How to Fry Tilapia Using Potato Flakes


Instant potato flakes get a bad rap — especially when compared to real mashed potatoes. But in addition to being convenient and inexpensive, they're surprisingly versatile. Potato flakes — real potatoes that are boiled, mashed and then dehydrated — work as a breadcrumb substitution, making them ideal for people with a gluten intolerance or for anyone looking to add an unexpected flavor to dishes. Frying tilapia filets coated in potato flakes gives you a delicious, golden crust similar to hash browns.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Mixing bowl
  • Salt, pepper and other seasonings to taste
  • Platter or large dish
  • Eggs
  • Large bowl
  • Milk
  • Fork or whisk
  • Frying pan
  • Cooking oil
  • Spatula
  • Rinse the tilapia filets thoroughly in cold running water and pat them dry with a paper towel.

  • Put the potato flakes in a large mixing bowl and season them as desired. Salt and pepper are obvious choices, but you can also try onion powder, cayenne, rosemary or even a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Spread the seasoned potato flakes out on a flat platter or large dish.

  • Scramble two to three eggs, depending on the number of filets you have; two eggs should work fine for approximately four large filets. Add a splash per egg of milk, buttermilk, water or a dairy substitute like soy milk to keep the wash from clumping on the fish, and a pinch of salt.

  • Dredge the tilapia filets through the egg mixture, then lay them on the potato flakes and press lightly, making sure to get an even coating on both sides.

  • Coat a large heavy-bottomed skillet with oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Pan fry the coated filets until they turn golden brown, about three to four minutes on each side.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't have a gluten allergy, adding flour to your potato mixture can make for a thicker and more adherent crust.
  • Oil can splatter when you set the fish in the pan so guard your eyes and any exposed skin.

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  • Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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