Full of flavor, and perfectly seasoned, this delicate dish combines beautifully moist fish with a gentle smoky flavor for the perfect bite. Smoked Tilapia stuffed with shrimp is an easy answer to the question, "What do you want for dinner?".
From lightly smoked salmon to delicate smoked lobster tails, there are many different ways to enjoy smoked seafood. Smokers come in all shapes and sizes, from professional smokers to simple kitchen ovens or even outdoor fire pits.
Stuffing a tilapia filet with a simple filling and then cooking it on your smoker takes it to a whole new level.
Ingredients for Smoked Tilapia
Tilapia Fillet - Tilapia is regarded as a culinary delicacy due to its versatility and deliciousness. The fish is widely consumed across the globe and has been subjected to various cooking methods, such as frying, salting, baking, steaming, and of course smoking. In addition, it has a high nutritional value, being an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Furthermore, its mild flavor makes it an ideal ingredient for various dishes from different cuisines.
Cooked Shrimp - The succulent nature of shrimp makes it suitable for various techniques such as grilling, searing, and sautéing, allowing chefs to experiment with ingredients and flavors in order to create unique dishes. In the picture here, it is raw, but we need to cook it in order to use it in the stuffing. You can use smoked shrimp or quickly sautee it in a little olive oil on your stovetop or cook frozen shrimp in the air fryer.
Mayonnaise - Mayonnaise is a condiment that is typically composed of an emulsion of oil, egg yolks, and acidity such as vinegar or lemon juice. The emulsifying action of the egg yolk is stabilized by the addition of a stabilizer, producing a semi-solid material that has a thick, creamy texture. Mayonnaise can be used as a stand-alone condiment or as an ingredient in various dishes including sandwiches, salads, and dressings.
Panko Breadcrumbs - Panko breadcrumbs are a type of Japanese-style breadcrumb which are characterized by their light, airy texture and crispness. The crumbs are made from a variety of ingredients including wheat flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. For a low carb gluten-free option sub in crushed pork rings for the panko.
Seasoning Mixture - Combine equal amounts of smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. We will use half of this seasoning mixture in the stuffing and the other half will be used to season the outside of the stuffed tilapia fillet.
Instructions for Smoked Tilapia
Smoked tilapia with easy shrimp stuffing really is easier than you think and a restaurant-quality seafood entree.
Step One - Roughly chop the cooked shrimp. Add them to a small mixing bowl along with the mayonnaise, panko breadcrumbs, and half of the seasoning mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Step Two - Lay out your whole tilapia fillets and place shrimp stuffing into the center of the fillet and then fold the fillet over to cover the stuffing. Use toothpicks to hold the stuffing in the tilapia fillet.
Step Three - Use the remaining seasoning mix and coat the outside of the stuffed fillet.
Step Four - Place the stuffed tilapia fillet onto the cooking grill grates in the preheated smoker and smoke at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees f. The cooked tilapia will have a flaky texture.
Step Five - Use an instant-read meat thermometer to ensure the internal temp reaches 145°F. Remove from smoker and serve.
What to serve with Smoked Tilapia Recipe
You don't need to overcomplicate this dish.
What if I don't have a smoker or a pellet smoker?
You can easily make this smoked tilapia on a charcoal grill or gas grill. The key is indirect cooking. Only turn on one burner on the opposite side of the grill from the fish. Use a smoker box with wood chips or wood pellets to create the smoke while it cooks. Hickory, apple, and cherry are all great woods choices for smoking fish.
When you smoke tilapia or other fish, and you want to get a real smoky flavor, you need to carefully let them absorb the smoky flavor and not overcook them. Use low temperatures and just watch the internal temperature with a leave-in meat thermometer. It is easy to achieve on pellet grills. Charcoal smokers will require you to adjust vents to lock the low temperatures in.
What are other good spices for tilapia?
Try adding some heat with a small dash of Cheyenne pepper or crushed red pepper. If you want to go with a different flavor profile, you can use a premade spice rub life a cajun seasoning would be delicious with the smoked tilapia and shrimp. Or you can add a teaspoon of sriracha to really kick up the spice level of this dish.
Some other easy smoked seafood recipes
Smoked Scallops - A sweetly smoked scallop that is perfect as the main entree. Or they can be the surf accompaniment to your steak.
Smoked Lobster - Whether it is a quiet small romantic dinner or part of a big celebration, the smoked lobster will help make the moment special.
Smoked Salmon - Hot smoked salmon is perfect for a healthy and satisfying meal. This is a great option for holidays or large gatherings.
Smoked Oysters - These are so delicious, luxurious, and sweet. You have to give these a try.
Smoked Cod - This is a perfect simply delicious bite for any occasion.
Smoked Whole Trout - Try smoking a whole fish for an impressive presentation. This is so delicious.
- 12 oz tilapia fillet
- 2 oz cooked shrimp approximately 4 to 5 medium size
- 2 tbs panko bread crumbs
- 1 tbs mayo
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Add all dry seasonings together to make the seasoning mix. Onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Take half of the seasoning mix and combine in a small mixing bowl along with mayo, panko breadcrumbs, and roughly chopped cooked shrimp.
- Rinse off the tilapia fillet and pat dry with a paper towel. Lay the fillet flat on a cooking sheet and place the shrimp stuffing onto the fillet. Gently fold the tilapia fillet over the stuffing and pin it in place with toothpicks. Use the rest of the seasoning to season the entire outside of the tilapia filet.
- Place stuffed tilapia fillet into a preheated smoker. Smoke at 250°F for about an hour or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
- Remove from smoker and serve.