Fish is usually Rachel’s territory, but with the “Nine Days” upon us, I decided to try my hand at fish tacos. I do have to admit, fish is not my favorite food. If it is really fresh I will eat it, but it must be a variety that doesn’t taste too “fishy”. I tend to stick with lightly flavored, white fleshed fish like cod and tend to stay away from more oily fish like mackerel.
As I have said before I personally consider tacos the world’s most perfect food. Tacos really are a great platform for almost any type of protein. Growing up, my mom never made fish tacos, so I didn’t try fish tacos until I was in my late 20’s. Years ago, my wife and I were on vacation in LA and we went to lunch at Fish Grill. We ordered fish and chips and fish tacos and shared the two dishes.
This was probably the first time I had ever ordered fish at a restaurant. The food was excellent. My theory is there are are two things that make a good fish restaurant, it should be close to the ocean, and busy. That way you know the fish can get there fast, and isn’t sitting around too long. Also, don’t forget as Anthony Bourdain was fond of saying, never order fish in a restaurant on Monday. Being in LA and very popular, Fish Grill checked all of the boxes. I wanted to recreate that experience at home.
The goal here was to create a recipe inspired by that meal, all while making it easy and gluten free. I didn’t want to mess with a wet batter so I went with a breading. By using cornmeal instead of breadcrumbs I was able to keep the dish gluten free. The cornmeal also adds a great texture and nutty flavor. The slaw adds texture as well as some acidity and the salsa adds sweetness and a touch of heat. Both of these really help capture the great freshness of California cuisine.
A fresh take on fish tacos. The salsa adds sweetness and heat, while the slaw adds crunch and acidity.
- 1 lb Firm Fleshed White Fish Cod works well, but tilapia or any white fish will work in a pinch
- 2 Cups Yellow Corn Meal
- 2 Large Eggs Beaten
- Vegetable Oil For Frying
- Salt and Pepper To taste
- Chili Lime Seasoning I use the one from Trader Joe's, but in a pinch a mild chili powder will work
- Corn Tortillas I like the 4.5'" mini tortillas but any taco sized tortilla will work
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- Zest and Juice of 1 Lime
- 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 Large Mango Diced
- 2 Jalapenos
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro Stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1 Lime
- Salt To taste
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Red Cabbage
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Green Cabbage
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Carrots
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Daikon or Radish
- 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
- 1/4 Cup Rice or Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Whole Mustard Seed
- 1 tbsp Celery Seed
Place the cherry tomatoes and jalapenos on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in a cold oven and set to bake at 375°F. Roast until the tomatoes begin to burst and the jalapenos start to blister.
Allow the tomatoes and jalapenos to cool. Remove the stems and seeds from the jalapenos,
Roughly chop the tomatoes and jalapenos and add to a mixing bowl. Add the mango, cilantro, and salt. Add the juice from the limes and lightly stir to evenly distribute the ingredients.
Combine the 2 cabbages, daikon, carrots, salt, vinegar, mustard seed, and celery seed in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Cut your fish into 1/2" by 3" strips and season with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, combine the chili lime seasoning and the cornmeal.
Dip each piece of fish in the egg and then in the cornmeal.
Place a cast iron skillet or large frying pan over medium heat and and add a 1/2" of oil.
Fry your fish until golden brown on each side.
Mix the juice and zest of a lime with the sour cream.
Lightly brown your tortillas in a skillet.
Place some of the slaw on the bottom of the tortilla, then add 1-3 pieces of fish depending on the the size of your tortillas. Top the fish with the salsa and drizzle on the crema. Enjoy!
Like this recipe? Check out some of our other fish recipes