Happy Taco Tuesday, y’all! Today’s recipe is certainly one worth celebrating. And don’t we need to seize any little moment to celebrate with the way things are right now? I think so. Lately, I’ve been reminiscing about the delicious fish tacos I enjoyed in Tulum (which feels like a lifetime ago) and worked on my own version since international travel won’t be on the menu for a while. I recently whipped these crispy fish tacos up for Sunday night dinner (and Monday’s lunch) and shared the process via my Instagram story and wanted to be sure to give you the full recipe here.
My crispy fish tacos recipe is quick and easy and calls for fairly common ingredients you can find at most any grocery story. In just half an hour, you will have a full platter of these on the table and can let everyone customize them with whatever fixings and toppings they like. I like to add a slice of creamy avocado, a squeeze of lime, and extra hot sauce to these crispy fish tacos for a nice combination of flavors and textures. And going from wanting tacos to eating tacos in just about 30 minutes is my idea of a dream come true. What about you?
In this recipe, thick cuts of fish make for substantial tacos with fish in every bite. None of that disappointing tortilla and topping only nonsense! And the fish is perfectly crisp on the outside and tender and flaky on the inside with NO greasiness because it bakes up in the oven. While that magic happens, work on the sweet and spicy slaw that tops these crispy fish tacos off perfectly and dinner will be done in no time. You’ll probably want to wash everything down with a couple passion fruit margaritas and I fully support that.
Tips for Crispy Fish
There are a few keys to getting delectably crispy fish in the oven. I’ll go ahead and spill them here because I am deeply invested in the quality of your taco Tuesday.
- Don’t skimp on the coating. This recipe calls for three layers for a reason:
- The first layer is flour and spices, which adds the flavor to the fish and helps everything else stick.
- The next layer is a mixture of egg, mayo, and a splash of apple cider vinegar.
- Lastly, a crispy coat of Panko bread crumbs for ultimate crunch.
- Bake at higher heat. Fish doesn’t take as long as other proteins (like poultry or meat) to cook, so you don’t have a ton of time to get that coating crisp. Baking at a higher temperature helps.
- Give the fish space. Use a pan big enough that there is at least a couple of inches between each piece of fish.
- Be quick about it. Put the fish in the oven promptly after coating to keep it from getting soggy.
How to Make Sweet & Spicy Slaw
My philosophy with slaw for tacos is to let the vegetables breathe. Sadly, KFC was my point of reference for coleslaw growing up and it was just so nasty. I was a slaw hater for a long time until I saw the veggie forward, non-processed light at other dining establishments and in the kitchens of cooks I knew. Here’s what I incorporate into the sweet & spicy slaw that tops my crispy fish tacos.
- Red Cabbage
- Red Onion
- Greek Yogurt (just enough to lightly coat)
- Fresh Lime Juice
- Hot Sauce
- Salt & Pepper
Just mix up all of these lovely ingredients while the fish bakes and you will be ready for action once the oven timer dings! Full details are in the recipe card below.
I hope you’ll try this 30-minute dinner idea with your family soon–and let me know how you like it! And because sharing is caring, be sure to pin this recipe on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
P.S. more taco Tuesday inspo:
Easy, oven-baked fish tacos topped with a light and colorful slaw that combines sweet & spicy flavors
- 8 tortillas
- fresh lime wedges optional garnish
- sliced avocado optional garnish
- 2 pounds mild white fish like cod or haddock
- black pepper to taste
- sea salt to taste
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/3 red cabbage
- 1 carrot
- 1/3 red onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
- 1-1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1-2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 3 juice of three limes
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Cut fish into 4-ounce portions (if working with cod loin, each piece will be about two inches wide. Season each piece with sea salt and black pepper and set aside.
Pour Panko bread crumbs into a shallow bowl or plate. Add flour and spices to another dish and stir well to combine. In a third dish, whisk together mayo, egg, and apple cider vinegar.
Coat a seasoned piece of fish in the flour mixture then into the egg mix and, finally, into the panko crumbs. Place on sheet pan. Repeat with remaining pieces of fish until all are coated.
Place pan in oven and bake for up to 24 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. (My cuts were about two inches thick and took the full baking time.) I recommend you start checking the fish for done-ness after 15 minutes. Cooked fish should be opaque and flake easily with a fork.
While the fish bakes, mix up the slaw for the fish. Chop cabbage. Cut up carrot into pieces about 1/3 inch thick. A mandolin works really well for this step but it can be done by hand and still finish before the fish does. Dice red onion. Chop cilantro.
Add cabbage, carrot, red onion, cilantro, Greek yogurt, honey, lime juice, hot sauce, black pepper, and sea salt and toss until veggies are evenly coated.
To assemble, add a piece of fish to a tortilla then top with slaw. Add avocado, fresh lime juice, and whatever other garnishes you prefer.
This cooked fish does not retain crispiness when refrigerated and reheated. If not serving all at once, I recommend freezing the remaining portions and reheating in an oven to get the crispy texture back, once it's time to eat again.