If you’re blessed enough to have a Food 4 Less in your area than pick up a bag of Tilapia Fillets. It only costs $10 for a 4lb bag.
The poor man’s steamer consists of a metal strainer….
and a pot. NOTE: Don’t try to smoke this pot.
The ingrediants for this recipe will be whole black peppers…
Cayenne Pepper, salt (not pictured)….
and a mix of your favorite vegetables. I used Bok choy and Red Bell Peppers for this recipe.
Let’s start…take your pot and fill it with about 1.5 cups of water. You’re going to be using only 1.5 cups of water so the water doesn’t touch the fish when it boils. If the fish boils in the water then the fish will break apart easily. Then technically we won’t be steaming fish…we will be boiling fish. And boiling fish is for idiots. And you’re not an idiot are you?
Now put your pot (the one you don’t smoke) on the stove and place the metal strainer on top of the pot. Now you have a cheap steamer!
Pour in some whole black peppers so they sit at the bottom of the strainer. You will put my fish fillets on top of the peppers. You do this so when your steamer contraption starts to steam the pepper taste will steam into the fish.
You can now put in your fillets. It doesn’t matter if your fillets are frozen stiff or defrosted. That’s the magic of steaming.
Cover the fillets with something so you can steam the fishy into tasty land. Luckily I have a pot cover that does the perfect job. You can use a plate, an army jacket, a push broom….whatever you wish. Turn the heat on the stove to high and wait for the water to boil. You only want the heat on high just long enough for the water to start steaming. Once the water starts to boil then turn your heat low so the water is on a low steam. This technique of slow steam cooking will make the flavors of your fish stand out.
Now you can kick your feet up and chill out. I watch episodes of The Office on my laptop. I’m reduced to watching old episodes cause those damn bastard writers at NBC and their stupid strike. I’m guessing they’ve never worked in a real office and never experienced the mundaneness (if that’s a real word) us real office workers have to go thru. So they should be happy that they are writers at NBC and stop with the ego strikes. I wouldÂ literally eat doo doo to be a writer at NBC. Those guys/gals should really appreciate their position.
Look at them bad boys steam away.
When your fish are cooked a little then pour on your spices. This should be about 5 minutes or so. You wait for the fish to be cooked a little cause the fish opens up when it starts to cook. That is the perfect opportunity to throw some spices in those tiny openings. When you put the cover back on the fish to steam the spices will soak up in the fish. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
You don’t think I forgot about the veggies did you? Now roll your veggies up in a piece of foil and….
put them suckas in your ghetto steamer. You wait to put the vegetables in because vegetables cook faster than meat. You don’t want to over steam your vegetables cause they will turn too soggy.
Put your lid back on and go back to doing other things. You see how effortless this is?
In about 25-30 minutes your fish should be ready. The time might vary for others. A good indication that your fish is ready is they will have formed slits and the fish will flake easy if you slice it with a fork. At this point you can also take out the vegetables.
and their you have it! A simple, VERY healthy dish. I was gonna eat this dish with rice, but I was too lazy to cook rice. This meal is very good for those of you who like to keep fit because it is light and full of vitamins (from the veggies) and protein (fish is HIGH in protein and LOW in fat).
NOTE: You can use this ghetto steamer for other meats and veggies as well. Steaming is a VERY healthy alternative to frying. If you learn to steam right you can make very flavorfull dishes.
Check out our other tilapia recipes:
Tilapia 101 (Video)