This Pan Seared Tilapia with Spicy Corn Salsa Recipe is so flavorful and healthy. It takes little effort to prepare and is perfect for summer dining.
Tilapia. Along with other fish such as tuna, salmon and cod, tilapia is one of the world’s most favorite fish to eat.
For the past few decades, many of the fish we eat have come from a fish farm. While there are many pros and cons to large-scale aquaculture, it has offered the opportunity for more people to try more types of fish at a price point they can afford.
Why does this matter when we are talking about tilapia? Well, you can trace tilapia farming back thousands of years to the ancient Egyptians. In fact, the Nile Delta region continues to be a huge home to aquaculture and tilapia production. And tilapia remains so popular these days due to the fact that it is a very low-fat source of protein, without many carbs or too many calories.
So if you wonder why tilapia is so popular and a world favorite fish, one of the reasons is that is has been widely available for a very, very, very long time!
If this is your first time using tilapia – greetings! This is a flaky, white fish with a very mild flavor on the taste buds which makes it so versatile to use in any number of situations.
If you are already familiar with tilapia – welcome back! You’re going to love this Pan Seared Tilapia with Spicy Corn Salsa Recipe.
For this easy recipe, I am using spices such as chili powder, garlic powder and ground cumin. However, given the versatility and mildness of this fish, how you season it is pretty much limitless.
I have seen many recipes use a variety of spices. Sprinkle fillets with red pepper flakes, or black pepper and lemon pepper, or cajun seasoning. You can also go super simple and broil the fish fillets, finish with some lemon juice and spice it up with a little cocktail sauce for dipping.
In addition to this easy recipe being a great healthy dinner, I love what you can do with the leftovers (assuming there is anything left!). How about tilapia fish tacos the next day? Heat up come corn tortillas, reheat the tilapia fillets, give them a quick shred and top with the fresh salsa you made the night before and you have made yourself a healthy meal for lunch.
You want a light snack? Grab that bag of tortilla chips and dip away at the spicy corn salsa recipe.
What really sets this recipe apart for me is the combination of sweet, spicy and citrus. The chili powder in the spice mix for the tilapia fillets gives the fish a little kick (if you like things hotter, feel free to add more chili powder). The sweet corn in the fresh salsa then counter-balances the heat from the spice mixture.
Finally, the citrus adds a freshness and a brightness to the combination of the fish fillets and the spicy corn salsa. While the tilapia in this recipe can stand on its own and the fresh salsa can stand on its own, the combination of the two is what really makes this Pan Seared Tilapia with Spicy Corn Salsa Recipe so delicious.
I am sure you will enjoy this easy recipe as much as I do!
Tips and Tricks for Pan Searing Tilapia:
- If the tilapia fillets are frozen, a quick and easy way to thaw is to place the fish fillets in cold water. Once they are thawed, make sure you dry them off completely using paper towels.
- Either a nonstick skillet or a well seasoned cast iron skillet are good options for cooking the fish.
- Make sure that the pan and oil are both heated to medium-high heat. This will insure a nice sear on the fish, as well as keeping the fish from sticking to the pan, and provide that beautiful golden brown color.
- When it’s time to flip the fish, a spatula works best and you want to be very gentle. As fish fillets cook, they can get quite flaky and easily break apart.
- Once the fish is cooked through, top it with the spicy corn salsa and serve immediately.
Ingredients Needed for Pan Seared Tilapia with Spicy Corn Salsa Recipe:
Full instructions for making this recipe can be found in the recipe card below
- Fresh corn on the cob
- Red onion
- Jalapeno pepper
- Fire roasted diced tomatoes
- Fresh cilantro
- Lime juice
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Tilapia fillets
- Olive oil
How to Make Pan Seared Tilapia with Spicy Corn Salsa:
- Shuck and then grill corn.
- Slice the corn off of the cob. An easy tip – put a small bowl upside down in a large bowl. Set corn cob vertically on top of the small bowl. Then with a large sharp knife, slice downward to remove kernels. They will fall straight into the larger bowl and won’t end up all over your counter top.
- Combine in a medium bowl with red onion, jalapeno, tomatoes and cilantro.
- Squeeze lime juice over mixture and season with salt and pepper, mixing to combine.
- Season tilapia with spice mixture.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add tilapia fillets to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until fish is flaky and cooked through.
- Add the salsa to the top of the fish and serve immediately.
Additional Salsa Recipes You May Want to Try:
- Restaurant Style Salsa
- Pico de Gallo
- Cucumber Salsa
- Best Grilled Corn and Jalapeño Recipe
- Roasted Tomato Salsa
- Fruit Salsa
More Delicious Fish Recipes to Try:
- Grilled Fish Taco Bowls
- Roasted Salmon Sheet Pan Meal with Potatoes and Green Beans
- Crispy Air Fryer Fish Sticks
- Grilled Fish Tacos with Southwestern Slaw
- Halibut en Papillote
- 3 ears fresh corn
- 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds remove, finely chopped
- 1 (14.5oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, well drained
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1 tsp pepper, divided
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 4 tilapia filets
- olive oil
- Heat grill to 350 degrees.
- Grill corn turning occationally to get even color, 5-10 minutes.
- Remove corn from grill and allow to cool.
- Once corn is cool enough to handle, cut the corn off of the cob.
- Add corn in a medium bowl with red onion, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
- Stir until well combined.
- Squeeze lime juice over mixture, add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, mixing to combine.
- Combine remaining 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle spice mixture over the tilapia fillets.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add tilapia fillets to the hot pan.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until fish is flaky and cooked through.
- Top fillets with salsa and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 142Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 993mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 3gSugar: 12gProtein: 5g