Sunday, May 4, 2008

Unintentionally Blackened Mac Nut Tilapia

Tonight our plan was fish, yams, and a bok choy, but we hadn't made any solid decisions about preparation in advance. While we took a walk around the neighborhood this morning, I convinced Dan that roasting the yams would be better than mashing, since my tummy was upset and I wanted to avoid too much dairy. And Dan suggested a mac nut crust on the tilapia we bought, so I found the recipe below online.

The risk of finding recipes on is that they're user submitted, and can be incomplete, unclear, or just plain inaccurate. The trick I've learned is to always check out the reviews, which often correct for these types of errors, or offer up alternatives. My fatal mistake tonight was not doing that.

I should've known better, but putting fish covered in nuts directly under the broiler for 15 minutes is a recipe for disaster. Within about a minute, my smoke alarm was going off and the nuts were completely black. I had to pull the fish out, scrape off some of the nuts, and return the fish to the oven on a lower rack. I still think the heat was way too high, as the nuts again blackened in the remaining time in the oven. But all in all, the flavor was good. The bok choy I cooked up in a mix of soy sauce, sesame oil & seeds, ginger, and honey, which gave it great flavor.

Macadamia Nut Crusted Tilapia
4 (6 ounce) pieces of tilapia
10 ounces macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat your oven's broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine macadamia nuts, soy sauce, garlic, hot sauce, brown sugar, olive oil, and black pepper in a food processor; blend until the mixture is the consistency of paste. Spoon a thick layer of the macadamia mixture on top of each tilapia fillet. Place the fish macadamia mixture-side up on the prepared baking sheet. On a rack in the middle of the oven (not under the broiler directly), cook fish until the macadamia crust is golden brown and the tilapia flakes easily, about 15 minutes.

(Recipe courtesy of

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