Download recipes at

Ginger-Scented Tilapia with Sugar Snaps (Photo © Stephen Peck)

Ginger-Scented Tilapia with Sugar Snaps

Sustainable Seafood Recipe

A generous measure of minced fresh ginger and a dash of red pepper flakes add bright flavor to the very mild tilapia. The preparation for this recipe is a cross between an Asian stir-fry and Western sauté, but the taste is definitely Chinese. Serve atop mounds of brown basmati or jasmine rice and end the meal with lemon tartlets, or fresh strawberries topped with yogurt and minced crystallized ginger.

U.S.-farmed tilapia is a Seafood Watch "Best Choice." We recommend that you "Avoid" farmed tilapia from China and Taiwan, where pollution and weak management are widespread problems.

  • (Serves 4)
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/4 pound tilapia fillets, cut into 2x1-inch pieces
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (preferably organic)

Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar in a small bowl.

Sprinkle the fish pieces with salt and pepper. Place the flour on a medium plate. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip half the fish pieces in flour to coat on both sides and add to the pan. Cook for 1 minute on each side (the fish will be opaque on the outside but not cooked through). Transfer to a large plate and repeat with the remaining fish. Don't wipe the pan.

Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the green onions, ginger and red pepper and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar snaps and stir to coat with oil and seasonings. Add the broth. Cover and simmer until the sugar snaps are almost crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

Carefully add the fish to the skillet. Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens slightly and the fish is cooked through, stirring gently and spooning the sauce over the fish, about 2 minutes. (The fish will feel resilient to the touch and be opaque in the center when cut with a small knife.)

Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the soy sauce mixture. Divide among four warmed plates and serve immediately.

Kristine Kidd
Kristine Kidd, Monterey Bay Aquarium Food Editor

Best Choice Arctic Char

U.S.-farmed Tilapia

Your "Best Choice" is tilapia grown in the U.S. in environmentally friendly systems. Tilapia from South America is a "Good Alternative." We recommend that you "Avoid" farmed tilapia from China and Taiwan, where pollution and weak management are widespread problems.
iPhone Our app brings you up-to-date recommendations for ocean-friendly seafood and sushi. And the newest version, with Project FishMap, lets you share the locations of restaurants and markets where you've found sustainable seafood. As the map grows, you'll also be able to see what others have found near you.

Browse All Recipes