Recipe: Beer-battered Tilapia

Due to the seasonality of our last featured species, Brassica rapa, it may take me a few weeks to procure some field mustard as it is the end of winter and things have yet to germinate here in northwest Indiana.  In the meantime, here’s something tasty you can do with a previously-featured species,  invasive tilapia.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 12 oz (1 can) beer; any kind will work, I used a pale ale from a local microbrew
  • 8 portions of tilapia filets
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra flour for dredging
  • 1 pot of canola oil (sorry, had to sneak this week’s species in here)


Heat pot of canola oil to 375⁰F

  1. Combine 2 cups of flour, salt, and paprika
  2. Add beer slowly (it will froth up) and mix (it’s okay if there are a few lumps)
  3. Rinse tilapia and salt and pepper both sides of filet
  4. Lay fillets on a plate of extra flour to dredge, repeat with the other side of filet so that both sides are lightly coated in flour
  5. One at a time, dip fillets in batter and then place in pot of hot oil
  6. Flip after 1-2 minutes or until one side is golden brown (you may allow more time for thicker fillets)

Note:  The oil will lower in temperature when things are placed in it so you may have to turn the heat up a little.  Remove from oil when both sides are golden brown.  Serve with either chips for a fish and chips meal or dirty rice, lime, garlic sour cream, and cabbage for a fish taco feel.

Beer-battered tilapia with dirty rice, garlic sour cream, cabbage, and lime. Photo credit: Sheina Sim


A self-proclaimed modern day nomad, I was born in the Philippines, grew up in southern California—lived all over really—and now I do research as a graduate student in Indiana and the Pacific Northwest. Professionally speaking, my current area of focus is speciation and ecological genetics and genomics, and a common theme in my various projects over the years is evolution in agricultural systems. As a recipient of a GLOBES—an interdisciplinary program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Integrative Graduate Education, Research, and Traineeship grant (IGERT) —fellowship, I have received training which has better enabled me to view and ponder topics without my science hat on. I take great joy in eating, cooking, and experiencing nature through various activities. I love to travel and anticipate many local and international invasivore field trips! Though my research interests do not directly involve the study of invasive species, I have had my fair share of negative encounters with environmentally noxious organisms in the midst of doing field research. I carry around a machete with which to combat my gnarly “Himalayan” foes, and my machete and I have raised more than a few eyebrows. Apart from my personal vendetta against these deliciously juicy pests, I feel that there are great advantages to linking our awareness of the natural world to our culture, and Invasivore is an avenue to do just that. I feel that an increase in general knowledge of invasive species will be of great benefit to the field of invasive species and conservation biology. Knowledge and awareness will lead to action, and action will lead to results!

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