Pili Nut-crusted Tilapia Fillet

Indigenous to the Philippines, the pili nut has the highest magnesium content and has more vitamin E than any nut.

Pili Nut-crusted Tilapia Fillet
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at a glance Main Ingredient

Fish and Seafood


Main Dishes

Preparation Time


Date Published

January-February 2012

Indigenous to the Philippines, the magnificent pili nut has the highest magnesium content and has more vitamin E than any other nut. It's been found to prevent cardiovascular disease, support strong immune function, and promote healthy skin. Munch on a handful as a snack or enjoy its delicious taste and texture in this succulent fish dish.  (Click to find more tilapia recipes)

Serves 4  
Prep Time 20 minutes 
Cooking Time 15 minutes

1/2 cup raw pili nuts, roasted and chopped
1/4 cup homemade breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves (wansoy), chopped
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 tilapia fillets (about 170 grams each)
sea salt, white pepper, and chili flakes, to taste
juice from 8 calamansi
vegetable oil for greasing baking dish
4 tablespoons fresh coconut milk
assorted steamed veggies or blanched vegetables, to serve (optional)

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

In a medium bowl, stir together nuts, breadcrumbs, flour, cilantro, and butter. Set aside.

3  Place fish in a shallow dish. Season with salt, white pepper, and chili flakes and drizzle with calamansi juice on both sides; rest for 10 minutes, turning them once.

Brush an oven-proof dish with vegetable oil. Arrange the tilapia on the dish and bake for 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and brush each fillet with 1 tablespoon coconut milk.

Divide nut mixture into four and spread on top of the fillets, patting the mixture to adhere on the fish.

Return to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with assorted steamed or blanched vegetables, if desired.


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