I've been a fan of fried fish tacos for a long time. Rolled in flour tortillas and dressed with little more than a tangy white sauce and crunchy sliced cabbage, they are unbelievably tasty. I wish I didn't have to fry the fish, but that technique just works better. Something about grilled fish gets lots in tacos. It becomes mushy and disintegrates in the taco. Fried fish keeps its structure.
Unfortunately, deep-frying is best left for the weekends. It's just hard to waste that much time getting enough oil, bringing it to the right temperature, and then figuring out what to do with it when it is done. Could pan-frying work?
I used the same flour, egg, and panko dip as from my Eggplant Parmesan and then cooked the fish in just a little oil in a skillet. Though it doesn't have the excellent batter that the best fish tacos have, it's awfully close.
- Yield:3 to 4
- For the White Sauce:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- Juice of 1 or 2 limes
- Salt and pepper
- For the Fish Tacos:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 red cabbage, sliced thinly
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko
- 1 pound tilapia
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 12 flour tortillas
Mix together the mayonnaise, yogurt, oregano, cumin, and dill. Mix in the juice of 1 of the limes and taste. If it is not acidic enough add some of the second lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Dump the flour into a bowl. Whisk together the two eggs in a second bowl. Pour the Panko into a third bowl along with a pinch of salt.
Cut the Tilapia into 1 inch strips. Dry them as much as you can. Dip each piece first into the flour shaking the excess off, then into the egg, and finally coat in panko. Set finished ones on a wire rack while you dip the rest.
Meanwhile, pour the oil into a large skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add enough fish to cover, but no more. Cook until golden browned, about 2 minutes per side. Set in an oven set on 200 while you finish the rest of the fish. It took me about 3 batches to pan fry all the fish.
Warm up some tortillas by cooking them for a few seconds on a dry iron skillet set over high heat. Serve with the white sauce and the sliced red cabbage.