While the ingredient list is long, most of the work is simply measuring out seasonings and prepared ingredients. The dish comes together in less than 30 minutes. Substitute any firm white fish, such as red snapper or flounder, for tilapia.
4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 teaspoon chili powder, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon onion flakes, crushed
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
7 teaspoons canola oil, divided
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper (about 1 large)
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425º.
Place tortilla strips on a baking sheet lined with foil; lightly coat tortilla strips with cooking spray. Sprinkle strips with 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 425º for 10 minutes or until crisp, and set aside.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cornmeal, onion flakes, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder in a shallow dish. Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt; dredge in cornmeal mixture.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.
Combine romaine and next 4 ingredients (through cilantro) in a large bowl. Combine juice, mustard, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add remaining 4 teaspoons oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle juice mixture over lettuce mixture; toss gently to coat. Place 1 1/2 cups salad mixture on each of 4 plates; sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese. Place 1 fish fillet on each salad; top with 5 tortilla strips.
Fish was moist and cooked perfectly with this technique, although the breading didn't add a ton of flavor. Salad combination of toppings and dressing is great. I did add avocado to go with the tex-mex theme and it was a nice addition. I'm not sure how the dressing wouldn't be strong enough since it is essentially 50/50 lime juice and oil with some salt and dijon. Thought the balance of flavors was delicious.
My husband and I make this recipe regularly. The dressing is wonderful but we usually reduce the amount of oil by about 1/2 to make it more flavorful and the oil less over-powering. It is probably not the best meal for week days unless you have completed the chopping prep ahead of time. Great recipe.
Since this is a salad I'm giving it 2 stars because the dressing is very bland (the dressing has potential). The only change I made was I did not use flour in my breading (breading becomes a little soggy with addition of flour to fish), instead I used all cornmeal. Everything else was great; but dressing needs work.
This recipe was really light & refreshing. Its a great summer meal. The mixture of the ingredients with the dressing was perfect. Added a little extra mustard to the dressing. The tilapia went well with the salad...I recommend using the salad recipe instead of one's own as the flavors really worked well together.
WOW! What an amazing way to cook tilapia- drenched in cornmeal, and pan fried. Not greasy at all , and it's very nice and golden. I have tried several other tilapia recipes, but this one is the best one yet! Fast and easy. My husband and 4-year-old loved it. I did not place it in the salad. I served it with couscus and steamed broccoli.
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