Pan-Seared Tilapia with Five Spice and Ponzu

Posted by in The Kitchen

The lemony, tart essence of ponzu sauce complements fish well, and five spice powder brings a touch of rich smokiness to the minimally-seasoned fish. Cornstarch adds a light crust, and finishing splashes of ponzu and fresh lemon juice add bright, sharp notes to the delicate flesh. Crisp, stir-fried snow peas complete this quick, simple, and delicious meal.


1 lb tilapia filets
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp five spice powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
pinch of brown sugar
4 tsp ponzu or light soy sauce, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbl olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
lemon slices

Mix salt, peppers, five spice powder, garlic powder and sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle fish filets on both sides with 2 tsp ponzu sauce, then with seasoning mixture. Set aside. Heat a large cast-iron or other skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and heat just to smoking point. Quickly dredge fish in cornstarch and pan-sear. Depending on thickness, cook about one to two minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with fork. Do not overcook. Remove to platter; sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and 2 tsp ponzu sauce. Garnish with lemon slices and serve immediately.


Stir Fried Snow Peas

1/2 lb snow peas, strings removed and rinsed
1/2 cup yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbl olive oil
2 tbl oyster sauce
1 tsp ponzu sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
Brown sugar

Heat olive oil in skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar and saute until slightly browned. Add snow peas and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add oyster and soy sauces and stir-fry until slightly browned, but still bright green and crisp, about one minute more. Add lemon juice, stir, and serve immediately.