Tilapia Bell Pepper Étouffée is a delicious way to jazz up your game when cooking Tilapia. While this recipe breaks tradition, these tricks will ensure that étouffée style cooking is adapted for a great tasting white fish recipe. When most people think étouffée they think shrimp. While this recipe does not call for shrimp, you won’t be disappointed by how well this étouffée sauce pairs with tilapia. We have four tricks to share that amp up the flavor profile that you don’t want to miss.
Tilapia Bell Pepper Étouffée Trick # 1
My wife and I love this recipe and we cook tilapia bell pepper étouffée often. We love to eat fish and find that this meal is a delicious way to get extra vegetables with our meal. We have been making this recipe for about 8 years now, and have recently come to love it even more with this one trick we learned by accident. Ordinarily, étouffée calls for the traditional group of spices garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf. This is what we have been accustomed to over the years that we have made this recipe. Except about 2 months ago we were preparing this dish and we did not have to most important key ingredient– oregano. It was late and there was not time to go out and buy some and we were stuck wondering what to do. We have a very well stocked kitchen with spices, so we had other ingredients we could use instead. The spice we used in place of the oregano shocked us that it was so good. We now use this in place of oregano when ever we make étouffée. The key ingredient to making great Tilapia Bell Pepper Étouffée is marjoram. It’s very similar to oregano, but has a fuller floral bouquet smell and taste.
Tilapia Bell Pepper Étouffée Trick # 2
This next trick is something more of a transformation of the dish. The normal way of making étouffée is to chop everything, fry it, make a roux, and dump in the stock. To me this is not always necessary to dice everything to make it blend in and disappear. I feel that seeing what you are eating often times makes the food more pleasant on the eyes. Instead, when I make this recipe, I slice my vegetables instead of dicing them. I like long and wide slices of bell pepper and onions in the étouffée. While this is not traditional, sometimes breaking tradition creates a new fusion.
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After the sauce has been boiling for 10 minutes, add marjoram.
Make a cornstarch slurry with 1/3 cup water, and add it to the sauce after the sauce has been cooking for 12 minutes and continue to cook the sauce to thicken.
Add garlic after the corn starch has been incorporated into the sauce.
Turn the sauce off, and a dash the sauce with red wine vinegar about three times.
Plate the fish and smother with the sauce.
Tilapia Bell Pepper Étouffée
Amount Per Serving
Calories 469Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 14g
Total Carbohydrates 37g12%
Dietary Fiber 3g12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Chef Tips: Making Great Tilapia Bell Pepper Étouffée
This meal is simple to make following the directions carefully is the key to success. Please read about my tricks discussed above before diving into the recipe. These tricks were learned over the course of approximately 8 years of making this recipe. Be sure to always start with preparing your vegetables and measuring all the ingredients before you start cooking, this will ensure that you don't forget something essential. The french word for étouffée means to smother something with a sauce. This recipe is intended to be served with rice and breaded tilapia that is smothered with the sauce, however, you may choose to have it on the side, on only the rice, or only on the fish.
Be sure to use a stainless steel skillet large enough to cook all of the peppers and onions and finally make the sauce. I use a hybrid stainless steel frying pan and wok. It has a wide enough base to cook my peppers and onions, and is tall enough to make the sauce. For the tilapia I use a cast iron skillet for pan frying the fish. Cast iron retains heat well due to its heaviness, which is ideal for pan frying fish. I avoid using nonstick stock pots for recipes that don't need them. It saves on their wear and also cooking food on high heat can damage nonstick ware.