Chengdu Taste (Alhambra)


Depends on its provenance. I agree in general that the farmed tilapia, with dense populations and poor water quality, often (but not always) produce shitty tasting fish.

BUT wild-caught tilapia (yes, such a thing still exists) can be a revelation. While traveling through Nubian Egypt (near Sudan), I was treated by a local fisherman’s family to a dinner of grilled wild-caught Nubian tilapia (cichlid) with onion rice and pea casserole served with cornflour bread - sumptuous and incredibly flavorful!


Hi @moonboy403,

You will soon understand as you get more familiar with FTC, that @J_L and @PorkyBelly do not conform to the constraints of normal human beings. “1st Lunch” and “2nd Lunch”, “1st Dinner” and “2nd Dinner” are totally normal for our FTC trailblazers. :wink: :grin:


I grew up with it so it just tastes like generic soft whitefish to me.


That’s true for me as well. Perhaps I notice more mushy texture but flavor-wise i don’t see what makes everyone so incensed by Tilapia other than it’s ubiquity.


Get to know us. lol


It’s like a blooming onion made out of tilapia.


yes, i don’t mind tilapia at all and would go so far as to say that in many cuisines where fish recipes originate with freshwater fish, it works better than fish with stronger marketing departments in the u.s.


Yeah, I only sometimes have issues with Talapia. I’ve enjoyed it or not noticed anything negative in heavily spiced Chinese dishes. Probably the one time I’ve had a non-farmed version, prepared as tibs in Ethiopia, I thought it was great.


I enjoy fresh tilapia steamed and topping it off with scallion, hot oil, and sweetened soy sauce.


I’m not a tilapia hater at all. However, there have been occasions when the fish had a “muddy” taste, for lack of a clearer term. Mostly, it’s just okay fine.


You eat well, sir.


I grew up eating fresh tilapia so I guess I’m used to the taste. Live ones swimming in the tank are about $3.99 a pound at local Chinese supermarkets. :yum:


FIFY. :slight_smile:


I certainly agree that cod in general do taste better!


@J_L and @moonboy403 if I may continue this thread drift a bit.

What’s your steaming “equipment” look like?
I know I want something like this:

But my general manager is not keen on something so voluminous joining the kitchen.

What do you guys use to steam your whole fish?

Also, I’m I so wrong to be using branzino for a steamed fish prep as you’ve described?


I roll All-Clad at home, so the 8-quart steamer insert does fine.

IMHO branzino flesh is too dense for this type of light Cantonese preparation. You can try yellow croaker as a substitute.


@frommtron I don’t work at a restaurant. I just fill my wide cooking pot or wok with water, then set my plate on top of the steam rack when the water boils and call it a day. The key to steaming fish on a plate is to put something between the plate and the bottom of the fish (I use the whites of scallions). This allows the steam to circulate and thus cooks more evenly.


As far as fish goes, any fish that isn’t too fatty like a Chilean seabass will work fine IMO. Steaming cooks the fish gently and allows you to taste the freshness of it. It’s a poor man’s sous vide in a way.


Thank you both for the guidance.
Yeah. That triple-layer monster was . . . doin’ too much.
Both of these options are a whole lot easier.

Apologies for the drift and now, back to Chengdu Taste! :smiley:


Damn son, you openin’ a dim sum joint?!


Or a XLB place?:slight_smile: