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Chili-spiked tilapia dunked in zesty mango sauce – Asian inspired



… And when he said ” AWESOME” !  perhaps few days back… I am not good in remembering dates ! All I remembered was this “his jubilant face and a biiiiiig happy smile on his face when he took the first bite of it, the chili spiked tilapia in mango sauce. The sparks in his eye was enough to tell me that I had done justice to this elegant dish.

tilapia recipe mango sauce

DH is my biggest critic and the most devoted fan of my culinary experiments and arguably the perfect guinea pig too ? But lately I have observed something somewhere is missing, I was expecting something beyond a routine “good” nod to whatever I served him on a plate. He had asked couple of time to cook this or that but I had skilfully avoided it, because simply either I had cooked it before (and posted it on blog ! ) or it was too uninspiring for my blog , or not in accordance to my monthly blog schedule.

It is february, so you have to eat strawberries, oranges can wait for another season to come ! Who took the rein of my life ?

And it took almost 3 miles walk to understand where I was heading to . Self introspection can not be achieved sitting in front of laptop or tv for hours, you needed to be left alone with your thoughts, not even in home, because the modern-day gadgets hardly gives you any space you so desired for at times. A 25 miles long trail cut across our apartment at places, and every day I saw people running or jogging along the path, a routine, a fitness regime to which I also sometimes joined too, but that day while walking along its winding path for the first time I realized its natural beauty, all along the trail a stream flows besides it, lined with tall pine and spruce trees, an occasional squirrel or rabbit interferes your thoughts, a sweet one though.

tilapia recipe mango sauce

Yes, I agree , I am bit complex character, impulsive, and in habit of making things complicated than it is necessary, and this reflects in my writing as well as in my culinary trials too. Many at times I fumbled for words, sometimes I struggled a lot to construct a sentence beautifully , not to mention the grammars, being a thorough introvert, I failed to express often what I wanted to. Same can be said about my cooking too, even if I follow a recipe religiously ,in the end I will be highly tempted to add something on my own, thus changing the “course” of the dish. Sometimes I failed, sometimes I succeed, but DH never complaint about it.

Once the cloud of doubts removed from my head, and my mind was as clear as the stark blue sky, brimming with new ideas I thought of making something different, with sole purpose of surprising him, but in turn get amused by the simplicity of this dish. With bit of chili, some zest of orange and lemon, mango sauce can be so flavourful and never had the idea that the lightly breaded steaks of tilapia would go so wonderfully with that. This dish beckons a simple play of flavour, texture and there are lot of scope to personalize it.  So choose the flavours that are close to your heart and make this for your loved ones !

tilapia fish recipe

Recipe: Chili – spiked tilapia in zesty mango sauce

Summary: Chili – spiked tilapia in zesty mango sauce – an Asian inspired recipe


  • 2 fillet of Tilapia
  • For Mango sauce –
  • 1 cup – Mango puree (sweetened)
  • 3-4 tbsp – Sambal olek / Thai bird chili paste
  • 1 tbsp – zest of orange
  • 1/2 tbsp – zest of lemon
  • 1 tbsp – Honey
  • 1/2 tbsp – ginger (minced)
  • Salt to taste
  • For breaded fish
  • Oil for pan frying the fish
  • 1 cup – fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 – egg ( lightly beaten )
  • 2 tbsp – dried basil (optional)
  • 1 tbsp – red chili flakes (optional)
  • chiffoned spring onions to garnish


  1. Thaw the fillet of Tilapia fish and dry it with absorbent kitchen towel.
  2. In a wide plate, mix the bread crumbs with the herbs of your choice.
  3. In a shallow plate beat the egg lightly with dash of salt.
  4. Heat the non-stick pan sufficiently and reduce the heat to medium.
  5. Drizzle oil as much require to fry the fish.
  6. Dip the fish fillet in egg, coating it evenly and then flour the fillet in herbed bread crumbs, shaking off the excess.
  7. Once the oil is sufficiently hot, add the lightly breaded tilapia and fry it evenly till a light brown hue is visible.
  8. Once the two sides of the fish fillet are lightly browned, apply the sambal olek or chilli paste generously over one side, turn it over and apply the same to the other side as well.
  9. Lightly fry the fish fillet, the chilli should not get burned, if requires lower the heat further.
  10. Once it is done take out the fish on a separate plate.

Mango sauce –

  1. In the same oil add the minced ginger, saute for a while and add the mango puree.
  2. Next add the honey, zest of orange and lemon, salt to taste and give the sauce a stir.
  3. Bring the sauce to first boil and pour it over the chili spiked tilapia fillet.
  4. For extra heat you can use red pepper flakes too in the sauce.
  5. Serve the tilapia in mango sauce over a bed of steamed white rice or lightly toasted fried rice with almonds and garnish it with chiffoned spring onions.

Quick notes

There are lots of scope to personalize this recipe, depends upon your palate you can increase the heat in the sauce or you can omit the honey. I will personally advocate for sambal olek but if you do not have that, sriracha sauce may be a decent substituition. For more Thai inspired flavours, you can use 1 tsp of fish sauce (nam pla) too.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: Thai

My rating 5 stars: ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Have a wonderful day ahead !


  • Reply
    February 13, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Delicious and mouthwatering Tilapia fish curry. Wonderfully prepared.

  • Reply
    February 14, 2013 at 1:27 am

    Ummm drooling ,..can imagine the flavor

  • Reply
    Suman Arthy
    February 14, 2013 at 3:36 am

    wow love the mango flavor….perfect combo for tilapia….

  • Reply
    February 14, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Inviting platter, i want that whole plate rite now,soo tempting.

  • Reply
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