How To Cook A Tilapia Fish

How To Cook A Tilapia Fish
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Having spent a good part of our childhood living by a lake, we are big fans of fresh water fish. Perhaps one of our favourite types of fish is tilapia, a common but delicious fresh water fish.

We have many fond memories of enjoying fresh water fish from the grill seasoned to delicate perfection.

In homage of this, let’s take a look at how to cook a tilapia fish and delve into one of our favourite ways to enjoy it; oven roasted.

How To Cook A Tilapia Fish

For this receipe, we’ve gone with a whole roasted talipa fish. We are big fans of this style of cooking fish because its so straightforward and requires very little prep. This assumes that your whole tilapia fish comes gutted and suitably washed.

If you’ve kept your fresh fish frozen in the freezer, make sure you take it out in good time to allow it to suitably defrost so that by the time it’s ready for cooking, it’s easy enought to cut into the flesh.

One of the best things about tilapia fish is the fact the flesh tends to be quite meaty but soft meaning any seasoning can bed into the fish nicely.

Another benefit of tilapia is the fact that, at least in our opinion, it’s not too boney. Typically once you deal with the main bones holding the flesh, there are usually not too many smaller ones to deal with. Though of course you should always exercise real caution when eating any type of fish when it comes to picking out bones.

What Is A Tilapia Fish?

The term tilapia actually covers a range of different types of fresh water fish the most common denoting those from the cichlid family of fish. Originating from Africa, this type of fish is now farmed worldwide and is freely available in many supermarkets and fishmongers.

The fish can often be found in the whole form or provided in packs of fillets, great for battered recipes or simply fried. Indeed, one of the best parts of tilapia fish is how versatile they are when it comes to cooking.

Whole Tilapia Fish Recipe

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fish
Servings 4


  • 1 Tilapia Gutted and washed
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon & Herb Piri Piri Sauce We Use Nando's
  • 1 Thumbsize Fresh ginger
  • 1 Whole Fresh Lemon
  • 6 Tbsp Olive Oil Sunflower or vegetable oil also works well


  • Heat the oven to 180°C ( 356°F).
    how to cook a tilapia fish - image 1
  • Wash your whole fish thoroughly. Place on suitable cutting board and slice into the skin on each side at three different points. Do this for both sides. This is to allow the flavours from the seasoning to really bed into the flesh of the fish.
  • Squeeze the fresh lemon over the tilapia. Add the paprika, ground pepper and peri peri sauce.
  • Spread the ginger evenly on the side. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. If needed, add a few tablespoons of water if it seems too dry.
  • Now spread the seasoning evenly across the whole side of the fish making sure each section is well covered. Try to squeeze some in between the sections you sliced into earlier.
  • Turn the fish and repeat steps 3 – 5.
  • Place in the oven and cook one side for around 25 minutes. Turn over the fish over and cook for another 25 minutes, or until it is cooked to your liking. Remember cooking times will vary depending on your oven so the above times are simply an indication.
  • Serve with your choice of side (potatoes work well) and enjoy!
Keyword Fish, Tilapia

How To Cook A Tilapia Fish – Please let us know if you have tried this recipe by sending us your photos and sharing your comments through Instagram, or Facebook. Find us @simpleyummiesfood

If you liked our Tilapia recipe please also check out our fresh trout recipe!

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