panko crusted tilapia with salsa verde

9 | August 19, 2010

For some reason I’ve been thinking about our time in Canada where we had the best fish and chips. But with marathon training in full swing traditional fish and chips is out of the question. So, tonight we are having baked panko crusted tilapia served with salsa verde. Why salsa verde? Basically because we live in Texas and we put salsa on everything. Of course, if your little ones don’t appreciate salsa as much as you may, simply serve theirs with a side of marinara.

This is a quick, easy and healthy dinner that the whole family will enjoy. Serve with baked sweet potato chips (sorry, you’re going to have to wait till Monday for that recipe) and sauteed squash. You can make the salsa verde in advance for an even easier dinner.

panko crusted tilapia with salsa verde serves 4

Salsa Verde

  • 3/4 pound tomatillos (about 7 to 8 tomatillos)
  • 1-2 serrano or jalapeno peppers
  • 1/2  large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsly chopped
  • 2 Tbs fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

* Just a little note: Please do not put anchovies, chicken broth, green tomatoes, or parsley in salsa verde. It’s an insult to the little old lady in the taco cart down the street from me. She wanted me to let you know.

photo by Chereen Zaki. I’m in love with it.

Preheat oven to 425°. Remove tomatillos from their husks. Wash, dry and set aside.

Remove the stems from the peppers. We like things hot over here. Use as many peppers as you can tolerate.

Chop onion in thirds and set aside.

Place the tomatillos, peppers, onions, and garlic (I crush mine and leave the peel on during roasting and discard later but to make it easier you can just leave the peel off) in a roasting pan. For easier clean up you can always use a foil lined pan. Drizzle everything with oilve oil. Place in oven.

Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until peppers and tomatillos look like this.

Carefully place tomatillos, peppers, onions and garlic in a blender or food processor. I find salsa is easier to make in a blender. Add cilantro, lime juice, cumin and salt. Don’t forget to place the top on, I always do, and pulse until everything is well blended and pureed.

This can be made in advance up to five days and can be used on almost anything! Forget the caned stuff, this is worth making it yourself.

Now for the fish:

Panko Crusted Tilapia

  • 1 1/2 cups of Panko, Panko is also known as Japenese bread crumbs and can be found in the international asile at the market
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • egg wash (1 egg + 2 Tbs of water beaten together)
  • 4 tilapia fillets (can be substituted for cod or halibut)

Preheat oven to 425°.

Put panko on a large plate.  Add salt and mix to evenly distribute.

Create a “station” with a plate of tilapia, next to the bowl of egg wash, next to the panko. Dip a tilapia fillet in the egg wash and then place in the panko. Make sure the tilapia is evenly coated with the panko. You might have to press the panko on to get a good coating. Repeat with the remaining fillets.

Place the tilapia on a foil lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Serve with salsa verde on the side. Enjoy!

Goes great with Sweet Potato Chips!


  • RavieNomNoms

    You have inspired me to try this! It looks so good! I can’t wait to try it!

  • the husband

    Thanks for making culinary sacrifices to help me with my obsession. Love you!

  • Bistro Gerard

    This looks delicious! And I definitely agree with the little old lady, salsa verde is best made without anchovies :-)

  • Baking Serendipity

    This looks delicious! I love tilapia :)

  • The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time

    People put anchovies in salsa verde? That’s pretty gross. Yours looks so wonderful. I love getting authentic recipes. Thanks for passing it along!

  • Kocinera

    This looks really good! The salsa verde paired with the tilapia sounds super yummy.

  • City Share

    Yum! This looks delicious. I’m going to make some tonight with steak. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Hollie

    I used this recipe to make the Talapia part and it was really good. I added a bit of pepper to the panko to give it more flavour. I used Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Salsa Verde. It has anchovies, pickles, capers, red wine vinegar and lots of herbs. There are quite a few styles of Salsa Verde. The one with anchovies is Italian and the one with tomatillos is Mexican. There are also salsa verde variations from Germany and South America. All go great with fish and none are wrong even if they have anchovies. Lol.

    • In Sock Monkey Slippers

      You have some good points! Thanks for commenting. The Italian Salsa Verde is actually known as Green Sauce but today has been confused and melded with the Spanish wording Salsa Verde (which means green sauce in spanish). It is served cold with a vinegar base, a stark contrast form Mexican Salsa Verde that is served warm and has jalapenos in it. The Italian version tastes nothing like traditional Mexican Salsa Verde but it is green because of parsley. I love Jamie Oliver! His sauce is based from a European green sauce that he talks about in one of his books.

      There are all different kinds of green sauce from around the world. Hundreds. Maybe even thousands. The one I am referring to is the Mexican Salsa Verde as noted above and it is absolutely nothing like the European Green Sauce. Try it out sometime. The flavor is outstanding! Thanks for trying a recipe. Hope you liked it!

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