White Chocolate Macadamia Crusted Tilapia

White Chocolate Macadamia Crusted Tilapia

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Recipe by Kelsey Nixon courtesy of Red Lobster restaurants.

This is a consumer version of the recipe that won the Fresh Fish Challenge on Episode 4 of The Next Food Network Star. It is currently featured on Red Lobster’s “Today’s Fresh Fish” menu.

Read about Kelsey’s experience winning the Fresh Fish Challenge on The Next Food Network Star.


  • 1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup shaved white chocolate (use real white chocolate only, not white baking chips
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 4 each Tilapia filets
  • Sea Salt
  • Paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk (or Coco Lopez)


  • 1 FOR MACADAMIA CRUST: Mix all crust ingredients well.
  • 2 Spread crust out on to a baking sheet.
  • 3 Bake in a 300°F oven for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  • 4 FOR WHITE CHOCOLATE SAUCE: In a small non-reactive sauce pan add the shallot, wine and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until liquid has reduced by 2/3.
  • 5 In another saucepan add the heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and reduce by 1/3.
  • 6 While liquids are reducing, cut the butter into small pieces.
  • 7 Once liquids are reduced, remove from heat and strain the shallot lemon mixture and add it to the heavy cream.
  • 8 Keeping the pan warm, slowly add 2-3 pieces of the butter to the lemon cream mixture while continually whisking. Continue to whisk while adding remaining butter.
  • 9 Next whisk in the white chocolate until fully incorporated.
  • 10 TILAPIA PREP: Spray a baking dish with non stick spray
  • 11 Place 4 tilapia fillets flesh side up
  • 12 Season filets with sea salt, pepper and paprika.
  • 13 Brush Coconut Milk or Coco Lopez over the top of each fish filet.
  • 14 Bake the prepared fish in a 350°F oven for approximately 10-15 minutes or until fish reaches 150°F internally.
  • 15 PRESENTATION: Portion the chocolate sauce onto 4 plates.
  • 16 Place the cooked fish on top of the chocolate sauce.
  • 17 Top each filet with the macadamia topping. Enjoy!


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