Cornflake-Crusted Tilapia with Sweet and Spicy Watermelon Salsa

Rachael says, “One sunny afternoon at the Central Park Zoo, I went head-to-head with a zoologist in a polar bear cook off. The bears loved my meal and I won the throw down! If the polar bears like it, I bet the kids will, too! I did modify it a bit. Their fish was whole – head and all. Otherwise, the ingredients are pretty much the same: watermelon, peppers, cereal and fish. Sounds weird, but it’s YUM-O!”


  • 1/2 small seedless watermelon, flesh chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 2 cups cornflake crumbs (eyeball it)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard (1/3 of a palmful)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander (half a palmful)
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika (half a palmful)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)


In a bowl, combine the watermelon, green bell pepper, onion, jalapeño and lime juice and season with a little salt and pepper. Stir to combine and reserve.

In a shallow dish, combine the cornflake crumbs, dry mustard, coriander and paprika. Season tilapia fillets with salt and pepper, then coat them thoroughly in the seasoned cornflake crumbs.

Pre-heat a large nonstick skillet with two turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons, over medium-high heat. Once the oil starts to ripple, add the tilapia and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

Top the fish with some of the watermelon salsa and serve.

This is one of many “Yum-o!” recipes – it’s good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael’s nonprofit organization, go to

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