Tilapia with Black Bean Garlic Sauce

Tilapia with Black Bean Garlic Sauce is quick and easy to make yet delivers big, bold flavors. You’ll love the moist fish and the spicy, garlicky sauce over steamed rice!

Tilapia with Black Bean Garlic Sauce

If you are looking for a recipe that’s easy to prep yet big on taste, this tilapia with black bean garlic sauce brings it on. It’s ready in thirty minutes, and with just a handful of ingredients, you won’t believe the amazing flavor you get in every bite.

The fish fillets turn out moist and tender, and the black bean garlic sauce is bold and spicy; It’s like an adventure for the tastebuds!

Ingredient list

  • Tilapia– you can also use other meaty fish fillets such as bangus, halibut, cod, or red snapper. If you prefer bone-in, adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Salt and pepper– season the fish before frying.
  • Oil– use a high smoke points oil such as canola, safflower, or corn oil to sear the tilapia properly on high heat
  • Salted black soybeans– the recipe calls for fermented black beans or tausi (douchi). Make sure to drain to rinse and drain well to rid of the briny taste.
  • Chili garlic sauce– I used Lee Kum Kee brand; swap with Sriracha sauce if unavailable.
  • Soy sauce– to add umami flavor

Stovetop instructions

I like to finish off the tilapia fillets in the oven, but you can cook them all the way through on the stove by following the easy steps below.

  1. In a wide pan, heat canola oil and add fish in a single layer. Sear for 1 to 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned.
  2. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Keep warm.
  3. Remove excess oil from the pan and wipe down. Add water, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and black beans. Stir until well-dispersed and bring to a boil.
  4. Add fried tilapia in a single layer, spooning sauce on top.
  5. Lower heat, cover, and simmer until fish easily flakes with a fork.

Quick Tip

Do not overcook the tilapia to keep them moist. Fry the fish fillets just until lightly seared but not fully cooked, as they will finish in the oven.

How to serve and store

  • This spicy tilapia with black beans garlic sauce is delicious as a main for lunch or dinner. Serve with piping hot steamed rice for a hearty and full-flavored meal.
  • To store leftovers, allow to cool completely and transfer to airtight containers. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To reheat, warm in the microwave at 2 to 3-minute intervals until heated.

Want more spicy seafood recipes? Some of our favorites are Sriracha Shrimp Scampi, Spicy Tahong, and Bangus Sisig.

Tilapia in Black Bean Garlic Sauce

Tilapia fillets in a spicy and garlicky black bean sauce is easy to make yet full on flavor. So delicious with piping hot steamed rice!

Prep Time: 5minutes mins
Cook Time: 20minutes mins
Total Time: 25minutes mins


  • 4 (4 ounces each) tilapia fillets
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup salted black beans (tausi), rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ cup water


  1. Wash tilapia and pat dry. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add tilapia and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until nicely seared but not fully cooked.
  3. In a lightly greased baking dish, arrange fish in a single layer.
  4. In a saucepan, combine black beans, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and water. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly. Pour mixture over tilapia.
  5. Cover baking dish with foil and bake in a 375 F oven for about 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork and sauce is reduced.
  6. Serve hot.


Do not overcook the tilapia to keep them moist. Fry the fish fillets just until lightly seared but not fully cooked, as they will finish in the oven.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 316kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 39g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Sodium: 2936mg, Potassium: 342mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 3g, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg

“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”

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