Chili's Grill & Bar is a casual dining restaurant which serves American food influenced by Tex-Mex cuisine. This site will offer a collection of copycat recipes from items on the menu past and present.



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Firecracker Tilapia

Chili's Copycat Recipe

Serves 4

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup Kikkoman hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons chili paste
1 teaspoon minced cilantro
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped white onion
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/2 cup (4 ounces) bottled pimentos (sliced or diced), with liquid
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons chili paste
1 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tilapia fillets
2 tablespoons melted butter
sesame seeds
minced cilantro

To make glaze: Saute 1 teaspoon garlic in 1 teaspoon oil over medium low heat in small saucepan. Add brown sugar, 2 tablespoons water, hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons chili paste, 1 teaspoon cilantro and 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce. Simmer 5 minutes until thickened. Add rice vinegar, then remove sauce from heat. Cover until needed.

To make red chile tapenade: Saute 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, red bell pepper and onions in 1 tablespoon oil over medium low heat for 2-3 minutes. Combine bottled pimentos with 1/2 cup water in blender; blend on high speed until smooth. Add pureed pimentos, 1 1/2 cups water, vinegar, 2 teaspoons chili paste, 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, sesame seeds, salt, dried parsley and black pepper to saucepan. Simmer for 1 hour or until liquid has cooked off and mixture is thick paste. Cover and cool.

To make fish:  Preheat large skillet over medium heat. Brush both sides of fish with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Cook fillets in preheated pan 4-5 minutes per side or until golden brown. Use spatula to place each fillet on serving plate and brush top of each fillet with glaze. Spoon a few teaspoons of tapenade onto center of each fish fillet. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and minced cilantro. Serve fish with rice and vegetables.


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  2. I love tilapia and I cannot wait to try this recipe! So the Chili's restaurant has an item like this on the menu? If they do, I should try going to Chili's some time soon to try this myself!