Potato Crusted Tilapia

Dear Turkey,

I think we should take a break. Heaven knows I’ve enjoyed our time together and lovely memories of you will linger on (mostly on my thighs). Fondly I’ll remember you, dressed in rich gravy – you, with creamy mayonnaise and crisp lettuce on toasty nine grain bread – you, in a steamy, homemade broth with thick egg noodles and chunks of carrots. It’s been fun. But it’s time for me to move on. It’s not you, it’s me.

Goodbye doesn’t mean forever,


Got that off my chest, what a relief. Breaking up is never fun or easy.

As you can tell from my “Dear John” letter, I’ve had just about enough turkey – and I’m sure you’re all on poultry overload by now too! Last night I decided to go the fish route with the tilapia that’s on sale this week. I came across this recipe a few months ago and have been meaning to try it ever since.

It contains an unusual ingredient that I hesitate to reveal. But since I’m soul-searching today, I guess I’ll divulge that this fish is, in fact ‘crusted’ with…

Boxed potato flakes.

I know, I know! Don’t go hatin’! I don’t even know why I have these in my pantry but they’re there. I must have been having a lazy moment a while back and didn’t feel like mashing my own potatoes. Don’t go judging me. It probably won’t happen again.

Anyway, if you do happen to have some boxed potato flakes in your cupboard, and frozen tilapia fillets in your freezer, then chances are, you already have the ingredients on hand to make this dinner! I managed to pull this dish together in under 30 minutes.

I thought it was pretty good, I have to say. The honey-mustard mayonnaise is an interesting alternative to traditional tartar sauce, and the potato flakes create a crunchy coating on the fish. The same procedure could easily be used on any other type of white flaky fish.



Serves: 4

Source: oceana.com

  • ½ c. mayonnaise
  • 2 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 – 2 T. honey (adjust this according to your taste)
  • 4 tilapia fillets, thawed if frozen, patted dry with paper towels
  • ½ c. flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ c. milk
  • ½ c. potato flakes
  • ½ c. bread crumbs
  • Neutral cooking oil

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Have handy three shallow bowls or pie plates. Set up a breading station as follows: In one shallow bowl, place the seasoned flour. In another bowl, beat the eggs and the milk together. In a third bowl, combine the potato flakes and the bread crumbs. Line up these bowls near your cook top.

Place a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. While oil heats up, season the tilapia with salt and pepper to taste. Dredge one fillet in the flour, shaking off excess. Dip the fillet in the egg and milk mixture, then dredge the fillet in the potato flake and bread crumb mixture. Repeat with the remaining fillets. When oil is hot (a pinch of flour will bubble immediately upon contact with the oil), carefully place the fish into the pan. Saute for about 2 minutes; carefully turn fish. Saute for an additional minute or two, or until fish is a lovely golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to briefly drain. Serve tilapia with honey-mustard sauce.

Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | December 1st, 2009