Wednesday, July 7, 2010

“ it supposed to be burnt??”

Tilapia is a light fish that is great alternative for people that don’t really like fishy-fish (like salmon). It has a pretty mild flavor and doesn’t have an overwhelming fish aroma. I thought Paula Deen’s recipe for a Blackened Tilapia Sandwich with Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise would be a great place to start since it’s already a pretty like-able fish and the recipe wasn’t really that unhealthy (i.e. less work for me!).

The only thing I did to the Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise was switch to a light mayo and cut the amount in half. I whipped it up and left it in the fridge to chill while I worked on the tilapia.

I combined all the spices (omitting the salt) and rinsed off the tilapia filets. The original recipe dips the filets in melted butter before coating in the seasonings, but I chose to use a beaten egg white instead. This adds a little bit of protein and cuts a lot of fat. You could also use a melted tub margarine, which would at least reduce the amount of saturated fat.

After I put the first fillet in the pan, I glanced at the recipe and realized I had completely forgotten to get the Mango Salsa. D’oh! I’d already passed the point of no return with this recipe, so I decided to just keep going and vowed to read my recipes more carefully next time.

While the fillets were cooking, I toasted up a couple of whole wheat sandwich thins. This cuts calories and adds a little bit more fiber than using a Kaiser roll. I smeared some of the lightened Cilantro Lime Mayo on each side, added some lettuce and topped it with the tilapia.


When I presented my BF with his plate, his response was, “So.... is this supposed to be burnt?” I guess he's unfamiliar with the 'blackened' concept. But he ate it, so I guess he didn’t think it was that bad.

So, what’s the verdict? I liked the tilapia, but I think it was good enough to stand alone. I didn’t really care for it as a sandwich. So the bottom line is I’d make it again, but serve it as a filet of fish, not between two slices of bread. And remember to buy the Mango Salsa.

Here's the nutritional stats, assuming that each sandwich is served with 1/4 of the total Cilantro Lime Mayo and 2 tbsp of mango salsa.

Nutritional Information (OLD)Nutritional Information (NEW)
Servings Per Recipe: 4Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving Amount Per Serving
Calories: 659Calories: 224
Fat: 65 gFat: 13 g
Sodium: 1155 mgSodium: 386 mg
Fiber: 4 gFiber: 5 g

Here's the recipie for my modified version:

Blackened Tilapia Sandwich

1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 tbsp ground thyme
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 egg white, beaten
4 (2.5 oz tilapia fillets)
4 whole wheat sandwich thins, toasted
Cilantro Lime Mayo (recipe below)
Lettuce for garnishments

Combine the spices in a shallow bowl and set aside. Beat egg white in a separate bowl. Dip the fillets in the egg whites and then coat in seasonings. Cook in a cast iron skillet coated with cooking spray until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 3-4 minutes per side. Place on sandwich thins, coated with Cilantro Lime Mayo, and top with lettuce.

Cilantro Lime Mayo

1/2 c light mayo
1/4 c freshly chopped cilantro
1 tbsp lime juice

Mix all ingredients and chill.


  1. I just tried the fish by itself. I thought it was good, but a little on the spicy side. I think it would be good as a sandwich. Bob (husband) loved the recipe, after adding some salt.

  2. Thanks, Mom!
    Tell Dad he missed the whole point of changing the recipe was to make it healthier! Oh well...