Marinating is a simple way to add more flavor to meat, poultry, fish, and even vegetables. It can also — depending on what’s in the marinade — help tenderize tougher cuts of meat.
Fish, however, will never need tenderized, and we’re simply using the marinade to add flavor. Drop the fish into the marinade at least an hour and up to 6 hours before you plan to cook it. But don’t leave it longer than 6 hours–the lemon juice and sugar will soften the fish too much to cook.
Tilapia is a delicious, lean white fish that has a wide variety of associated health benefits, including its ability to help reduce weight, boost overall metabolism, speed up repair and growth throughout the body, build strong bones, reduce the risk of various chronic diseases, lower triglyceride levels, prevent arthritis, protect against cognitive decline, prevent various types of cancer, reduce signs of aging, boost the health of your hair, and strengthen your immune system.
- 1 C water
- 1/4 C lemon juice
- 1/4 t sugar
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/4 t pepper
- 2 T olive oil
- 6 tilapia fillets
Combine the water, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and 1 T olive oil in a bowl or covered dish and mix well. Add the fish and make sure they’re completely coated with the marinade; if possible, submerge them in the liquid. If not, make sure to turn them over at least once while they’re marinating so the whole fillet can absorb the marinade. Cover the dish and let marinate for at least an hour.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°. Use a drop of olive oil to coat the cookie sheet, then remove the fillets from the marinade and pat them dry with paper towels. Lay them out on a cookie sheet and brush lightly with the remaining olive oil. Bake at 375° until the fish is white, firm, and flakes easily with a fork (10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets).
(Test whether fish is done by checking whether it “flakes.” To do this, stick a fork a centimeter or so into the flesh of the fish and gently try to separate it. If the fish is done, the flesh will break into “flakes” of meat where it’s scored by the fork.)