Easy Pan Fried Fish Tacos Recipe with a Twist

by Pamela

grilled fish tacos, fish taco recipe, fried fish tacos, fried avocados, fish taco sauce recipe

A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to fried avocados.  Remember those?  Of course you do…how could you forget them?  As I promised you in that post, the avocado fries were part of a larger dish – pan fried fish tacos.

You may be asking yourself, self – why would she put fried avocados on a fish taco?  Isn’t there already enough crunch from the fried fish, the taco shell, or the cabbage, or the onions or just about every other element of the taco?  Well, not exactly.  I decided to take my taco in a slightly different direction than either your standard grilled fish tacos or fried fish tacos.  My fish tacos contain pan fried fish and are what you would call deconstructed tacos.  Not a single tortilla, of any kind, was consumed in the making of this taco.

I really like fish and I really like the individual components that make up a fish taco.  I understand that if you’re not from the West Coast, you probably think I’m making up this whole fish taco thing, but trust me…I’m not.  The most famous version of the fish taco is the Baja style.  Basically, it’s a piece (or pieces) of batter fried fish on a corn tortilla with shredded cabbage (yes, cabbage not lettuce), pico de gallo and Mexican crema (or some basic variation on these simple ingredients).

Fried-Avocados

While I love tradition, I can’t pass up an opportunity to shake things up.  My pan seared fish tacos use a rum marinated halibut filet (I know, crazy…shouldn’t it be tequila in the marinade?) and get their crunch from the fried avocados and pulverized Corn Nuts.  Yes, the very same Corn Nuts that are sold in the little bags in the chips and snacks aisle.  By then plating up each of the taco elements separately, you can better taste each one.  You’ll still feel like you’re eating a taco but hey, this is a fish taco recipe that you can take out in public and introduce to all of your friends.

Relationship Advice

So now you’ve got a fish taco recipe that you can take out and introduce to all of your friends, let’s talk about that guy you’re with that has a ton of excuses why the two of you never go out…or at least not where you can be seen by others.

I think we’ve all been there.  You’re with a guy for a few weeks (or more) and you spend a lot of time together but it’s either at his place, your place or a darkened movie theater.  If it’s not because you’ve locked him in the “friend zone” and you’re wondering what’s going on, let’s break it down for you.

  • Does he call you at 1 a.m. asking if he can see you?
  • Does he send you sexts on a pretty regular basis?
  • Are you having sex with him?
  • Do you ever see him on the weekend?
  • Does he rush you out of his place or quickly exit yours after sex?

Girlfriend…you are officially a booty call.  In his world, you are not girlfriend material.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, friends with benefits does have its advantages, but you both have to be on the same page.  If you’re interested in continuing like this, just lay your cards out on the table.  If you aren’t comfortable with this arrangement…time to look elsewhere.

  • He makes no mention of wanting to meet your friends or family.
  • He goes out with his friends on a regular basis.
  • He’s canceled a date with you more than once.
  • It takes him several hours to e-mail/text you back.
  • He’s non-committal about weekend plans.

Well, you can rest assured that you’re not a booty call, but he’s just not that into you.  So you can keep chasing after this one, but your efforts will be futile.  Time to move on.

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Easy Pan Fried Fish Tacos Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 Pounds Wild Alaska Halibut Filet
1 Large Clove Garlic (minced)
1/2 Cup Dark Spiced Rum
1/2 Orange (juiced)
2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Pineapple Salsa (see recipe below)
Spicy Yogurt Crema (see recipe below)
Avocado Fries, for serving (see recipe below)
Radish Slices, for Serving
Ground Corn Nuts*, for serving
Cilantro Leaves, for serving
Lime Wedges, for serving
Red Onions (finely chopped), for serving

Directions

Cut the fish into 4 even pieces.

In a container, that is large enough to fit the fish, add the garlic, rum, orange and lime juices.

Stir to thoroughly combine and then lay the fish pieces into the marinade and cover the container.

Let the fish marinate for 2-4 hours, in the refrigerator.  If the marinade doesn’t completely cover the fish, turn the pieces over half way through the marinating time.

Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a pan.  Preheat the pan over medium high heat.

Once the oil is hot, lay the fish in the pan and cook for 2-5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish.

The fish is done when it is opaque (solid white) and flakes easily.

Remove the fish from the pan to a large plate and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Place a large spoonful of the yogurt crema on the plate.  Lay a piece of the fish on top of the crema. Add 1 or 2 avocado fries on either side of the fish. Spoon a generous amount of the pineapple salsa slightly overlapping part of the fish and onto the side of the fish. Add sliced onions, cilantro and radish slices. Sprinkle the ground Corn nuts over the top of everything and serve.

*Ground Corn nuts. Pulverize 1/2 cup corn nuts.  You can do this either in a food processor or by putting them in a bag and smashing them with a heavy pot.

Pineapple Salsa Recipe

1/2 Cup Pineapple (chopped into small pieces)
1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
2 Tablespoons Red Onion (finely chopped)
1/2 Small Jalepeno Pepper – seeds removed (minced)

Mix all ingredients in a small container, cover and refrigerate.

Spicy Fish Taco Sauce Recipe

1/3 Plain Non-Fat Yogurt
2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
1/2 Small Jalepeno Pepper – seeds removed (minced)

Mix all ingredients in a small container, cover and refrigerate.

Avocado Fries

Peanut Canola Oil
1/4 Cup Corn Starch
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1 Large, Firm but Ripe Avocado (pitted, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-in wedges)
1 Lime Wedge

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Farenheit.

Line an oven proof dish with 2 layers of paper towels.

In a large saucepan, heat 1 1/2″ of peanut or canola oil to 375 degrees Farenheit. (use a candy thermometer to find the temperature)

Pour the corn starch and panko bread crumbs on to separate shallow plates.  Put the eggs in a shallow bowl and beat until they are well blended

Squeeze the lime wedge over the slices of avocado.

Lightly coat each avocado slice with the cornstarch. Knock off any excess.

Dip the coated avocado into the eggs then coat with the panko bread crumbs.

Fry coated avocado slices in the oil until deep golden brown on all sides. This should take 1-2 minutes. Do not crowd the oil. You will need to do this in batches.

Remove the fries from the oil and lay on paper towel lined dish. Sprinkle with salt and slide into oven to keep warm. Continue doing this until all of the avocado has been fried.

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15 comments

Chris @ The Peche March 30, 2011 at 5:45 am

Amazing. Fried avocados and fish tacos? Love it.

Debi (Table Talk) February 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I definitely get this one—fried avocados; oh my…I am a grilled fish taco girl with slaw, but love this deconstructed approach. Again—fried avocados

Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks February 24, 2011 at 8:34 pm

The fried avocados look so enticing – with that creamy center and crunchy coating. I want to dip it is some of my favorite salsas. Very ingenious of you.

Maria February 24, 2011 at 2:30 pm

LOVE this recipe!

The Cilantropist February 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Um how could I possibly have missed these fried avocados the first time around??? I saw them on top chef last night and thought they were genius, they look sooooo tasty. 🙂

Feast on the Cheap February 24, 2011 at 9:51 am

Totally genius, kind of like American-style Tempura 😉

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle February 24, 2011 at 9:24 am

I have a minor obsession with a cheap fish taco so I can only imagine if I made something good, with great ingredients that it would become a major obsession!

I have actually done the fried avocado thing…sort of for grins but found we loved it and can see how this would elevate your dish without the crunchy fish coating. I’m so trying this.

Priscilla-She's Cookin' February 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

Deconstructed fish tacos – LOVE it! And the crunchiness from pulverized corn nuts and creamy, but crunchy, avocado – Win, win.

Lana February 23, 2011 at 7:59 pm

I am still giddy about “discovering” fish tacos (we did not have those back in Ohio, ya know). Finally, I managed to get a nice recipe that everybody loves, crunchy, creamy, fresh, beautiful, and then you have to come along and introduce “the other fried foods”, avocados.
No, really, I am looking forward to trying these, and have to thank you (our youngest is a Type 1 diabetic, and desperately needs to be fattened up – has a great metabolism that burns everything!). While the husband can skip a meal or ten, I am grateful for any idea that can add 1 oz of meat on my skinny baby:)
Looks great, too.
BTW., I loved your relationship advice:)
P.S. I hope you are recovering well from your jet lag (if not, head in the opposite direction:)

sippitysup February 23, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Fried avocados! Did you invent that? I bet its crunchy and luscious all at the same time. That’s what I love about fired zucchini too! GREG

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