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Amiyrah is a mother of three and the founder of “4 Hats and Frugal,” a blog that finds the fun in frugality.

Garlic Butter Fish

Over the years, I’ve learned that fish can be pretty boring. When you’re learning how to cook for your growing family, you have a lot of trial and error to experience. Which foods work for everyone, which side dishes to avoid and which seasonings are a hit with each person. I’ve gone through it all. But this Garlic Butter Fish recipe has always been a hit with the 4 Hats family, and for good reason. It’s a simple dish that I don’t have to stress over (it also takes mere minutes to create). The side dishes take longer to cook than the entrée! 

With tilapia as the star, this also counts as an inexpensive meal. We're able to get tilapia on sale at least every 4 weeks, so you’ll never find our freezer without tilapia waiting in the wings. Or would that be the gills?

“We’re able to get tilapia on sale every 4 weeks.”

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“We’re able to get tilapia on sale every 4 weeks.”

2 tbsp vegetable oil
4-6 tilapia filets (3 ounces each)
Lawry's Garlic Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup water 

1. Place 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. I use my large cast iron skillet. Once the oil starts to shimmer, place 4 to 6 tilapia filets in the pan.
2. While the fish cooks on the first side, sprinkle with ground black pepper and Lawry’s Garlic Salt. Yup, this is my secret to this dish.
3. Once the fish is ready to flip, turn it over and place half a pat of butter on top of each filet.
4. Add 1/2 a cup of water to the pan. Cover the fish, turn the heat to low, and let cook for another 5 minutes. This is when the magic happens.
5. Once the fish is done, immediately serve with your favorite sides.

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Here's the key to cooking fish: let it sit! I don't touch my first for at least 5 minutes so it can create its own crusty bottom. The longer you leave it alone, the easier it is to lift from the pan once it's time to flip it over. For this recipe, make sure to let it cook after you add water to the pan. The Garlic Salt mixes with the vegetable oil, water and butter, and creates this heavenly sauce. The fish stays succulent and has a unique flavor. Plus, there’s butter, so that’s always a win.