You don't need to deep-fry food to get a crunchy coating. (Remember "Shake-n-Bake"?) I prepared the pieces of tilapia fillet just as I would for frying:
- Dredge lightly in seasoned (salt and pepper) flour to dry the surface
- Dip in beaten egg
- Roll in panko crumbs
- Place in refrigerator for 10-20 minutes
Putting them in the fridge helps to firm up the coating, whether you're frying or baking. The cooled fillets went into a 400F oven on a wire rack for about 20 minutes- just until they felt firm to the touch. Served them with a drizzle of Thai chili sauce and a spinach salad.