This is one of my favorite fish recipes, and it’s super quick and easy. Mild tilapia fillets are dusted with a bold Cajun spice rub, then sautéed in olive oil until crisp and flavorful on the exterior and tender and flaky within.
Begin by making the Cajun spice rub. In a small bowl, combine paprika, brown sugar, oregano, salt, cumin, garlic powder and cayenne. Don’t worry about the amount of cayenne — the fillets have a little kick to them but they’re not too spicy, even for kids.
Next, dust the spice rub evenly over the tilapia fillets.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan, then cook the fillets a few minutes per side, until crisp and reddish-brown (“blackened”) on the outside and flaky on the inside.
- 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1-1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 six-ounce tilapia fillets
- 1 lime, cut into wedges (optional, for serving)
- Olive oil, for cooking
- Combine the paprika, brown sugar, oregano, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in a small bowl; mix until well combined (use your fingers to break up the lumps of brown sugar). Sprinkle the spice rub evenly over both sides of the tilapia fillets.
- Heat two tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat in a large non-stick pan. Cook the fillets for 2-3 minutes on each side until reddish-brown on the outside and flaky on the inside. Serve immediately with lime wedges.