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20-minute meal: Easy seared and steamed fish



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UPDATED: 2.12.14

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Easy seared and steamed fish, wild rice pilaf, and tomato salad made by Diabetes Connect staff member, Rebecca Honaker

Many of us are intimidated by cooking fresh or frozen fish, but this simple technique from the UAB Windows into Wellness blog makes this healthy food both simple to prepare and delicious.

Our own staff member, Rebecca Honaker tried out this recipe using frozen Tilapia filets. Tilapia is a great choice for those who don’t prefer a strong fishy flavor. It is also very affordable and can be found in most grocery stores.


2 tsp canola, corn, or peanut oil

4 fish steaks or fillets, about 1″ thick (about 6 oz each) – use this technique for any medium firm- to firm-textured fish including tilapia, orange roughy, sea bass, cod, halibut, salmon, swordfish.


1. DRY the fish thoroughly with paper towels so it will brown. Frozen fish exudes lots of moisture, making this step especially important.

2. HEAT oil in large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot just before it smokes, so about 3 minutes.

3. SEASON fish with salt and pepper. Flavor with herbs or lemon slices, or you can top each piece with a couple of thyme sprigs or one rosemary sprig. The steaming intensifies the herb flavor so the fish is infused with it.

4. COOK fish by putting it in pan and cook until golden brown, no more than 2 minutes.

5. FLIP, COVER, & TRAP fish so the appetizingly browned side is on top and cover pan with tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil to trap the steam from the hot fish.

 6. REMOVE pan from heat and let fish steam until just done, about 10 minutes.

 7. SERVE topped with spoonful of salsa, or splash of lemon juice.

 8. ADD a tomato salad (sliced tomatoes with salt & pepper and a splash of vinegar) and cooked rice to complete your meal.