Tilapia is an easy to cook white fish that is cheap and readily available in most grocery stores. One of our favorite ways to cook it is using a Korean method of pan-frying. Traditionally, an assortment of pan-fried items are called Modeumjeon. Tilapia, being a flaky white wish, serves well with this method.
Pan-frying ensures the integrity of the delicate fish. It also keeps the moisture locked in without drying it out, as baking tends to do. And it’s fried, so it’s automatically delicious.
This recipe fries up fish (saengseonjeon) and zucchini (hobakjeon), keeping it simple and healthy.
Delicate fish requires a good spatula and we used the RSVP European-Style Flexible Spatula. The wide-angled flexible head slips under food easily.
Serve with rice, alongside a Korean dipping sauce made from rice vinegar, soy sauce, and a pinch of pepper. Also, don’t forget the Korean mantra of never having too many side dishes. Fried tilapia and zucchini goes well with all kinds of kimchi or wrapped in dried seaweed (gim).
Korean Pan-Friend Tilapia & Zucchini
Korean Pan-Fried Tilapia and Zucchini
Tilapia made using a traditional Korean frying method using egg batter maintains the integrity of this delicate fish.
- Salt & Pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch disks. Salt both sides and set aside for at least 20 minutes so excess moisture is drawn out. Pat dry with paper towels.
Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towel. Cut fish into 2 in long slices. Salt and pepper both sides and set aside for 20 minutes. Pat dry again. Lightly salt.
Dredge zucchini and fish in flour, set aside.
Heat a large skillet with 1 tbs of oil over medium heat. Dip each zucchini or fish in beaten eggs one at a time and carefully place in the skillet.
Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side (a couple minutes longer for the fish if it is a thicker piece) until lightly browned. Place on plate with paper towel. Repeat until all pieces are cooked, adding oil each time so the pan never runs dry.
Recipe adapted from Korean Bapsang.