Five-Spice Tilapia

Five-Spice Tilapia

32 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2010

Chinese five-spice powder, soy sauce and brown sugar make a quick glaze for tilapia. You'll need a skillet that is 12 inches or larger to accommodate the pound of tilapia fillets—if you don't have one large enough, use 2 smaller skillets instead or cook them in two separate batches, using more oil as necessary.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 1 pound tilapia fillets
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (see Tip)
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Sprinkle both sides of tilapia fillets with five-spice powder. Combine soy sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tilapia and cook until the outer edges are opaque, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, turn the fish over, stir the soy mixture and pour into the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until the fish is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes more. Add scallions and remove from the heat. Serve the fish drizzled with the pan sauce.
  • Tip: Five-spice powder is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. Look for it in the spice section at the market or with other Asian ingredients.
  • People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 180 calories; 6 g fat(1 g sat); 0 g fiber; 9 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 34 mcg folate; 57 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 9 g added sugars; 112 IU vitamin A; 2 mg vitamin C; 33 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 596 mg sodium; 411 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate, 3 lean meat, 1 fat

Reviews 32

November 12, 2017
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By: Ruth
Huge fan of the spice on the fish.
January 22, 2017
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By: Heidi Mayer
Simple, and simply delicious!!!!
January 09, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Glaze has a wonderfully balanced spicy/salty/sweet flavor that gives a new twist (for us) to tilapia. Seemed to pair well with a savory cauliflower mash first time around but will experiment with other vegetable complements in the future. Placed fish under broiler instead of into skillet to simplify preparation and clean-up. Excellent.
May 29, 2014
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By: Spazgadget
Easy to make, knockout taste. Man, this was delicious, and remarkably easy and quick for a weeknight healthy meal. I couldn't find prepared Five Spice powder in my local store so; actually ground up my own using equal parts of all the ingredients and sifted through a sieve. Grilled up some asparagus in the same pan as the fish and served with some brown rice and a sauvignon blanc. Absolutely terrific. Definitely going into regular rotation! Pros: Delicious, healthy, fast Cons: Finding Five Spice!
July 19, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
EXCELLENT! Let me be clear. I don't like fish. Never have and thought that I never will. My husband likes everything and was getting sick of chicken, beef and pork. I tried this recipe and I can now say I'll eat fish and enjoy it! The flavor is strong but not overbearing and absolutely awesome. I made it the first time with Tilapia and the most recent time with Mahi Mahi. We loved it both times but I think I liked the Mahi better. The filets were thicker and more uniform throughout so the ends weren't overcooked. Served it over white rice with seasoned broccoli on the side. Good stuff! :) Pros: Healthy, Quick, Easy, Inexpensive Cons: Can't think of any!
May 01, 2013
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By: thegriers7
Overwhelming taste of cloves. My hubby eats anything and of course ate this or shall I say choked it down. I'm so happy so many others enjoyed it, but we didn't... at all. :( Pros: Healthy Cons: Terrible tasting.... literally made me nauseous
January 20, 2013
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By: ninjakiwi2010
It's grrrrrrreat! This sweet and savory fish is easy to make and in the two times I've made it all that I've had to go out and buy were the chinese five spice and the tilapia! Great for weeknights and any night! Pros: Delicious, easy to make, very fast, most ingredients are just lying around the house . . . Cons: Would help to put in more vegetables but that you can do yourself.
November 27, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Great Recipe I have now made this recipe several times. Kids (3 & 6) and husband (not a big fish eater) both enjoy this tasty recipe. You really need a big pan as the recipe calls for! Would highly recommend! Pros: easy recipe, great flavor
November 12, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
This recipe is totally tasty!! My husband, who is not fond of fish, raved about how delicious it is!! I mixed the spices in equal amounts in a tsp, and it came out wonderful!! Opal Cons: Combined spices not usually at hand.
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