Pan-Seared Flax Seed Crusted Tilapia With a Tomato, Cucumber, & Mozzarella Salad

Open a nice chardonnay to make the most of this healthy and colorful meal!


2 6-ounce fresh tilapia filets

2/3 C finely ground flax seed

1/3 C all-purpose flour

½ t ground thyme

1 heaping T kosher salt + ½ t black pepper + sprinkle a little more kosher salt on the fish right before serving.

¼ C good olive oil

1 C finely chopped red lettuce

1 ½ C halved grape tomatoes

¾ C cubed unpeeled English cucumber

3 T chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

2 T chopped cilantro leaves

¾ C good fresh mozzarella cubed into small chunks

VINAIGRETTE: 3 T basil olive oil + 2 T red wine vinegar + ½ t kosher salt + 1/8 t black pepper + a splash of balsamic glaze (reduced balsamic vinegar)


  • Assemble the salad with the red lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, cilantro, and mozzarella. Cover with a wet paper towel and store in fridge until ready to serve. Dress right before serving by adding vinaigrette ingredients right into the bowl and toss.
  • Using a coffee or spice grinder, grind the flax seed to a rough grind. You want a little texture but not chunky. Add that to a bowl and add the flour, thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  • Bring a large saucepan to very high heat. Add the oil. When oil is shimmering your pan is ready. Make sure fish filets are patted dry and room temperature. Bring them over close to the pan as well as the flax seed mixture which you’ve spread out on a plate. Dredge the filets in the flax seed mixture making sure it is well covered. Add to hot oil, setting the filet down from front to back and gently laying in oil. Let it cook until the first side is nice and browned. About 2 to 2 ½ minutes. Then using a good seafood spatula, gently turn it over. Let it cook on the other side for about a minute until brown.
  • Serve over the tomato salad, sprinkle with a bit more salt, and garnish with more cilantro.

NOTE: Also good with a little white rice on the side if you desire. 

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