Crunchy Fish Tacos w/Avocado Salsa
A simple, mild fish like tilapia takes well to the contrasting flavors and textures in these yummy fish tacos. The spicy cornmeal coating on the fish adds crunch, the jalapeño peppers and honey add heat and sweetness, and the smooth, garlicky avocado salsa pulls it all together. The recipe may look long, but they're actually pretty quick to prepare, too. Serve with a cold beer garnished with a wedge of lime or a nice crisp sauvignon blanc.
- 4 cups shredded cabbage
- 2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Juice of 1-1/2 limes, divided (about 1/4 cup total)
- 2 small, ripe avocados
- 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 small tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 10-inch flour tortillas
- 1 lb tilapia fillets
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, chopped jalapeños, cilantro, honey, vegetable oil and about 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Toss well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Peel the avocados and remove the pits. Place one avocado in a bowl and mash it with a fork. Cut the other into 1/2-inch chunks and add to the mashed. Add the remaining lime juice, garlic and tomato. Combine well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Tightly wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and place them in the oven to warm.
Cut the tilapia fillets in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Mix the cornmeal, salt, paprika, garlic powder, cumin and cayenne pepper in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, whisk together the egg and milk.
Lightly dredge each piece of fish in the seasoned cornmeal mixture. Shake off the excess and set aside until you've dredged each piece of fish.
Begin heating the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Dip each piece of fish in the egg-milk mixture, then back into the seasoned cornmeal, pressing lightly to ensure that the coating adheres.
Without crowding the pan, place the tilapia in the hot oil and fry until the coating is crispy and the fish is cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Remove the tortillas from the oven and place each on a plate. Place a serving of fish in the center of each tortilla and top with the slaw and avocado salsa. Garnish with extra lime wedges and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings
To speed up preparation, use pre-shredded coleslaw mix from the supermarket. You can use pre-made guacamole, too, if you're in a pinch, but unfortunately you'll lose some of that fresh flavor (and probably pay more for it, too).
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