Tilapia Flavor Profile
Tilapia fish has a sweet, mild taste with lean flesh and a medium-firm, flaky texture. Raw flesh is white or pinkish-white sometimes with a darker muscle layer on the skin side of the fillets. The flesh cooks up to a white color. Aqua-cultured Tilapia tend to have a better flavor than wild Tilapia because Tilapia taste like their environment and wild fish feed on algae.
Typical Cooking Methods
St. Peter’s Fish (because it’s believed that Tilapia was the fish which Jesus multiplied to feed the masses), Sunfish
Tilapia Culinary Notes
Tilapia is very much a product of its environment. If it is raised in poor quality water then it’s flavor will be muddy, grassy, or worse. You want to buy premium Tilapia from a quality source.
Description (Oreochromis niloticus, O- aureus, O- mossambicus)
Depending upon the species, the skin color can range from black & white striped, to green, to red. Average whole Tilapia are 1 – 2 lbs but can grow larger. Most US fresh Tilapia is from south-western states as well as from Costa Rica and Colombia. Tilapia is the second most cultivated fish in the world, beat only by carp (go figure! I’ve never seen carp on a menu.)
Fresh Tilapia Availability
Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh. Most fresh Tilapia is from Costa Rica & Colombia. Frozen available all year long.
Tilapia Butchering Yield % to Fillets
|Item||To Skin/On Fillets||To Skin/Off Fillets||Notes|
|Whole Round ungutted||—||34%||variance +/- 3|
|Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.|
Range & Habitat
Tilapia are originally from the Nile River, but today they are raised in warm waters throughout the world. Some countries consider them to be an invasive species.
Typical Wholesale Products
Whole, H&G, Skin/On Fillets, Skin/Off Fillets
Tilapia Sustainability Info
|Name||Alternate Names||Catch Method||Catch
|Tilapia, Oreochromis spp.||St. Peter’s Fish, Sunfish||Farmed – Closed Recirculating Systems||US||Low|
|Farmed – Ponds||Ecuador|
|Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus||Farmed – Closed Recirculating Systems||Alberta, Canada|
|Disclaimer: The sustainability info above is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, each program randomly updates their information without our knowledge. We therefore recommend that you verify the current accuracy of this information.|
|= Best Choice/Recommended = Good Alternative = Avoid/Not Recommended||Updated
based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving.
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