A healthier way to enjoy a favourite summertime meal!
I am absolutely infatuated with fish tacos. Whenever I see them on a menu, I can’t resist ordering them. However, with restaurant visits curtailed this summer, I decided it was time to try making them at home, and I am so glad I did. This method produces crispy, flavourful fish without deep frying and you can customize the toppings any way you like. If you prefer, you can also cook the fish in an air fryer (just be sure to shorten the cooking time). Note that you can also use lactose or dairy-free yogurt to make the spicy sauce and gluten-free breadcrumbs to make the fish plus gluten-free tortillas for the tacos.
For the spicy sauce:
- 1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt, sour cream or mayo (or a combination)
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) chipotle chile powder (or more, to taste)
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly-squeezed lime juice
For the zesty coleslaw:
- 2 cups (500 mL) finely shredded cabbage or broccoli stems (or a combination)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely sliced green onion
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) spicy sauce (above)
For the fish:
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) each chipotle chili powder and garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) each salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup (250 mL) Panko (dry Japanese breadcrumbs), toasted and cooled
- 3 /4 to 1 pound (340 – 450 g) firm white fish fillets, such as cod, sole or halibut (thawed if frozen)
For the tacos:
- 12 small (6 inch / 15 cm) corn or flour tortillas, warmed
- Zesty slaw (above)
- Additional toppings as desired: sliced red onions, fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, sliced (pickled) jalapeños, crumbled feta, sliced radishes, etc.
- Make the spicy sauce by stirring all ingredients together; refrigerate until assembling tacos.
- Make coleslaw by combining vegetables and 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the spicy sauce; refrigerate.
- To make the fish, start by preheating the oven to 400F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside. Place flour in a broad, shallow bowl and stir in the chili, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place beaten egg in another broad bowl and toasted panko in a third bowl.
- When oven has come up to temperature, dip fish pieces first in flour, flipping to coat thoroughly, then in egg and finally in panko, pressing down so breadcrumbs adhere all over. Transfer each piece of coated fish to the baking tray.
- Bake the fish for 8 – 10 minutes, or until it is cooked through (145F internal temperature); it should be opaque and flake easily with a fork. Remove fish from oven and cut or break into smaller pieces (approximately 4 x 1 inch or 10 x 2.5 cm).
- Assemble the tacos by adding a spoonful of coleslaw to each warm tortilla, followed by a small piece or two of fish and whatever toppings you prefer. Drizzle with a little spicy sauce and serve warm.
Serves 3 – 4 as a main course; 6 as an appetizer.