Posted on 07 Aug 2014
4 min read
Fish has long been a staple of the bodybuilding diet, especially for those looking to lean up.
It’s high in protein, low in fat and has a superb range of health benefits.
But here in the UK we’re rather unadventurous when it comes to the kind of fish we eat.
Unless you breed peacocks or own a wine thermometer, you probably won’t have ventured further than tuna or cod, the reliable, working class fish.
“But what about gurnard, bummalo, black bream, dab?” bemoan the likes of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Although they might sound like something you’d buy from a Boz Boz in Shoreditch, these are all types of fish that are popular in other countries.
Fact is, we don’t like change, like we don’t like rail replacement buses, oversized hedges and the French.
But maybe we should broaden our piscine horizons, because tilapia, which we’re going to look at today, is fucking mint.
Tilapia is a warm water fish usually found in the Carribean and Asia.
Although it isn’t that common in the UK, it’s very popular Stateside, where it’s referred to as the ‘aquatic chicken’.
According to the National Fisheries Institute, Tilapia is now the country’s fourth most eaten fish, behind shrimp, salmon and canned tuna.
Although it might sound rather bourgeois (I’m sure there’s a Geldof somewhere called Tilapia), it’s very inexpensive, which largely accounts for its appeal.
MuscleFood sell tilapia in one kilogram packs which comprise five 200g fillets.
The nutritional stats are as follows:
This is a ridiculously lean, protein-packed profile – the perfect ingredients for gains.
Tilapia is also low in mercury and, like other fish, high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
When you order online from MuscleFood, the 1kg bag of Tilapia fillets arrives skinless and boneless, ready for cooking right away.
And as you can see from the photo below, these fillets are big, firm, juicy bastards.
What’s more, there was no shrinkage whatsoever when cooking, which is the case with a lot of supermarket fish.
Often, cooking frozen meat and fish from a supermarket is a like a Star Wars prequel or online dating – a huge fucking let down.
On their own, these fillets taste quite bland, although there is a subtle kind of flavour.
However, I marinated them with a spice mix and they tasted great – but not truly delicious, like hot chocolate or Coke.
Then again, I’ve never been a big one for the delicacies of fish – blame it on an upbringing of deep fried food and pick ‘n’ mix.
A kilo of tilapia (five fillets) will set you back £8.50, which equates to £1.70 per serving.
Bear in mind that the glaze accounts for a bit of this weight, but this price is still considerably cheaper than buying from a fishmonger or supermarket.
Tesco’s tilapia fillets, for example, come in at around £13 per kilo.
So, once again, props to MuscleFood for providing superb value for money.
This is a simple, tasty and nutritious Tilapia recipe which you can try.
Like my Kangaroo Steak review, I planned to include a snap to show off my culinary wizadry, but unfortunately I made complete botch job of it.
I overcooked the roasted squash/onion combo and it ended up looking like SpongeBob Squarepants after being kicked to death outside a Newcastle nightclub.
So credit to Lynn Gardner for the photo – and recipe inspiration too.
1) Season tilapia fillets with spice mix and set aside for 30 minutes or more.
2) Pre-heat oven to 220°c. Slice onions and squash and place on a baking tray. Cook for 15 minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, turn each slice over, cook for another 15 minutes.
3) Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook until tender (about five minutes).
4) Mix rice into pan, stirring regularly. When rice starts to brown, stir in salsa and chicken broth. Reduce heat and then cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed.
5) Pre-heat the grill and cook tilapia fillets for 4-5 minutes on each side.
These MuscleFood tilapia fillets provide a welcome alternative to other more conventional kinds of white fish.
They’re easy to cook, tasty, boast a lean, healthy nutritional profile, and offer superb value for money.
All in all, a great addition to your diet, especially if you’re looking to cut down on body fat.
You can order a 1kg bag of tilapia fillets by shopping here at the MuscleFood website.
And don’t forget to use a MuscleFood discount code to save some cash when you order.
Have you tried tilapia?
Got any other serving suggestions or recommendations?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!