My two sisters-in-law, Yael and Chaya, share the same birthday. Interestingly, it was the same birthday shared by my father-in-law a’H, too. Last year, we went out for a woman’s-only dinner in celebration of the birthdays. We enjoyed our time together so much that this year, in the ice and snow, we once again trekked to a dairy restaurant in Brooklyn to celebrate the two birthdays.
My sisters-in-law ordered menu items that they knew and trusted: salmon, salad and Eggplant Parmesan. Always looking for something new, I was entranced by the pistachio-encrusted salmon on the menu and was not disappointed when it was presented and devoured by me and my sisters-in-law.
So, I started thinking… Salmon is so flavorful and distinctive on its own. Why don’t I try this encrusting technique on a blander fish like tilapia? Tilapia is one of those inexpensive fish ingredients that is always available at my local fish counter. Its meaty flesh and mild taste make it suitable for kick-start cajun seasoning and nutty pistachio encrusting.
And so, for dinner the night after the birthday celebration, I prepared this dish. And, both Don and Leah confirmed that it was blog-worthy. Here it is!
4 large tilapia filets
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
oil or cooking spray
HONEY DIJON SAUCE (optional)
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons honey
pyrex pie plate
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place cajun seasoning on a plate or pyrex pie plate. Blend egg with fork in a separate plate or pyrex pie plate. Place chopped pistachios on a third plate or pyrex pie plate.
Lightly coat both sides of tilapia with Cajun seasoning and then dip into egg, coating both sides. Finally, coat each tilapia fillet with chopped pistachios.
Cover a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. If using foil, drizzle with a bit of oil or spray with cooking spray. Place the encrusted tilapia fillets in a single layer, making sure not to crowd the dish.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tilapia easily flakes with a fork.
In a food processor or with a whisk in a bowl, combine honey Dijon ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Drizzle over fish before serving.
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