Crispy Fish Tacos with Margarita Slaw
Crispy fish tacos in the summer time are a must! These crispy fish tacos are topped with fresh, crispy margarita slaw and roasted pepita seeds and are perfect for dinners on the patio. You’ll love my version of baja-style crispy fish tacos!
Ironically enough, i’m in the windy city sharing a tex-mex favorite – crispy fish tacos. Could I possibly be missing the great land of Texas? *gasp* These baja-style crispy fish tacos are amongst my most favorite meals. I am always on the lookout for a good fish taco. Give it to me grilled, fried, or blackened, i’ll take a fish taco in any form, anytime. And I mean that; anytime. Let’s talk about the fish for just a second. This fish gets it’s crispiness from a thick batter. When you think crispy fish tacos, you usually think of beer battered fish. And although you can use beer for the batter portion of this recipe, i’ve actually used sparkling water instead. The same great crunch is there, so don’t you worry!
You can use any kind of white, firm fish for this recipe. I’ve used tilapia because 1.) it’s my favorite 2.) it’s so flavorful 3.) no funky, fishy odors 4.) it’s my favorite (yes I repeated that one).
Other white firm fish that would work well – cod, halibut, or even mahi mahi. The margarita slaw in this recipe is super fresh. Like, so fresh and so clean clean. Okay, enough of my played-out rap lyrics.
We’re using a shredded cabbage mix, a red bell pepper, fresh cilantro, red onion slices, a seeded jalapeno (for flavor, not heat) and mixing these veggies in a margarita flavored dressing. Then, we top these tacos with pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds).
The chipotle sauce is made with just 2 tablespoons of mayo and mostly with greek yogurt. The mayo gives us just the right amount of richness while the greek yogurt helps cut back the calories. Because let’s face it, we are frying this fish. I’ll cut the calories anywhere I can, thank-you-very-much.You can also use this chipotle sauce for this recipe.
Last note: I know its going to look like it’s a LOT of ingredients, a few of the ingredients appear 2-3 times. I’ve specified the quantities separately so it’s easier to see how much you’re adding to each part.
Warning: These crispy fish tacos may make you want to jump up and down with enormous amounts of joy; please enjoy responsibly.
For the crispy fish:
- 1 1/4 pound firm, white fish, cut into 2-inch pieces (such as tilapia, cod, or halibut)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or more to taste)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) sparkling water (carbonated) (I used Perrier Lemon)
- 1/2 cup oil, for frying
For the chipotle sauce:
- 2 chipotle peppers + 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (5.3 oz) container greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon milk
For the margarita slaw:
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- zest of 1 lime
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, honey, agave, or sweetener
- 3 cups (6 oz) shredded cabbage mix
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1/3 cup red onions, sliced
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno, cut into strips with ribs and seeds removed
- 12 flour tortillas, warmed
- 12 corn tortillas, warmed
- 1/4 cup pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
To make the crispy fish:
- In a medium bowl whisk together the 1 1/2 cups of flour, garlic powder, cumin powder, salt, chili powder, and the baking powder. Add the sparkling water and whisk until you've worked out most of the lumps from the batter. It's okay if some small lumps remain. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Heat a skillet on medium heat with the oil. In a medium bowl, toss the fish pieces in the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Dip each individual piece into the batter, make sure to coat both sides. Working in batches, fry 4-5 pieces at a time, making sure to not overcrowd the skillet. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Remove fried fish pieces onto a plate lined with a paper napkin.
For the chipotle sauce:
- In the mini food processor or a blender, combine the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, salt, greek yogurt, mayonnaise, and milk. Let the food processor run until the chipotle peppers break down completely. Pour into a squeeze bottle or a small bowl, refrigerate.
For the margarita slaw:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, lime juice, orange juice, lime zest, garlic powder, salt, and sugar.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cabbage mix, red bell pepper, red onions, cilantro leaves, and striped jalapenos. Toss with the dressing when ready to serve.
To assemble the crispy fish tacos:
- Place a corn tortilla on top of a flour tortilla, top with a little bit of chipotle sauce, a few pieces of crispy fish, margarita slaw, more chipotle sauce, and a sprinkle of pepitas.