Far more in the spirit of invasive species awareness than direct management, I bought tilapia for today’s recipe. And in this confession lies the crux of eating invasive species.
Should consumer demand for edible invasives ever reach the fervor required to drive harmful populations to extinction, that same economic force would provide incentives to farm and/or further spread the species in new locations. Much touted as a sustainable alternative seafood, tilapia is a good example of market demand for an invasive species driving it’s invasion.
Without good legislation combating the spread of harmful species like tilapias, invasions will continue to be substantial economic externalities for meals like this. Good legislation, however, begins with awareness. So in that spirit…
Recipe: Almond tilapia
2 tilapia fillets, about 150g (5 oz) each
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large skillet at a medium temperature. While the oil heats, lightly coat the tilapia fillets in whole wheat flour. Briefly saute the slivered almonds, then lay the floured fillets directly on top of the almonds (see picture below). Drizzle lemon juice and some salt onto the fish and cover with a lid.
Cook for 3-5 min based on thickness of the fillet. The almond slivers should begin to turn brown. Using a wide flat spatula, flip the fillets over while being sure to hold the almonds together with the fish. Cover the skillet again and cook another 3-5 mins, until the thickest portion of the fillet flakes when probed with a fork. Remove the fillets onto serving plates, and drizzle with some more lemon juice.
I sprinkled some parsley onto the finished product for show, and added some salt and pepper to taste. I recommend a steam or stir-fry vegetable side dish, which seasonally offers great potential for it’s own invasivory. White wine is traditional with a white fish, but I had a Bota Box malbec, which was perfect with the earthy tones of the vegetables and the dark roasted almonds.