Because it’s mango season and WHO doesn’t love fried fish tacos?
Okay if you answered ME! to my question posed above, I’m curious to hear why and, well, I’m just going to make the case for my recipe anyway. First, I use fresh haddock and second, I use only tempura and salt to coat the fish before frying. These two components make for a flaky fish that’s light and not overly “fried” tasting or textured. Definitely not a battered fish! The tempura coating adds a good crunch that pairs nicely with the fish, and completely makes the taco. My mouth is watering as I write up this post, that’s how good these tacos are. Trust me and give them a try.
If you’re a newbie to frying at home, don’t be intimidated. Here are a few pointers:
Frying is best done in a cast iron pan.
Use neutral, high heat cooking oil like vegetable oil or canola oil.
You don’t want the food to be fully submerged in oil. Only fill the pan with oil to about the first knuckle on your middle finger, or a little past (deeper), depending on how thick the food you’re frying is. I’d comfortably tell you about 1” of oil. You want to be around half way up the food to avoid overly saturating the food (i.e. soggy or heavy fry). Make sure the oil is completely heated before placing the first piece of food in it. Test it by dropping a tiny drip of water. If it sizzles and pops, it’s ready!
Create a sequence, stand by the pan, use tongs to flip. Frying fish is a very fast cooking method. You usually need only to cook about 3 minutes on each side.
Remove fried food from oil and place on a paper towel lined paper. Salt and voila!
Another lovely thing about fried fish tacos is you can totally customize the toppings to be whatever’s in season, on-hand, or sounding good! I usually like a slaw or creamy sauce with mine, but anything goes! Don’t forget the citrus. Scroll on down for substitution ideas.
Recipe Notes / Substitutions
Haddock. Feel free to use shrimp or any flaky white fish like cod in place of fresh haddock.
Cilantro. I know this herb is so polarizing, and if you’re one of the people who find it a bit too soapy check out my post on cilantro for alternative ideas!
Mango. Any tropical fruit could be awesome. You could do a chunky pineapple salsa, grilled pineapple, fresh citrus like blood oranges. Whatever you do, try to add a tangy/punkery/sour element by adding that kind of fruit.
Avocado. Love avocado chunks or slices for creamy fat. Helps enhance the flavors of everything, however if avocado is not your thing, try a mayo based sauce like a Sriracha mayo/aoili/etc.
Quick pickled red onion. Love the briny bite these add, but you could totally add them raw or omit completely.
Raw red cabbage. Feel free to make a slaw or some kind of veggie crunch like shaved carrots or snap peas or something fun!
Cotija cheese. This is a yummy, salty, crumbly Mexican cheese, like the Greek cheese Feta. You could totally use feta in it’s place. Or if shredded Monterey Jack is your thing, go for it!
Chunky Mango Salsa
Perfect addition to fried fish tacos!
- 1 ripe yellow mango, cut into small chunks
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- Drizzle olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- In a small bowl mix together all of the ingredients and set aside. Taste and add more olive oil or salt if needed.
Yield: 1 cup
Fried Fish Tacos
Flaky fish with a light fry! So yummy!
- 3/4 lb. fresh haddock, sliced along the grain into 1" cubes
- 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1 heavy pinch flaked salt
- 1-2 eggs
- 1-2 cups flavorless, high heat cooking oil
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- White corn tortillas, about 6-8
- Chunky Mango Salsa (see recipe)
- Red cabbage, sliced thin
- 1/2 package Cotija cheese, crumbled
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 lime, cut into slices
- Cilantro, trimmed
- Sriracha, to drizzle over top
- For quick pickled red onions. In a small bowl, submerge sliced red onion in red wine vinegar. Let it sit until ready to assemble tacos. Drain and serve.
- Create an assembly line in the following order: Bowl with 1 egg mixed, plate with panko and salt, empty plate for coated fish. Scoop a handful of cut fish and submerge in the egg wash. One piece at a time, remove the fish and let excess egg drip off. Place piece in the panko and using dry hand shake plate to coat the fish. Using wet hand, press down on the fish then flip and repeat coating on the second side. Using dry hand remove the fish from panko shake excess off. Place coated fish on empty place. Repeat until all the fish are done. You may need to use the second egg and refresh the panko/salt mixture if it gets too soggy or cakey.
- Using a cast iron skillet, heat about 1" of oil over medium heat. Test oil by dropping a tiny drip of water into the pan. If it sizzles and pops it's ready for the fish. If it barely reacts, wait a little longer until it has fully heated.
- Using tongs, place fish down and away from you, one at a time in a sequential order. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the fish turns opaque about half way. Following the same sequence, flip the fish and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Sprinkle with a bit more flaky salt.
- Using a grill or a gas burner, place tortillas one at a time over flame and cook about 1 minutes on each side, moving the tortilla around to avoid burning or catching fire. Repeat until each tortilla is a bit charred and soft and wrap the stack in a towel to keep warm.
- When ready to assemble tacos, set remaining ingredients out in small bowls and let each person create their own! I suggest the following order: cabbage, fried fish, mango salsa, avocado, quick pickled red onion, cheese, cilantro, squeeze of lime, drizzle of sriracha. Enjoy!
Yield: Serves about 4 people