Crispy Bake Fish Tacos

So here’s the thing.  I love a classic beer-battered, deep-fried, ultra-crispy-and-crunchy fish taco but nowadays I try to prepare them a little healthier and lighter especially now that we are a family of four and everyone eats the same healthy balanced meal. Yup, my workout-loving husband, my four year old noodle fanatic and my almost-two year old chronic regurgitator and I all eat the same meal coz I ain’t cooking twice!

I am talking about a fish taco that’s full of fresh flavors, but really quite low on the grease factor. A fish taco that’s perfectly balanced with all things hot and cool, crispy and tender, citrusy and saucy. It is a recipe mild enough for everyone at the table to enjoy, yet can easily also be kicked up a spicy notch for those who like extra heat. That is the kind of fish taco I crave, and it is totally toddler approved!

Specifically — these fish tacos. ♡♡♡

They are made with the the four main components that I believe are essential to the best fish tacos. 

First — good-quality fish (I mainly use cod as it is flaky but sturdy), coated in beaten egg and a Panko crust (seasoned with paprika and garlic powder, and baked in the oven (not fried) to crispy perfection. 

Second — a cool smooth and irresistibly delicious guacamole prepared with chopped tomatoes, red onions, coriander and lime.

Third — a super-quick 4-ingredient blender chipotle sauce for drizzling on top which uses Greek yogurt instead of mayo

And last but not least — all of your favorite fresh toppings piled high on top such as slaw, lettuce, rocket any type of green you fancy to give that extra bit of crunch!

Served on a warm tortilla wrap (I use these instead of taco shells as I find them easier to wrap up for my kids to hold and eat) with a wedge of lime and a side of optional spicy sauce, it is a winner winner taco dinner.

Altogether, these tacos add up to taste ultra-fresh and flavorful, yet they still feel nice and light and healthy, which I love.

Also, if you have all of your ingredients ready to go, these fish tacos can easily be made in less than 40 minutes and everything except the fish can be prepped in advance, if you’re meal planning the night before like me!

Ingredients:

  • Panko Crusted Fish - A good and firm white fish such as Halibut or Cod which we will cut into 2-inch pieces, dip in egg (to make the crust stick), coat with a crispy Panko topping (including toasted Panko breadcrumbs, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika), and bake in the oven to crispy perfection.
  • Cool and smooth homemade guacamole. It’s quick and easy to make with 2 avocados, one chopped tomato, half a chopped red onion, some coriander (according to taste, we are not big on lot of coriander) and the juice of one lime. If you would like a spicier guac, feel free to shop up some jalapeños.
  • Chipotle Sauce: This only takes an extra minute or two to make in the blender with Greek yogurt (instead of mayo), a chipotle chili in adobo sauce, lime juice and pinch of salt.
  • Tortillas: Feel free to use taco shells if you want that even crunchier taco feel. We use whole wheat flour tortillas.
  • Toppings: some form of greens (we use slaw or romaine lettuce. Other options are Rocket, chopped fresh cilantro, grated cheese or even crumbled queso fresco, sliced radishes or red onions, maybe some extra sliced jalapeños if you would like a spicier kick

Method:

  • Prep the guacamole: Pulse all of the sauce ingredients in the blender, then pop it in the fridge to chill while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  • Prep the chipotle sauce: Toss the chipotle sauce ingredients in the same blender and pulse until smooth.
  • Toast the panko. This is an optional step, but one that I highly recommend for maximum fish crispiness!  Just spread the panko out on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven for 5-8 minutes until it’s toasted and golden.  (Keep a close eye on it so that the breadcrumbs do not burn!)  Then transfer the toasted panko to a bowl with the other seasonings.
  • Prep the fish. Make a little assembly line to coat your fish, in this order: 1) the raw fish, cut into 2-inch pieces 2) bowl with a whisked egg 3) bowl with panko mixture 4) baking sheet. First, dip the fish in the egg and toss to coat.  Then, transfer the fish to the panko mixture and gently press it on so that the fish is evenly coated. Finally, transfer the fish to the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining fish.
  • Bake the fish.  Pop the fish in the oven at 200C and bake until the cooked through (around 15-20 mins) Before removing from the oven just check to be sure that the fish is opaque inside and flakes easily with a fork. 
  • Assemble the tacos. Then comes the fun part!  Fill a tortilla with a few spoonful of the guac, followed by fish and your desired toppings, then drizzle with the chipotle sauce, and serve warm!

 

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