Deep-Fried Tilapia (Fish)

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 5 mins

This is a no-fail recipe for MILD, white, flaky, not greasy, and delicious fish for either sandwiches or as a main entree on a plate. The trick is to get the cooking oil plenty hot, 375-degrees F or higher. Also, there is no "drenching" in egg wash involved in this recipe. Tilapia works best but Whitefish fillets are also great. Use either Canola oil, Peanut oil, or Crisco. Others may "smoke" at high heat. If you wish to mix in additional favorite herbs or spices into the flour, (e.g., a teaspoon of dried basil, or, Old Bay Seasoning), go right ahead. Easy! Enjoy!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 1 quart cooking oil (or Crisco)
  • 1 12 cups seasoned flour (I use Kentucky Kernel brand)


  1. Heat the oil in a 3- or 4-quart pan to at least 375-degrees F. (just a couple of drops of water flipped off your hand will really crackle when the oil has reached this heat level).
  2. Roll the DRY and THAWED fish in the flour, shake off excess flour, and let the filets sit on a rack or, on wax paper, for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Roll the fillets in the flour a second time, shake off excess flour, and deep fry, no more than 2 at a time. (frying more than 2 filets at once drives down the oil temperature which will make the fish and coating soggy!) Turn once in the pan after a minute or so and remove when golden brown. They should be done in under 4 minutes, white and flakey inside at the thickest section of the filet. Do not overcook!
  4. Drain each filet on paper towels for a few seconds and serve.
Most Helpful

Great recipe! I made this as written and used a deep fryer. I used a commercial product called "Southwestern Style" coating. The fish was golden brown and perfectly cooked in 4 minutes. Thanks for sharing.

CJAY September 15, 2011

Begrudgingly shared with DH. No greater behavorial modifiers than fines, penalties, taxation and no dinner...and maybe a couple of other things.

gailanng September 23, 2010

This was a breeze. The fish was nicely browned and the coating did not fall off. I did it in a deep fryer. Thanks for posting. Made for Bargain Basement.

mightyro_cooking4u August 06, 2009