Tilapia with Pink Peppercorn Beurre Blanc


For Sauce:

1 Tbsp shallots, minced
2 tsp Pink Peppercorns
8 Tbsp unsalted, cold butter
2 Tbsp Vermouth
2 Tbsp Traditional White Balsamic Vinegar
lemon juice (to finish)
Sea Salt, to taste
White Pepper, to taste

For Fish:

2 tilapia fillets
2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


To prepare the beurre blanc, first mince the shallots. Using a small, heavy frying pan or a mallet (or a mortar and pestle if you have one), crush the pink peppercorns using a small. Cut the chilled butter into tablespoon-sized pieces, and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the shallots, vermouth, white wine vinegar and crushed pink peppercorns. Bring mixture barely to a simmer, and allow the mixture to be reduced by about two-thirds, stirring the mixture constantly, until it reaches a syrupy consistency.

Reduce the heat under the saucepan to the lowest setting, and whisk in the cold butter cubes, one piece at a time, to slowly form the emulsion.

Once all of the butter has been incorporated into the peppery-vermouth mixture, season it generously with salt and pepper. If needed, add a few additional dashes of lemon juice to tweak the flavor of the sauce.

Keep an eye on the completed beurre blanc while the fish cooks, making sure to keep the sauce warm to the touch, whisking often to prevent the smooth sauce from splitting. This may require turning the stove burner on very low, then off altogether, to maintain the correct temperature. Residual heat from the pan will help to keep it warm.

Next, prepare the fish by heating the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Pat the fish dry and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Place the fish, presentation-side down in the oiled pan and pan-fry until fillet is just barely golden; about 3 – 4 min per side, (depending on the thickness of the filet). When the fish is cooked to desired degree of doneness, transfer to a serving platter.

Just before serving, strain the beurre blanc to remove the crushed peppercorns, yielding a flavorful but smooth sauce. Pour beurre blanc over the fish and serve immediately.

We adapted this recipe from rouxbe.