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Five-Spice Tilapia

Five-Spice Tilapia

Chinese five-spice powder, soy sauce and brown sugar make a quick glaze for tilapia. You’ll need a skillet that is 12 inches or larger to accommodate the pound of tilapia fillets—if you don’t have one large enough, use 2 smaller skillets instead or cook them in two separate batches, using more oil as necessary.


4 servings

Prep Time

15 minutes

Total Time

15 minutes


  • 1pound tilapia fillets
  • 1teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/4cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1tablespoon canola oil
  • 3scallions, thinly sliced


  1. Sprinkle both sides of tilapia fillets with five-spice powder. Combine soy sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tilapia and cook until the outer edges are opaque, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, turn the fish over, stir the soy mixture and pour into the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until the fish is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes more. Add scallions and remove from the heat. Serve the fish drizzled with the pan sauce.


Five-spice powder is typically made from fennel, cloves, star anise and cinnamon; some versions are made with white pepper, some with Szechuan pepper. It combines the five main tastes of Chinese cuisine of sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami.

People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving (recipe makes 4 servings)

Calories 180kcal
Carbohydrate Total 9g
Total Sugars 7g
Added Sugars 9g
Fiber 0g
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 1g
Mono Saturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 57mg
Sodium 596mg
Protein 24g
Potassium 411mg
Calcium 33mg
Folate 34mcg
Omega-3 1g
Omega-6 1g
Vitamin E 2mg
Vitamin B3 5mg

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