Recipe: Tilapia with Garlic and Toasted Fennel


It doesn’t get much quicker or easier than this great fish recipe that places at center stage the tasty aromatics that fennel seeds unleash when toasted. The day this recipe was born in the Flavorful World test kitchen, it yielded enough of the spice mixture for six 4- to 5-ounce tilapia filets.  Because tilapia is a not-too-oily fish whose natural moistness requires little embellishment, a little of this rub goes a long way (a thing that should be true of most seasoning rubs, as they exist not to overpower the natural deliciousness of meats and fish, but merely as complement to it.)


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp ground sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black peppercorns
  • 1½  tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • Juice of one half of a fresh lemon
  • Six 4- to 5-ounce boneless, skinless tilapia filets


1. In a medium-sized saucepan, toast fennel seeds until browned, then crush them using a mortar and pestle.  If you have no mortar and pestle, then a spatula or the flat edge of a kitchen knife work just as well.

2. Combine olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic paste, lemon juice, and crushed fennel seeds in a medium-sized bowl and mix until thoroughly blended.

3. Rub this mixture on both sides of tilapia, then cook as you normally would.

2 thoughts on “Recipe: Tilapia with Garlic and Toasted Fennel

  • September 29, 2010 at 2:00 AM

    Nice to meet you through FoodBuzz! Love tilapia and will have to try this soon!

    • October 2, 2010 at 3:59 PM

      Nice to meet you too! Tilapia is a favorite of mine too. If you try this recipe and like it, please let me know, and feel free to check out others we’ve posted.

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