This buttery tilefish recipe is juicy and delicious. The tilefish fillet is pan-seared then cooked in a lemon garlic butter sauce until tender and juicy. The rich butter sauce keeps the fish moist and flavorful. This easy seafood dinner can be ready in 10 minutes and pairs well with veggies on the side or as is.
Fish is a great dinner go-to, it’s easy, versatile and can be paired with almost any side to create a delicious and filling dinner. This flavorful pan-seared tilefish recipe is all those things!
- How to make buttery tilefish recipe (overview)
- What is tilefish
- What does it taste like
- How to select the perfect tilefish fillet
- How do you remove bones from the fish
- Is it a good fish to eat
- What to do with leftovers
- More fish and seafood recipes
- Is it high in mercury
How to make buttery tilefish recipe (overview)
Rinse tilefish fillets with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Make sure its dry before adding seasoning. I seasoned this fish very simply, just with some salt and pepper. Since we will be adding all our aromatics later, simply seasoned fish is perfect.
Melt butter in the pan (use a heavy bottom skillet if you have one) and add chopped green onions. Place the fish skin side up. This is done so the fillet will not curl up. If you have a pretty thick tilefish fillet, you can start with searing it skin side down.
After about 2-3 minutes carefully turn the fish and add finely chopped garlic and lemon juice. I used about 1/2 of the lemon and squeezed it right in to the pan. Cook until done. If the fillet is thick, you may want to cover the pan with the lid for 1 minute.
Do not forget to scoop butter from the pan with the spoon and pour on the fish while its cooking, it will make it taste so juicy and buttery!
What is tilefish
Tilefish is a colorful fish that is sometimes known as the “clown of the sea” because of its iridescent blue-green coloring and numerous bright and yellow spots. Tilefish can be found predominately in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mid-Atlantic ocean.
It is a bottom dweller whose primary diet is shellfish, which gives the fish a sweet taste. It has become increasingly more popular in recent years, and it is used by professional chefs and by those who want to focus on sustainable species.
The flesh of the fish is a pinkish-white color that turns white when cooked through. It has a firm and flaky texture that is ideal for pan searing or grilling.
This fish is usually sold fresh and can weigh 5 – 10 pounds. The fillets are preferable because they are easier to work with and are very accessible. Look for it in your local grocery stores or fish markets.
What does it taste like
Tilefish is often compared to lobster or crab because of its mild and slightly sweet flavor and firm and flaky texture. Because it has a mild flavor, it doesn’t taste very fishy and lends itself to a variety of seasonings and cooking methods. It holds up well when pan-seared or grilled and works well in soups or stews.
This lean fish can easily become dry when overcooked, so cooking it with butter or lemon is the best for adding additional flavor while keeping it moist and juicy.
How to select the perfect tilefish fillet
Most tilefish is sold fresh and the flesh is firm, so look for a fillet that springs back when it is pressed.
This fish is priced by the pound, so a larger fish will be more expensive than a smaller fish. A bigger fish from deeper waters – eating mostly crabs and other crustaceans will have a sweeter and firmer texture than a smaller fish from shallower waters.
The smaller fish, on the other hand, will cook quicker and would be better for a weeknight family dinner. So pick whichever one works best for you and your family.
How do you remove bones from the fish
Tilefish fillets are thick with a row of pin bones. These bones should be removed before consumption because they can be a choking hazard.
First, check if there are any bones in the fillets. Gently run your hand along the tops of the fillets. If you find any bones, they can easily be removed with a sharp-pointed knife, needle-nosed pliers, or a pair of fish tweezers. Now you can cook any tilefish recipe.
Is it a good fish to eat
This fish is very low in fat and calories. It is packed with protein and is low in sodium. As well as is a good source of niacin, phosphorus, vitamin B12, and selenium.
Tilefish cooks quickly and holds up well during the cooking process. It is ready in 10 minutes and pairs well with your favorite side dishes. It is a quick easy family dinner option.
Something to keep in mind is that some species of tilefish might have a higher amount of mercury than others. It might be a good idea to limit your tilefish consumption.
What to do with leftovers
Fish can’t stay fresh for a long time so try to eat it withing 2 or 3 days. Store in the air tight container in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave for 1 minute. Do not refreeze.
More fish and seafood recipes
- Air fryer frozen fish fillets
- Salmon head recipe
- Sea bream recipe
- Branzino fillets recipe
- Grouper recipe
- Air fryer catfish nuggets
- Bluefish recipe
- Salmon collars recipe
Is it high in mercury
This fish can have high amounts of mercury, particularly the Golden tilefish species (this is not the kind i cooked). Testing done by the FDA has found that tilefish found in the Atlantic ocean have a lower mercury concentration and are safer to eat than those found in the Gulf of Mexico. Pregnant or breastfeeding women might consider avoiding eating it because of its higher mercury content compared to other fish species.
- 1 tilefish fillet
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Season fish with salt and pepper. Melt butter in the pan.
- Add tilefish fillet and chopped green onions to the pan and sear over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes.
- Flip the fillet and add chopped garlic and lemon juice to the butter.
- Scoop some butter on to the fish while cooking (tip the pan if needed).
- If fillets are very thick, cover the pan with the lid for 1 minute.
- Do not add garlic early, becouse it will burm. Add with lemon juice after you flip the fish
- Make sure there is no bones and no scales left in fillets.
- Cook on medium heat
- Add lemon zest too if you like lemony flavor
- Store lefotvers in the fridge for up to 3 days, covered. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 237Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 1247mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g