how to pan fry tilapia
Ketogenic Diet Tips

How to Pan Fry Tilapia in 2 Easy Ways

When it comes to a keto diet, the go-to protein source would always be steak, bacon, and the likes. But if you wish to stay healthy while on a keto diet, it is a must that you look for lighter protein sources, like fish. One of the most widely available and versatile types of fish that people on a keto diet can go for is Tilapia.

Maybe it is your first time to cook Tilapia, and you wish to get it right. Or maybe you have tried incorporating Tilapia dishes in your keto diet, and you are already running out of ideas on how to cook it. Well, worry not, below we provide to you 2 easy ways on how to pan fry Tilapia.

What You Will Need:

Method #1:

  • Whole Tilapia
  • Add steak seasoning to taste
  • Add salt to taste
  • Cooking Oil

Method #2:

For the fillet:

  • 4 pieces of tilapia fillet (around 4 to 5 oz each)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of pepper

For the Keto-friendly breading:

  • 2 ounces of finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt

Cooking Equipment

The tools that you will need for both methods are a 12-inch skillet, tong, and knife.

The Two Ways on How to Pan Fry Tilapia

Are you ready to discover new tilapia dishes? Do you wish to finally learn what is the right way to fry a whole tilapia? Well, let’s get started!

Method #1: Pan Fry a Whole Tilapia

Pan frying a whole Tilapia is not common in the Western countries, but you can mostly see this being done in various Asian countries. Cooking the whole fish maybe a bit tedious as you would have to clean it thoroughly but the crispiness of its skin and the flavor of this fish are worth all of these hassles.

Here are the steps on how to pan fry a whole tilapia:

Step #1: Wash the fish.


As mentioned above, you have to clean the fish. Place it under the faucet and as the water runs through it, remove the blood and innards and examine the cavities of the fish. Use a paper towel to pat the fish dry.

Pro Tip
You can ask the supermarket attendant to clean the fish, so you do not have to spend too much time cleaning it.

Step #2: Season the fish.

Make 2 to 3 cuts on each side of the fish (depending on the size of the fish). After that, sprinkle a bit of salt into the cavities. Afterwards, season the entire fish with steak seasoning.

Pro Tip
Keep in mind that the steak seasoning already contains salt so do not overdo it.

Step #4: Pan fry the tilapia.

how to pan fry tilapia

Pour oil into the frying pan (around ½ cup) and place the pan over medium heat. Wait for the oil to get a bit hot (but it should not be too hot because the fish will burn fast). Place the fish in the skillet and cook each side for 6 to 9 minutes per side or until it has turned golden brown.

Pro Tip
  • You can know if the oil is already hot enough by throwing a bit of salt on it. When the oil sizzles, it means it is already hot enough.
  • If you wish to determine if the side is already properly cooked, listen to the sound of the oil. Once the oil is no longer making that popping noise, try checking on the fish to see if it is already properly cooked.

Step #5: Serve.

Transfer the cooked tilapia to a plate covered with paper towels so you can drain the excess oil. Serve over cauliflower rice or a vegetable salad.

Method #2: Pan Frying a Tilapia Fillet.

If you do not want to go through the cleaning process, then go for a fish fillet. Oftentimes, fillets are coated with breadcrumbs and flour to make them crispy. However, the addition of these ingredients can boost the carbohydrate content of the dish. That is why I have decided to provide you with a low-calorie alternative-parmesan crusted tilapia fillet.

Step #1: Prepare the batter and coating.

Place mayo, salt, egg, and pepper in a whisking bowl and combine everything well. In a separate bowl, combine the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and parmesan.

Pro Tip
It is important that you pat the tilapia dry using a paper towel so it can fully absorb the flavors. This is also done to ensure that the coating will stick well to the fish fillet.

Step #2: Coat the fillet.



Dip both sides of the fish fillet in the egg mixture. Afterwards, dip again both sides of the fillet in the parmesan mix.

Step #4: Fry the fish.


Prepare your pan by adding a bit of butter or oil (whichever you prefer) to it. Place it over medium heat. Cook the fillet for 2 to 3 minutes for each side or until the breading has turned golden brown and the fish is already a bit flaky.

Pro Tip
Make sure that your oil is not too hot because the coating burns easily. To prevent it from getting too hot. Place the pan over the heat first. Sprinkle water on it after a few minutes. If the water slides through the pan, you can add the oil. If the water evaporates, it means that the pan is already too hot.


Tilapia is one of the most versatile fishes in the market. Many people think that it is a bit bland but with the right seasoning and the proper method of cooking, you can turn it into a crispy, flavorful low-carb delight! So, what are you waiting for? Try these dishes now. Rest assured; you will fall in love with tilapia!

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