Tilapia with Black Bean Garlic Sauce

Tilapia with Black Bean Garlic Sauce made with tilapia fillets cooked in a spicy, garlicky black bean sauce. It’s quick and easy to prep yet delivers big, bold flavors!



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 bold and spicy; It’s like an adventure for the tastebuds!




  • Tilapia-you can also use other meaty fish fillets such as bangus, halibut, cod, or red snapper. If you prefer bone-in, adjust cooking time accordingly.
  • Salt and pepper-season the fish before frying.
  • Oil-use a high smoke point 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


Cooking steps

  • Wash tilapia and pat dry to remove excess moisture. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking. Add tilapia and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until nicely seared but not fully cooked.
  • In a lightly greased baking dish, arrange fish in a single layer, and keep warm.
  • In a saucepan, combine black beans, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and water. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly, and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Pour the sauce mixture over tilapia and cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
  • Bake in a 375 F oven for about 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork and sauce is reduced. Serve hot.


Stovetop instructions

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

  • In a wide pan, heat canola oil and add fish in a single layer. Sear for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned but not cooked all the way through.
  • Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Keep warm.
  • 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.
  • Add fried tilapia in a single layer, spooning sauce on top.
  • Lower heat, cover, and simmer until fish easily flakes with a fork.”


How to serve

  • Serve for lunch or dinner with piping hot steamed rice.
  • To store leftovers, allow to cool completely and transfer in 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 through.

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

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