Why slave over a stir-fry when you can toss everything in the oven, no muss, no fuss? This Baked Asian Tilapia Stir-Fry is so ridiculously easy and delicious (you can even use frozen fish – no thawing!) that it’s going to be your new last-minute, go-to healthy dinner.
Let me start by saying that I’m fully aware that this isn’t really a stir-fry, but it does deliver all of the wonderful flavors you expect, and because it’s not actually being stirred and fried, I was able to use this delicious, delicate tilapia. Nom. 😉
Anyway, don’t you just love when a great meal comes together completely by accident and out of nowhere? About two weeks ago or so, a key ingredient to a meal that I had planned had gone bad (like way bad) and I couldn’t make it. You’ve been there, right? You were so excited about that meal! Your kids LOVE that meal! Your husband LOVES that meal!
And suddenly you’re scrambling.
I’ll be honest, when this happens, I don’t always have some miraculous dinner epiphany and come up with something fab on the fly. Yeah… no. Sometimes we end up with some kind of random pasta that I have on hand, or sometimes (gasp!) we order some pizza and call it a day. But on this day… I did and man, was it good! As soon as I ate it, I knew that I had to share it with you guys. Because I love you and I know that what you love are quick, easy and delicious meals, right? Right.
On this particular day, I had some great basics on hand: frozen fish, bell peppers, carrots and cilantro. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but if you’re a seafood person, frozen fish is THE thing to keep on hand for last minute meals. It thaws quickly and easily and cooks super fast, too. In fact, because tilapia is thin, this dish could even be made WITH frozen tilapia, no thawing needed! How easy is that?!
So, to summarize, this recipe is:
- Loved by all who enjoy seafood (see my kiddo tip below!)
- You can use any fresh veggies that you and your family like
- You can have the fish and sauce ingredients on hand at all times (and maybe like me, you already do) for last minute cooking
- Is great for prep day. You can make a batch just for you and eat it for lunch or dinner throughout the week.
- Cilantro (need I say more?)
- Oh, and it’s absolutely freaking delicious. Did I bury the lead? OMG. Seriously, I’ve been eating this all week and I only want MORE. The smell of it cooking alone is enough to make me do my happy dance.
Disclaimer: neither one of these people are actually me and this is not my actual happy dance. I’m not nearly this coordinated.
Ok, let’s break it down.
The first thing you’re going to do is spray your baking dish with olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray and lay your veggies in there. Just look at those pretty veggies!
Next, lay the tilapia (fresh or frozen) on top, lightly seasoning both sides with salt and peppa.
Whisk up this killer sauce.
Pour said sauce all over everything, concentrating the sauce on the fish.
Bake that baby in the oven (be sure to have some brown rice ready)! Once it’s cooked, sprinkle with some cilantro and your super-crazy-awesome dinner is served.
Kiddo Tip: I have kids that can’t take the heat, so this is what I do. I use two glass, square baking dishes, divide the veggies between them, then the fish. When I make the sauce, I leave out the garlic, ginger and chile paste. Then I remove 1/4 cup of that for the kids. To the rest, I add all of the spicy ingredients (cutting it in half from what this recipe says!). Anyway, you can put both dishes in the oven at the same time, no big deal. It doesn’t take any longer and everyone’s happy!
If you make this recipe be sure to snap a pic and tag me @thefoodieandthefix on Instagram so I can check it out! It makes me ridiculously happy to see what you guys are making 🙂
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce or Gluten Free tamari if you're GF
- 2 1/2 Tbs maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated (or powdered ginger)
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic (or garlic powder)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp (more or less, to taste) Thai Chile Garlic Paste, Sambal
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 large carrots, grated (on the large side of the grater)
- 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 4-6 green onions, cut into 1-inch long pieces
- 4 tilapia filets, about 4 oz each, 1 lb total (fresh or frozen - if frozen, no need to thaw!)
- salt and pepper, for seasoning
- chopped cilantro, as much as you like!
- 2 cups cooked brown rice, for serving
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a 9X13 baking dish with olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray.
- Whisk together all sauce ingredients and set aside.
- To your prepared baking dish, add all of the vegetables, mixing them together.
- Lay your tilapia on top, season each side lightly with salt and pepper (yes, even if your fish is frozen!).
- Pour about half of your sauce mixture over everything, then about halfway through (see cooking times below), liberally baste the fish with it, pour the rest over everything and finish cooking. Bake uncovered. If your fish is frozen, it will take between 25 - 35 minutes (depending on thickness), if it's fresh/thawed, it will take between 15 - 20 minutes. Fish is ready when it flakes easily with fork.
- Note: You can pour all of the sauce at once and then not have to bother with basting, but baste if you want the most flavor! You do want the most flavor, don't you?!
- Serve the tilapia, vegetables and sauce over rice, sprinkling chopped cilantro over everything.
21 Day Fix Container Counts per Serving: 1 Red, 1 Green, 1 Yellow, 1/2 tsp, 2 tsp maple syrup
Weight Watchers Freestyle Points: 6
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 tilapia filet, 1/4 of the veggies and sauce, 1/2 cup of rice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 344Total Fat: 5g