This one’s for our mums.

I don’t generally love fish. The scales, bones and manky smells put me off. Our mums/moms, on the other hand, LOVE fish and love cooking it for us. Because, omega-3 acids and all. I don’t believe my mum loved watching an ungrateful child mince her way through a perfectly good chunk of fish though, strangely enough.

So, in honour of you, Mum and Mom – we cooked and ate fish! Willingly! Without any whingeing! Only we’re many miles away from you! Happy Mother’s Day!

Schtuff I learned from stuffing up fish

Oops – someone didn’t treat their fish gently…

I’ve tried pan-frying tilapia fillets before, and ended up with pan-fried mush, partly because our nonstick pan is not, in fact, nonstick (when is it ever). This time, I tried dipping the tilapia fillets into flour in order to protect the delicate flesh, and I used a little more cooking oil. It worked! Except for the one bit above where I was a bit rough with the tongs. I was surprised this worked as I generally don’t cook fish good.

We bought fillets of tilapia from the supermarket – no skin, no bones – yasss. I then dipped them into flour seasoned with salt and pepper, fried them in a skillet, whacked them onto a plate with a couple slices of lemon and called it a day. Except for the bit where taking the photos took about 15 minutes. THEN we ate. And I actually enjoyed it.

Interestingly, wholemeal (whole wheat) flour made for a better, crispier crust than white flour.

Wholemeal flour crust – nice and golden and crispy


White flour crust – still just as tasty, but nowhere near as crispy

Pan-Fried Tilapia Fillets recipe

I’ve only made tilapia this way, but I imagine that similar fillets of white fish could also be used…?

15 – 20 minutes | Serves 2


Where there’s a difference, I list both US | Australian measurements. This dish doesn’t need precise amounts, hence I don’t have anything in grams or millilitres.

  • 2 tilapia fillets
  • 1 1/2 US tablespoon whole wheat flour | 1 heaping Australian tablespoon wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 lemon, to serve
  • 2 sprigs parsley, to garnish (optional)


Step 1. On a wide, shallow plate, combine the flour, salt and pepper.

Step 2. Rinse the tilapia fillets and pat dry. I kept my fillets whole, but they may be easier to handle during cooking if the two sides of each fillet are separated. Place fillets onto the seasoned flour mix and coat on both sides.

Step 3. Add enough cooking oil to a skillet to generously coat the bottom (about 2 US tablespoons or 1 1/2 Australian tablespoons). Heat on medium-high until the oil is hot, about 3 minutes.

Step 4. Carefully dip one corner of a fillet into the oil to test that it’s hot enough – it should sizzle immediately. Once hot, gently shake any excess flour off the fish and place into the skillet. Cook until the bottom edges start to turn golden, about 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip over and cook until the second side is also just starting to turn golden. Do not overcook.

Step 5. Remove fillets and place onto paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Serve hot with slices of lemon and parsley as an optional garnish.

We had ours with some mayo on toast one time, and another time with squash (not shown).

Happy Mother’s Day, Mum and Mom! We love you. We wish we could be there in person with you and hope you have the best day being celebrated.


All content, including images and recipes, are copyright of, unless otherwise noted.


3 thoughts to “Pan-Fried Tilapia Fillets

  • Little Chilly

    Beautiful! It sounds quite easy to do it. I’m sure your mom would love your tilapia fillet.

    • Faffer-rounderer

      Thanks for popping by and for your kind words!

    • Faffer-rounderer

      And yep, it’s super easy


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