One of the things that I found out about grilling Tilapia is that you lose most of the flavors that you add to the Tilapia through the grill grate. So, I came up with this idea of putting the Tilapia in a pouch to keep all of the flavors together and it saves time by not really needing to either marinate or brine the Tilapia.
Grilling basically steams the Tilapia and infuses all of the great flavors that we like into the fish. You keep the flavors with the Tilapia as it cooks and when you turn the fish over in the pouch you avoid having to scrape the fish off of the grill grates (even if you oil them like I do).
When you take that pouch off of the grill and open it, those flavors kick your taste buds into high gear and you are in store for a wonderful Tilapia meal.
Here is what you will need to make my Grilled Tilapia in a Pouch:
3 whole Tilapia – cleaned (OR 6 cleaned Tilapia fillets)
1 medium Vidalia or red onion
1 or 2 Large Lemons or Lemon Juice
6 to 8 cloves garlic, crushed
Kosher Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
6 aluminum sheets, approximately 14 by 14 inches
Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Rinse Tilapia and pat dry including the cavity if you’re grilling it whole.
Slice onion into six or eight 1/8-inch rings, and set aside.
If using a whole Lemon then slice lemon also into six or eight 1/8-inch rings, remove seeds and set aside then squeeze the Juice from the remaining lemons and set that aside as well.
Rub Olive Oil generously all over the Tilapia, including a generous amount in the cavity.
Rub 1 clove of crushed garlic over the Tilapia and inside the cavity.
Place 1 whole Tilapia (or 2 fillets) in the center of the aluminum foil then season the outside and inside (or both sides of the fillets) with Salt and Ground Pepper to taste. A Light sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper will kick it up a notch.
Place Onion, a crushed Garlic clove and a couple of Lemon Slices (or Lemon Juice) inside the cavity or between the fillets.
Drizzle the outside of the Tilapia generously with remaining Lemon Juice. Fold aluminum foil around fish to create a sealed package. Repeat for each Tilapia.
How long you grill the Tilapia will depend on how big the Tilapia or fillets are. Place packets on hot 350 degree grill for 5 to 6 minutes on each side turning the packets over one or two times during the grilling. If using Fillets then only cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Remove fish from foil and serve immediately.
Note: To add another dimension of flavor to the Tilapia, place a pat of butter in the cavity before folding in the aluminum foil.