Baked Oatmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Lemon Mayonnaise
When I started piecing this recipe together, the first thing I did was Google a few of the ingredients. I often work with an idea and not a formalized recipe, but I still feel better working at least from a similar recipe to assure I've got reasonable proportions and the right cooking times. I was surprised to find in the results that there was nothing really similar to what I was thinking of making. Sure, there are oodles of "crusted" and "baked fish" recipes, however nothing remotely close. I'd been dreaming of developing an oatmeal crusted baked fish recipe for some time. Baked fish is extremely easy, and although it takes longer to bake than fry, the flavor is far better (I'm not a fan of fried foods) and it is much better for you.
- 4 tilapia fillets (fresh or frozen)
- 4 tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise, you may need a little extra if your fillets are bigger
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp. fresh chives
- 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chives from the garden!
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liner. Defrost/rinse fish and pat dry. Place fish fillets on baking sheet.
3. In a bowl, mix together oats, bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, chives, parsley and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl measure out mayonnaise before adding lemon rind and juice. Stir.
4. Brush tops of fish with mayonnaise. You may feel the desire to scrimp on the mayo or feel anxious about how the texture will bake. Don't and don't be! The mayo melds with the coating of dry materials and thickens, creating a creamy texture. It barely tasted of mayo. Don't go overboard with the mayo, but don't underestimate it's role in the success of this dish. If you're not a fan of mayonnaise, I've read the sour cream and/or plain-flavored yogurt are excellent substitutions.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes when forked. Serve over the pasta of your choice or with vegetables. We opted for a simple lemon-olive oil pasta.
This was very light and easy to make, and it still tastes great the day after. If I were to change anything for next time, I'd bring out the flavor of the understated oatmeal with some honey or brown sugar mixed into the coating. I think it would also be phenomenal with a pesto or a creamy alfredo.