Honey-Ginger Glazed Tilapia

We’ve talked about fish before. All our fishy issues. Sara doesn’t like it. My husband doesn’t like it. My son loves it, but my daughter hates it. It’s hard for me to cook seafood because I’m not a short-order cook, so I refuse to make separate meals for everyone in the family, but I also truly understand not loving fish because I didn’t like it at all growing up and I don’t want to subject my family to the same gag-worthy torture that I had to endure. Also, good fish can be quite spendy, so I don’t want to drop that kind of cash for something that my family is going to endure-borderline-hate.

So sometimes, when my daughter stays a few extra hours at preschool and I don’t feel bad about telling my husband that he can make his own dang lunch, I make fish for myself for lunch. Is that weird?

I do have a few confessions about this particular recipe. First, I don’t have a lot (read: any) pictures of the creamy dipping sauce because I was making it up as I went along. Second, and along those lines, for me, this fish was super tasty, but the sauce ended up knocking my socks off, so it kind of became a vehicle for the dipping sauce. If it were socially acceptable to eat it by itself, I would (and really, why isn’t it?! People eat sweet yogurt by itself all the time, so why not savory? I think I shall start a revolution…)

This comes together super quickly because fish doesn’t need to marinate for very long. You’ll need honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, garlic, fresh ginger, olive oil, and 16-24 ounces of your favorite fish (the original recipe called for mahi mahi, but I couldn’t find any mahi mahi, so I used and liked tilapia. I’d bet all my unfolded laundry that salmon, although fishier, would be fabulous.)

Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and oil. Rinse the fish in cool water and then place it in the marinade. Let it hang out for 20-60 minutes.

While the fish is marinading, whisk together 6 ounces of low-fat or fat-free plain Greek yogurt, a little garlic and grated ginger, soy sauce, lime juice, some grated lime rind, green onions, some kosher salt, and a little Sriracha sauce. I used 1/4 teaspoon and it the sauce itself was pretty spicy, but once you got it on the fish, it was perfect for me. However, you might want to start with just a few drops or 1/8 teaspoon and then go from there. Let it hang out in the fridge until you’re done cooking the fish.

When you’re ready to cook the fish, heat an indoor grill pan over medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray or brush with vegetable oil. Cook the fish for 4-6 minutes per side or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. You can also place it on a foil-lined baking sheet

and cook it under the low broiler setting in your oven for 4-6 minutes per side. Serve with brown rice, steamed veggies, and with the creamy dipping sauce.

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  1. So glad you posted this. I was planning on making teriyaki salmon with the roasted cauliflower. Now I’ll get to make some yummy-sounding dip, too. Thanks! I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to make fish before. 🙂

  2. Kate, this looks wonderful. We all enjoy fish at my house (at least right now; who knows when/if my 4-year old will change his mind) and I’m always looking for new/different ways to prepare it. Thanks so much for posting this; we’ll be giving it a try soon!

  3. I’m so glad you posted a fish recipe!! Loved that! I can’t wait to taste the dipping sauce and since I’ve just bought siracha sauce last week and feel in love with it (as in I almost want to put it in my cereals just to see if spicy cereals would be good – or not!). It’ll be a great recipe for us… thanks!

  4. Thanks for posting this. We are not fish fans in this household, but have been trying to be more adventurous. I am excited to make this which says a lot since I don’t usually eat fish!

    1. We don’t do nutritional information anymore for a variety of reasons (mostly because people can be pretty darn mean), but there are lots of sites out there that will help you figure out the nutritional information! Good luck! 🙂

  5. When I come out there to visit you, I’ll fold your laundry and find your socks that got knocked off, and then you can feed me this for lunch. Deal?

  6. Your fishy issues make me laugh, mostly because we have them too. My husband and I both like some kinds of seafood, but not the same kind. He loves shrimp and I can’t stand the shrimpiness of it. I love salmon but he thinks it tastes too salmony. I end up fixing salmon for dinner whenever he goes out of town and it helps me feel less sad that he is gone. This recipe would be awesome with salmon and I think I’ll be trying it the next time he has to travel.

  7. I am SO GLAD you posted this today! I was looking up tilapia recipes last night as I have a whole bag of it in my freezer. I am SO going to make this soon! I made myself by tilapia this last trip to Costco because it was cheaper than the salmon (which is what I really wanted) and had WAY less fat & calories. But then I prepared it quick and easy way I usually do salmon and I was SORELY disappointed. I have a feeling this will change my mind on tilapia though 🙂

    1. I also bought tilapia from costco haha its so cheap! We never cook it plain it’s just to boring and bland. Most times we just put a batter on it or I smother mine with mustard. 😉 plain is just not tasty.

  8. Have to be totally honest here…I think one of the major sellers of your cookbook for me is that there were no fish/seafood recipes in it! (Well, aside from one with shrimp, but that could easily be omitted for chicken…) I am definitely not a fish eater, however, my husband likes it occasionally. Maybe I will be a great wife and try this for him (don’t think you can go wrong when garlic and balsamic vinegar are involved)…or better yet, send him and this recipe over to his mom’s, I know both of them would love it! Thanks for all the great recipes you share…love every one I have tried! -The whole family does, my 3 year old has even convinced me to make some candy/Jello popcorn already today (and it is not even 9 am yet)!

  9. Kate, I don’t have a grill pan, could I use a Foreman grill for this or should I just stick with the broiler for the glazey effect?

  10. This sounds really good right now! We all love fish here. In fact one of my 8 yr. old’s favorite school lunches is Tilapia! Forget pizza day (a rarity at our school) he wants fish! But try and get him to eat fruits or veggies…not going to happen. And the sauce sounds so good! I can see why you’d want to start a savory yogurt revolution! 🙂

  11. The first time I tried tilapia was in your grilled fish tacos, which is now a family favorite (YUM), and I was looking at the tilapia at Costco wishing it was grilling weather, but now we have this and I’m sure it will be fabulous as well! Your sauces/dressings are always fantastic!! Thank You 🙂

  12. Yum! I’m going to try this recipe this weekend! I know exactly what you mean as something becoming a vehicle for sauce. Your sauce looks very similar to my new favorite recipe for salad dressing. It’s also the only way I can trick my preschooler into eating (or trying) salad or veggies.

  13. My family won’t eat fish either. I have to enjoy it myself. Coming from the coast where fish was a staple in my home, it’s hard that my family won’t eat it. Keep enjoying it and posting those delicious recipes!

  14. Kate, I love fish. This sauce will be great to try on all kinds . . .can’t wait to see what you come up with next! Impressed by you, from LHRandle

  15. You should try a fish called Barramundi, produced by Australis fish farms! It is a wonderful and tastier alternative to Tilapia and was ranked as a “Super Food” by Dr. Oz.


  16. The thought of cooking myself a lunch like you did has never crossed my mind. I’m not calling you crazy or anything, but I have just never made myself lunch (beyond opening a slimfast can, mircowaving leftovers, or making a quick sandwich, that is). Wow!

  17. Mmm, I love fish (and all seafood). This looks yummy and will be a great recipe to throw in the mix and shake things up.

    I have to laugh a little at your Sriracha threshold. I’ll put a teaspoon or two in my bowl of noodles (pho), as will my kids. Guess it helps I’m Thai and grew up sprinkling hot peppers on my food as if it were salt and pepper.

  18. Of course we made Tilapia for dinner this evening and I am just now seeing this. I bet this would have been great. I am definitely saving this recipe for the next Tilapia night!

  19. Kate,

    You are absolutely correct when you say that this would be good on salmon. I HATE salmon but my husband loves it and I found a recipe at the store that used many of the same ingredients that you used in your marinade. Once I made this he went absolutely crazy over it and has requested this many times since. Now if only the smell of salmon didn’t make me half sick… However I do love talapia and cod and orange roughy. All mellow and mild fish to me are great. Sriracha sauce around here is called Rooster Sauce; just FYI. I love the blog and your great ideas with food. Keep up the good work.


  20. This sounds delish! I LOVE fish, my kids can take it or leave it, and I’m slowly converting my land-lubber husband. This is definitely something I’m going to try.

    Do you think Tabasco sauce would be a decent substitute for the Sriracha sauce?

    1. Hahaha! I hope you have better luck than I have with my husband! 🙂

      I wouldn’t sub Tabasco–they’re really two different flavors. But I’ve never had a problem finding Sriracha–just look for the rooster on the bottle! 🙂

      1. Hey Mikey, he liked it! I asked what the fam thought of this recipe (which I followed almost to a “T”, very unlike me) and he said, “well, I didn’t gag…” as he was taking seconds.

  21. This was so delicious! My husband usually prepares our fish and does a fantastic job. He doesn’t usually use a marinade, but he was a huge fan of this recipe. I think we’ll be using it more regularly now. We recently got married and your website has been so great in helping me find some new recipes ideas. Thank you!

  22. We eat fish when there is just enough leftover dinner from the night before to feed my one non fish eating daughter. She eats the leftover the rest of us eat fish. That way I don’t have to fix a separate meal for her.

  23. This is absolutely delicious!! So tasty and easy. I made a few simple changes…only because I didn’t have all of the ingredients but thought I would share incase you didn’t either! I used light sour cream for the cream sauce…and it was delicious. I didn’t have any limes…darn…but used squeeze bottle lime juice and no zest…we didn’t miss the zest. The honey from the sauce made a really big stink in my kitchen and I had to open my windows so that the smoke alarm didn’t sound. My suggestion would be to cook it slowly on medium (like suggested) instead of medium high. Also, there was WAY to much sauce. I will half it next time! I use Gourmet Garden Ginger…finely chopped fresh ginger. It’s so much better than trying to work with the ginger root! You can purchase it by the fresh herbs in the produce department.

  24. Prior to the printed recipe, you describe grilling the fish and then placing under the low broiler, but not in the printed recipe. Please explain why the broiler too, when fish cooks so quickly. Thanks in advance, the recipe looks and sounds terrific!

    Sharon Anne @ sharealikecooking.blogspot.com

  25. This was really great-especially paired with garlic roasted cauliflower (another recipe posted recently)! In fact I was so anxious to eat it, and while it was cooking I was preparing my cauliflower, I forgot to make the dipping sauce! But I am looking forward to it next time! Great fish marinade recipe!

  26. I have been looking for a yummy tilapia recipe for forever! I saw you two at TOFW in Layton this weekend and thought I’d check out your blog! Can’t wait to see future posts! 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  27. This recipe is amazing! My husband travels quite often and entertains clients in some pretty nice restaurants. He said it was “restaurant quality” if not better. I’m putting this on my menu for when we have company over. I make Alton Brown’s brown rice recipe and your baked broccoli recipe and it’s a healthy, easy, impressive meal. I think I could eat it every night. Thank you!

  28. I’m sorry to be on the oppotsite side of the spectrum but my family and myself didn’t like this at all and I love talapia. I was anxious to try another way to prepare talapia because my daughter and husband are not into fish but was a total bust. 🙁 The sour cream sounds like a good alternative to the greek yogurt. I do use greek yogurt in my cooking but I could still taste the grainy texture that you usually find in greek yogurt. Sorry won’t be cooking this again but I’m anxious to try some other recipes you have listed. Hope I wasn’t too harsh, still love your website and orderd both your books yesterday! Can’t wait to try something else.

  29. This. Fish. Is. De. Lish! My husband and I have gotten so tired of tilapia and I have looked seemingly everywhere for good tilapia recipes. This takes the cake! I made this once before, but without the sauce, because I am not a greek yogurt fan, however, my husband loves it, so tonight, we are trying it with the dipping sauce! And let me just say, EVERY recipe that I have tried from this site so far has been absolutely wonderful and each one has become part of my monthly menu! My two year-old also has pretty “discerning” tastes and he loves them all too! Thank you so much! *yum*

  30. I absolutely LOVE this recipe! The Honey-Ginger Glazed sauce is so delicious and the white tartar sauce really gives the Tilapia an incredible finish! 5 star dinner for sure!! Thank you!

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