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St. Peter’s Spicy Fish Seasoning Recipe

Salmon has been one of those foods that have increased in our meals a lot as our healthy journey has progressed, especially as we did a grain-free elimination diet (recipes here) and tackled a few Whole30 diets. We aim to get our fish as all Sustainable Seafood.

It’s also one of my husband’s least favorite foods ever, but he knows salmon is so healthy for our bodies that he lets me serve it – but it’s gotta be spicy!

St Peters Spicy Fish Seasoning

Poor man, his “I’m an adult, I’ll eat fish now” journey started at a restaurant one summer when he had some tilapia with lots of spicy seasoning, pan-fried to perfection from the Red Lobster menu.

Because he knows he should have more omega 3s in his diet, he allowed me to serve tilapia up to once a week, and of course it’s a very, very mild, non-fishy fish.

The boxed coating was easily reverse engineered (and spiced up even more), and then I found this recipe in a FAITH Magazine, published by the Diocese of Lansing. It’s even better!

But THEN, unfortunately, I learned that tilapia has more omega 6s than omega 3s. It’s not what I’m looking for!

The tilapia in Christ’s era was probably quite healthy, but farmed tilapia eats too much corn, which is high in omega 6s. Americans eat way too much omega 6. I had too much trouble sourcing a new bland white fish that I could cut super thin and cover in seasoning, that is also safely and sustainably fished.

So…on to salmon it was. We still use this fish seasoning (which isn’t even that spicy if you dust it lightly on one side of the fish only), but I don’t do all the other hoop jumping anymore. #whohastimeforthat? Hubby drenches it in “Awesome Sauce,” a Whole30 thing that’s half homemade mayo, half hot sauce.

I get both the wild Alaskan salmon (PS – farmed has the same problem as the tilapia; don’t bother with Atlantic salmon, which is unfortunately what almost all restaurants serve!!) and the hot sauce at such a great price at ALDI, so you know that makes me happy!! Good nutrition at a low price that takes hardly any time to prepare? Now you’re talking “Kitchen Stewardship®.” 😉

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Spicy Fish Seasoning Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 3 reviews
  • Author: originally found in a 2010 FAITH Magazine, published by the Diocese of Lansing
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins


If you love spicy, you’ll love this fish seasoning even if you don’t love fish!



ship kroger


  1. In an empty spice jar or small bowl, make the blackening seasoning by combining all of the above dry spices.
  2. The mix stores great for as many fish dinners as you can cover.
  3. To cook the fish:
  4. Heat a heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) on high for a few minutes.
  5. Sprinkle St. Peter’s Fish Seasoning liberally on both sides of the fish. (I like to sprinkle it on the fish on a plate, flip them seasoning side down in the cast iron, then sprinkle side #2. Less touching of fish that way.)
  6. Sear fillets in hot skillet for about 2-3 minutes on each side and flip with a fish spatula. They are cooked through when they flake when you lift a fork in the middle.

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I use just one plate…no extra dishes for me! I coat them and get them right in the already heated pan, too, so I can just get all fishy once.

Spicy Fish Seasoning Recipe

I love the flavor of salmon in a cast iron skillet and a little butter, ghee, or refined coconut oil. Related: My review of cast iron skillets.

It’s also an incredible superfood for pregnancy and good for women to eat too, plus it’s so fast to make that it is definitely a meal for my busiest times of life. But I still wasn’t making salmon very often.

My Husband Wasn’t the Only One Afraid of Salmon

It’s good to hear where food bloggers came from, I think. We weren’t all born cooking right from the womb!

The first salmon I cooked successfully was a partnership with Vital Choice.

Now, Vital Choice works with Dr. Sears, my hero of babydom from when I first had babies, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Andrew Weil, and so many famous people in the world of health and wellness! Why did they need me to test out their fish?

Because I was afraid of cooking fish, that’s why. I tried making fish once in college and ended up with rubber, a truly inedible meal. I was scarred for years!

I had never in my life prepared salmon in any way except from a can. I was afraid to spend enough money to find high quality safe salmon and then risk cooking it poorly and not even enjoying it. With the husband already not liking fish, I was starting with one strike on the dinner even if I prepared it perfectly.

How to Cook the Perfect Pan-Fried Salmon Filet

St Peters Spicy Fish Seasoning with Pan fried fish

Luckily, Vital Choice was wonderful to work with and sent me really, really detailed instructions on exactly how to cook the fish (phew!). Paraphrasing their how-to sheet, you can simply:

  • Thaw individually packaged fish in cold water (5-15 minutes).
  • Rinse and pat dry.
  • Cover 3 sides with seasoning blend (they gave ideas but I used St. Peter’s Spicy Fish Seasoning because I already had some made up and I knew it would give my husband the best chance of tolerating the meal).
  • In a preheated skillet on high (you bet I used cast iron), cook covered for 3 minutes.
  • Flip and cook, covered, for 2 more minutes.
  • Let stand with lid on but off the heat for 2-3 more minutes.
  • You know fish is done when it flakes when you put a fork in it and lift up.

Vital Choice even included a dishes saving measure of cooking your veggies for dinner in the same pan first. They are my kind of company! Winking smile

You can also bake or broil salmon and other fish: 

  • Bake: 350-400F for about 10 minutes per inch of fish
  • Broil: 3-5 minutes, checking with the fork test until done

I’m sure you’re wondering about my nervous result: I managed to make absolutely DELICIOUS fish! Perfectly cooked, lovely texture, amazing, restaurant-quality flavor. Better than most restaurants, actually, and I’m not just being prideful there.

The two 6-ounce filets were perfect for our little family of four at the time, and I had the last little piece cold on a salad the next day – it was excellent. 

UPDATE: We now buy our salmon from ButcherBox, grab some here!

Because my husband ate the fish and our 6-year-old knew he didn’t like fish, we got into a great conversation about why salmon is so very healthy for our bodies.

Paul was highly motivated to keep asking for seconds and thirds and even made me share the cold salmon the next day! Overall, what a success.

Now that our family is larger, I cook a whole pound of salmon on our cast iron griddle, so I skip the covering part and just fry over medium heat, flipping when the cooked white part is visible on the edges. It’s 2-4 minutes per side typically.

Tilapia with St Peters Spicy Fish Seasoning a homemade spice blend

Tilapia vs. Salmon for Omega 3s: No Comparison

Here are some excellent resources about tilapia, farmed fish, eco-friendly fish and healthy-for-you fish:

  • Farmed tilapia is “best choice” for the environment, says Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. However, read The Nourishing Gourmet’s thorough post on why tilapia is still not a good choice.
  • Research from Wake Forest University shows that farmed tilapia and catfish are higher in omega-6 fatty acids than lean ground beef and doughnuts. This “could be a potentially dangerous food source for some patients with heart disease, arthritis, asthma and other allergic and auto-immune diseases that are particularly vulnerable to an “exaggerated inflammatory response.”
  • So what fish SHOULD we eat?? Check out the Super Green Fish List from Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch: fish that are BOTH good for the environment and high in omega 3s (and low in heavy metals). Unfortunately, there aren’t many basic, low-on-the-fishy-flavor white fish on there – but salmon is represented year after year in both wild caught and canned form!
  • You can also download a regional safe fish list, which is really helpful for me in the Great Lakes State.
  • Kimi has a great post on what considerations to take to choose safe, healthy fish.

How to Buy Safe Salmon

The rule is simple:

Wild Alaskan salmon = good.

Farmed salmon = bad. Atlantic salmon is always farmed.

The only tricky part is that “Alaskan” and “Atlantic” both start with “A” so it’s harder to make a memory trick with the first letter.

The Basics of Salmon

You DO NOT want farmed salmon, because

  • the fish are eating unnatural foods like corn, which may also be genetically modified, and when fed fish (salmon are carnivores) they eat more fish than they ultimately feed you (bad for the ecosystem called earth, you included)
  • fish may be treated with antibiotics (bad for everybody)
  • the highly concentrated waste from fish farms pollutes the water (bad for the earth)
  • they are tested high in cancer-causing PCBs and dioxin, and endocrine-disrupting (hormone) PBDEs, a flame retardant (bad for your health)
  • the farms breed diseases that kill wild salmon (bad for the earth)

Therefore you want to buy only wild salmon, which is higher in Omega-3s anyway.

  • All Atlantic salmon is farmed.
  • All Alaskan salmon is wild.

Anyone feel like they’re in elementary Math class? If this, then this… Which salmon fits all the descriptions (and you can remember all this when you’re standing in the grocery store)?!

How to Remember What Salmon to Buy

Tricky! Since “Atlantic” and “Alaskan” start with the same letter, I had trouble remembering which was evil and which was preferred at first. Here’s how I remembered it:

Fish farming is illegal in Alaska, so I imagine pristine waters in the far north supplying my safe-to-eat salmon, swimming free (because they’re wild). I don’t think about the other “A” word. Just think “Alaska = wilderness = good salmon” and “wild = natural = good salmon”. 

I read this information everywhere…except here, where they tell us to “feel good about farmed salmon.” Poor Atlantic salmon farmers. No one is buying their product!

Almost all canned salmon I bump into is wild Alaskan salmon, but don’t be complacent: I found some at Walgreen’s, of all places, that was sourced somewhere very far away, in Asia maybe. Yuck. The problem with canned salmon is that it usually contains BPA in the can linings. Sometimes you have to turn the other way and shop at Aldi or Meijer, counting your blessings on the affordable omega-3s and praying for protection from the BPA. Update: apparently most cans no longer contain BPA! Yay!

There’s no comparison with inexpensive store brand salmon. What you buy in the store is suitable for salmon patties, pretty much exclusively, but I love making a cold salmon salad (with homemade mayo, mustard, and pickles, exactly like I would do with tuna fish) from the Vital Choice fancy cans. I have also found good quality Alaskan salmon at Costco and can do the same thing, but it’s obvious that the quality is lower than Vital Choice.

You can get a wild caught salmon and other ethical meat subscription through ButcherBox.

Interesting quote

Research published by the Environmental Working Group (July 30, 2003) indicates that farmed salmon poses a cancer risk because it may be carrying high levels of carcinogenic chemicals called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCBs have been banned in the US for use in all but completely closed areas since 1979, but they persist in the environment and end up in animal fat. When farmed salmon from U.S. grocery stores was tested, the farmed salmon, which contains up to twice the fat of wild salmon, was found to contain 16 times the PCBs found in wild salmon, 4 times the levels in beef, and 3.4 times the levels found in other seafood. Other studies done in Canada, Ireland and Britain have produced similar findings. For more on the nutritional differences between wild and farmed raised salmon, please see our article on this topic.

from World’s Healthiest Foods

Do you think more about taste, nutrition, or the environment when you eat out? Isn’t it nice to be able to get all 3?

(I’m totally the person who asks the waiter where the salmon is from, by the way, and I almost never end up ordering it because I don’t like their answer!!)

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

54 thoughts on “St. Peter’s Spicy Fish Seasoning Recipe”

  1. This spice works on pretty much everything. I’ve used it in patties, on chicken, in mini quiches and it’s all been amazing

    1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

      So glad you enjoy it Robin! Thanks for the ideas for how to use it! I wouldn’t have thought to use a fish seasoning blend in a quiche!

  2. This seasoning is awesome! Not only did it taste amazing on the fish, but we used it on so many other dishes! We loved it on roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes and other veggies. This recipe is a keeper in our pantry!

    1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Thank you for the review and for sharing how you use the seasoning Janelle!

  3. I’m wondering if there are concerns about radiation in the Pacific fish. We have a family near us that has been talking a lot about radiation poisoning because of Japan. It has led to a few of us talking about it and a few families that specifically won’t eat any fish caught in Pacific waters. I’m not a fan of most farmed fish either, so at this point it makes it hard to know where to get safe fish.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Ugh, I know – this is something I had on my list to dig into research about years back when the spill first happened and never did. 🙁 It’s scary!!

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  5. Sarah O @ Two Os Plus More

    Thanks for sharing such a delicious and healthy recipe – we made it as part of our Feast for St. Peter + St. Paul yesterday!

    It was perfect, and everybody enjoyed it, leaving absolutely no leftovers!

  6. Hi Katie,

    Not sure if you’re still looking for white fish recommendations two+ years later(!), but if you are, I highly suggest giving barramundi a try! The main (only?) US company widely selling this fish is big into sustainable practices and they claim their fish is mercury- and PCB-free. They also claim a ratio of 1:1 in omega-6s to omega-3s in their fish. The flavor is amazingly un-fishy (if cooked directly after thawing). Here’s a link to their website:
    I just saute it up on my stove top and eat it with a little garlic butter sauce (also great with a little bit of lemon as well). Delicious!

    1. Sarah,
      I am, actually. 😉 I need to look into this asap, as you’re not the first to tell me about it…thank you for that link!! 🙂 Katie

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  8. I had St. Peter’s fish in Nazareth about 12 years ago. I still remember that meal it was so good! 🙂

    1. Camille, That is so cool! I wonder if the spice blend was similar. Was it spicy? Mine is! 🙂 katie

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  10. Using lime helps get rid of some of the fishiness. Try cod, haddock or hake for more omega 3.

    Hake is a lovely white fish and not fishy.

  11. I fixed your fish recipe this evening, and oh so yummy. I printed it off from the since I’m having trouble printing off from your web site. I took the recipe with me to the spice shop for the amounts of each spice, rushed home after picking up Tilapia from the grocery store, so missed your note about using cornmeal. I’m not sure I’ve ever used cornmeal for anything. So my friend and I had the straight blackening mix on the fish spread with olive oil. I even made a mistake and put 2 tablespoons of pepper in the mix, instead of the 1. I was afraid the finished product would be inedible, but it was very good. My friend loved it. Not that I would add the extra pepper the next time. And I might cut down on the salt.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I haven’t fixed fish in such a long time, but am looking forward to fixing and eating more of it.

  12. Tilapia is such a great fish for “non-fish eaters.” It’s really almost so mild you MUST season it well. This one sounds delicious and I’ll definitely be trying it…although, I might ease up on the cayenne. You’re very, very brave. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing.


  13. Gail@FaithfulnessFarm

    We love fish…especially Tilipia. I’m making this 🙂

    .-= Gail@FaithfulnessFarm´s last blog ..Triple Chocolate Cheesecake =-.

  14. My husband’s family used to own a shrimping boat on the Gulf, and he’s sooo picky about fish. He absolutely refuses to eat farmed anything, and also doesn’t eat catfish (he and his fisherman friends call them “turd rustlers” {sorry} because they scavenge the waste of others and are literally bottom feeders.

    My research seems to indicate that fish that swim in cold water towards the TOP of the food chain tend to be higher in Omega-3’s. Cold water fish have more, because omega-3s don’t harden up in cold and it helps the fish stay flexible.

    Tuna, smelt, whitefish, and trout are good choices, but I don’t know much about the sustainability of those species.

    Unfortunately, they also tend to be higher in mercury and pesticides. I guess the best solution would be to put a pond 0n your property or at least catch your own!

    Thanks for linking up!
    .-= Milehimama´s last blog ..Carnival of Meatless Meals =-.

    1. I just went to the WAPF website and searched mercury. A number of articles came up, all of which I’m sure have helpful information. But the two I have so far looked at (briefly) are “Health Hazards of Mercury” written by a dentist (the first in the list) and “Kombucha and Kvass…)
      In the first article, the dentist talks about how widespread the sources for contamination extend, thus how difficult it can be to avoid being contaminated. He also discusses how our diet choices affect our vulnerability (e.g. low fat, low cholesterol, low protein…). He gives recommendations, discusses detoxification and also gives a case history. The other article discusses some gifts from Russia, how they are made, availability, safety, etc. A history (& health claim) is also given near the end of article. The person tells of being diagnosed with severe health issues with no real or helpful solution. The root cause of the illnesses had not been identified. She decided to do her own intentional research but also found some answers in an accidental or unexpected way. After having spent a great deal of money, she needed a less expensive detoxification route. When introduced to kombucha, she initially thought she was allergic and had to avoid it because of the reactions she was having. It turned out to be that because she was so toxic, and the detoxifying action of kombucha was pulling out the toxins too rapidly and flooding her body. She turned to kvass for some liver cleansing then was able to return to the kombucha and gradually work up to increased amounts of consumption.

  15. Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen

    This sounds like a delicious way to prepare fish!
    .-= Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen´s last blog ..Happy Valentine’s Day! : Roasted Chicken with Heather Ale & Herbs de Provence & A Delicious Way to Help Haiti =-.

    1. I prepared some for lunch today. It was indeed quite tasty (even without the onion powder) and quite warm! Definitely worth trying again and with healthier choices of fish.

    1. I like them, though the kombucha can get pretty vinegary if it cultures too long. I can generally tolerate it though. I like lots of ginger in my kefir soda.

  16. Travis Alexander

    I prefer Salmon but Tilapia has really nice texture and is very easy to eat. There’s nothing better than grabbin a nice cup of white wine and eating some fish. It just doesn’t get any better than that. Thanks for the recipe, Katie. I will definitely throw something together in the next few days!!!

  17. Katie ~ Simple Organic

    Katie, this looks delicious! I was also going to suggest wild-caught Dover Sole, and I have also used Rockfish, which was mild and wild. 🙂 I gave up farm-raised fish awhile back, but there are sustainability issues with wild-caught fish, so it’s tricky. I’m learning more about this.
    .-= Katie ~ Simple Organic´s last blog ..Green Goal-Setting: An Introduction =-.

  18. I just updated the post with some information on safe fish and why tilapia isn’t a good choice for omega-3s!

    1. I’m wondering if farmed tilapia is what you have to work with, if you could off-set the imbalance (omega-3 to 6) by including something in the meal with higher omega 3’s. What do you think?
      I haven’t included much fish in my meals but with all the suggestions given, I’m sure be on the lookout to add more. I noticed wild caught Cod at Costco and there is a Trader Joe’s close by.

      1. Pam,
        I see the logic, it’s just that if we need to eat more omega 3s to offset the fish, what is the fish for? Lean protein is great, but per pound I can get grassfed beef for just 15 cents more than tilapia on 1/2 off sale. There’s lots of fish on sale this week for Lent, so I’ll be reading the bags carefully and taking my little pocket guide with me! 🙂 Katie

        1. I see one as fish and one as beef, not just an amount of protein. Sometimes one wants fish and other times maybe beef. I also see it a little like reverse engineering (making something you like a little better by improving the quality–maybe something like baby steps or possibly ides for suggesting to someone you car about who may not be ready to go the route of always choosing wild caught (even if it does get tricky)–or pastured–as a means of improving the quality.) I remember something DVDs by Sally Fallon, probably also in the reading material, that it is the ratio that is important. My memory could be lacking, but I think the information given was that a health risk occurs if either the Omega 3 or the 6 is too high. Your correction is welcome if I have that wrong. But that’s why I wondered if the addition of a meal item (meal items/recipe ingredients) which increased the Omega 3s would improve the balance to make it healthier. That just deals with the omegas. I still need to go back to the article in your update to read about the other concerns mentioned.

          1. I see that I need to pay more attention to proof-reading before hitting “submit”!
            I found tilapia in my freezer. The bag says “farmed raised” and “responsibly processed”. It’s a product of China; the fillets are individually frozen and packaged. I may not be able to trust what I’m expected to believe about the product, but I do plan to put the recipe to the test today for lunch, with the exception of using fresh onion since I don’t have onion power for the spice mix.

          2. Pam,
            You’re right about the omega 3s and 6s – we ought to have about a 4:1 ratio of 6s:3s, but many Americans have more like a 20:1 (im)balance going.

            1. Do you mean 4 Omega 6s to 1 Omega 3s? Isn’t it the other way around? I thought too many 6s were unhealthy.

              1. Anne,
                It’s not backward, but too many 6s are unhealthy. It’s all about getting the RIGHT balance. More 6s than 3s are fine, just not 20x as many. I know it sounds odd, so thanks for the chance to clarify!
                🙂 Katie

  19. Another fish to try is Blue Hake. It is a very mild white fish that is wild caught in the waters of New Zealand. It is similar to cod or haddock in texture. They carry it at our local organic farm store and it is reasonably priced as well. I can’t wait to try your coating with it!

  20. I use whiting fillets. They’re wild caught, mild tasting, and pretty inexpensive at Aldi! I’m not into strong fish flavors myself, but I like these. I just bake them with lemon juice drizzled on them, and they’re perfect.

  21. FWIW, I buy Dover Sole Filets (at Trader Joes) which are wild caught and most importantly, the cheapest wild caught fish they sell! Don’t know if you have TJ in your area, but this fish has worked well for me, mostly in fish tacos! (I’m not so much of a fish cook and it is an easy way to prepare it!)

  22. Love it! My husband loves blackened fish (yes, straight seasoning) but of course there’s MSG in it and we hadn’t reverse-engineered it to our satisfaction yet. I will try this!

  23. Hi Katie, Sounds like a great recipe. Would the omega-6 be higher in wild caught tilapia, too? I’ve noticed that they always specify wild or farm raised when advertising their fish in the grocery ads. Just wondering.

    1. Maria,
      Great question – as far as I know, farm-caught tilapia is “safe for the environment” whereas wild caught is usually from somewhere in Asia and not well fished. The omega 3s might be higher in wild caught – but I don’t know that you could find it/trust it. It’s a tricky issue!

    2. Katie, I don’t know if you have looked at US farmed catfish. While yes catfish are bottom feeders, the farmed catfish are feed a wholesome feed. I’m in Mississippi and I eat the Mississippi farmed catfish all the time. I love it deep fried after being breaded in cornmeal. Delicious but I try and only have it fried once in a while. Grilled or blackened catfish is delicious. I only buy US farmed catfish or go fishing local myself.

  24. Sablefish/Black Cod (Alaska or BC origin) might work for the recipe and is one of the top 11 recommended for Omega 3’s and sustainability.

  25. I do not like the taste of fish so I use this recipe on tilapia and chicken. It is delicious!
    This is Leanne Ely from with her garlic lime chicken recipe:

    And no grains!

  26. I see Clorox GreenWorks advertised here–didn’t notice it until within the last week or so. I’ve wondered if it is truly “green”. (I try to steer clear of their bleach.) I purchased GreenWorks at a wholesale club a few years ago but never used it much so recently gave that away, along with some other natural/green cleaners purchased through a co-op (not even opened) because I really liked what was said about Charlie’s Soap. Since I often buy BIG, I purchased a big jug through Amazon. Think I go free shipping. Still have the question about GreenWorks.

    1. Pam,
      I hope it’s “green”! I didn’t actually take the time to do thorough research but liked the “no bleach” aspect as a baby step.

  27. Lent or not… what a great recipe!

    .-= ButterYum´s last blog ..Famous Mall Pretzels =-.

  28. Katie, re: your need for a replacement for tilapia, what about catfish? Admittedly, I live in the south and it’s easy to come by (usually from a neighbor’s pond), but it has a great neutral taste and seasons up nicely.

    1. St. Peter’s Spicy fish does sound pretty yummy. I’ll plan to get some fish and try it. Love fried catfish! But some would caution against it because they are scavengers (a little like buzzards?) But I haven’t checked that out thoroughly. Do wonder what Katie has to say.

      1. It’s my understanding that most of the catfish sold in the U.S. is imported from Vietnam. The rivers there are heavily polluted (think: giant toilet–literally!). I was horrified. Even catfish farming there was pretty gross, as I recall. I don’t recommend EVER eating non-U.S. catfish. Ewwwww!

    2. Erin,
      I have a feeling I would like catfish, but I’m guessing it’s too fishy for poor hubs. Maybe I’ll try it for me and the kids, thank you! 🙂 Katie

  29. Yvonne@StoneGable

    This is a wonderful recipe. Talipa is a beautiful and mild fish so spicing it up and coating it with cornmeal is a perfect fit.

    I was in Israel last year, and ate “St. Peter’s” fish on the sea of Galillee near Peter’s Primacy. When they served it, it was fried- the whole fish- head, eyes , fins and all. Once I got over the crispy brown fish looking at me on my plate, it was delicious.
    I’m going to make this recipe. We love fish.

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