Fish Tacos used to be just a California (and Mexico, obviously) thing but clearly they are becoming more mainstream as the faces that greeted me in first period were suprisingly placid.
Fish tacos can be easily changed to suite tastes; don’t like fried food? Grill the fish. Don’t like sour cream? Use salsa, pico de gallo or salsa verde. Add guac!
Do you know fish sticks? Basically we are making fish sticks here and dressing them up as you would any other fresh Mexican dish. Bright flavors from the lime and cilantro really freshen the taste of the fish, and the creamy/spicy spread brings it all together so well. A nice complex flavor and texture here.
The recipe calls for whitefish. You could use tilapia, orange or white ruffy, trout, flounder, halibut, grouper, mako, sole, or swordfish and it’d work just fine.
8 oz white fish, cut into 1-ounce strips
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ c. vegetable oil, for frying
1/4 c. sour cream
1/4 tsp. hot sauce
¼ c. cilantro, chopped
1 scallion, sliced, light and dark green parts
4 flour tortillas, toasted
1. Prepare the fish. Cut the pieces of fish into 1-ounce strips.
2. In a small shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg and water. On a dinner plate, spread the flour out. On a second plate spread the bread crumbs.
3. Mix salt and pepper into flour.
4. Dredge the pieces of fish in flour, egg, and then bread crumbs (in that order).
5. Bring skillet with oil to medium high heat (shimmering oil). To see whether your oil is ready, dip one edge of the fish into the oil, if it makes the frying noise, your oil is ready. If you put fish in the pan before it’s ready, the breadcrumbs just soak up the oil and the fish is heavy and greasy.
6. Once all the fish is breaded, fry in small batches in the oil. Drain on paper towels and season with additional salt.
7. Meanwhile, mix sour cream with hot sauce in a small bowl.
8. Chop cilantro and chives and put in another small bowl.
9. Toast tortillas on gas flame burners till slightly blackened. See end of recipe for details.
10. Lay out tortillas and spread sour cream mixture down the middle of each. Top with sour cream mixture, fish and herbs.
11. Roll up and enjoy!
Some info about our ingredients:
Panko is a style of breadcrumbs made from only the inside of the bread. Always large flaked and tender, they fry extremely well. Anything “tempura” you get at an asian or sushi restaurant always uses panko.
If frying isn’t your thing, you could bake the breaded fish. Just place strips on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Toasting the tortillas on a gas burner is super easy and makes a huge difference in the flavor. DO it. Keep the heat at medium and you can easily use your hands to flip the tortillas, but if this scares you use tongs.