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March 6, 2013

Easy Tilapia Piccata

“Veal Piccata—lightly pan-fried veal with a lemon, caper, and white wine sauce— is a classic dish. But there’s no reason for those who don’t eat veal to miss out on a brilliant sauce. Try it with fish and you’ll wonder why anyone ever put it on veal to begin with!

This is a simple dish that looks quite elegant, so it’s ideal for those holiday, birthday, and special occasion dinners when you want to spend more time with your guests than with your stove. The trick is to have everything pre-measured and ready to go before you begin, as this comes together quickly.

Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a must. The shallots, while not strictly traditional, add a bit of sweetness to the lemony sauce. You can add chopped fresh parsley to the sauce at the end, or just garnish with a few small leaves.

You can serve other white fish such as flounder, sole, or whiting with this delicious sauce.”—


Tilapia Piccata
recipe and image

4 large (6-7 ounce) tilapia fillets (or 6 small fillets)
Salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter, divided
3/4 cup white wine
1 Tablespoon finely chopped shallots (optional)
1 Tablespoon (or more) small capers
Parsley leaves or chopped parsley

Dry the fillets with plain paper towels and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Spread the flour out on a plate.

Heat the olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of the butter over medium heat until the butter sizzles. Lightly dredge the fillets in the flour, shake off the excess, and lay them in the pan.

Pan fry the fillets until lightly browned on both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side). Remove the fish from the pan and keep warm.

Raise the heat to medium-high and add the wine to the pan, stirring up any browned bits of flour. Add the shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes until shallots are softened.

Stir in the lemon juice and capers and cook 1 minute. Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining Tablespoon of butter. Spoon the sauce over the fish and sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 4 servings of Easy Tilapia Piccata.

MF&L Staff at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.


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