bacteria. If you are buying the fish whole, make sure it smells oceanic and has clear eyes.
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Next: How to Freeze Tilapia
Properly stored, tilapia will last in your freezer from six to eight months. It is important to take the fish (which can be in its original packaging) and re-wrap it with plastic wrap, freezer paper, or aluminum foil. Stick the filets in a freezer bag for added protection.
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Next: How to Thaw Tilapia
Like most fish, you should never thaw tilapia in a microwave or on the kitchen counter. A microwave will cook the fish and make the filet more susceptible to airborne bacteria. Your best bet is to place the tilapia in a bowl of cold water and change every 30 minutes or so until the fish is ready to be cooked.
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Next: How to Pick Tilapia
Being from the Caribbean, my partner Lu loves tropical flavors—he goes crazy for anything that comes with mango. I’ve made him swordfish with mango-avocado salsa, zucchini pasta cooked with mango and coconut flakes, and this tilapia recipe, which is probably his favorite. The spicy, blackened fish gets along famously with the sweet mango and refreshing chayote and bell pepper. With fresh herbs like cilantro and mint, you’ll have to check out your window to make sure you’re not at the beach!
Suggested equipment: A julienne peeler, sharp paring knife, or a spiralizer.
If you need to buy the tool to make this happen, check out Guide’s list of Best Spiralizers.