Before we get to how amazingly tasty these tacos are, first a note on deep-frying the fish. The fish is fried here using coconut oil, but you can also use any other healthy fat that has a high smoke point like lard or tallow. The recipe calls for 1-2 cups of oil, which may seem like a lot, but once the oil cools down transfer it back into its container and save it for another frying recipe. Make sure to use a thermometer when heating the oil, the temperature has a lot to do with the final texture and taste of the fish. Too hot and the fish will cook too quickly on the outside and be raw on the inside, and it can also impart a bitter taste. Too low and the fish won’t crisp up nicely and will be soggy. It’s all made easier if you use a deep fryer, but don’t worry if you don’t own one either. We used a deep sauté pan on the stovetop and the fish turned out perfectly. We just made sure to be extra careful with the hot oil and not to leave it unattended at any time.
Now for what to expect when you sink your teeth into these amazing tacos. First, if you choose to make the cauliflower tortillas you are at a great starting point, they add a good sturdiness for all the fixings. Lettuce will work as well if want to make a lighter and quicker meal. The fish has a nice crisp crunch on the outside and is tender and flaky on the inside. The cabbage gives you a nice clean and fresh bite where the Pico de Gallo adds some tang and acidity. Then the spicy mayo rounds it all out with a creamy kick. It’s a perfect meal to just sit back, relax, and smile while you eat.
Fried Fish Tacos Recipe
SERVES: 4 PREP: 25 min. COOK: 10 min.
- 1 ½ lbs. tilapia fillets, or 4 fillets
- ¾ cup tapioca starch + 1⁄2 cup for dredging
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup sparkling water
- 1-2 cups coconut oil for frying
- 2 cups cabbage, shredded
- Cauliflower tortillas
- Lime wedges, for serving, optional
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients for the Pico de Gallo
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp. onion, finely diced
- 2 tbsp. jalapeño, minced
- 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
- Sea salt
Ingredients for the Spicy Mayo
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp. Sriracha (or to taste)
- 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice (or more to taste)
- For the Pico de Gallo, mix together the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro together.
- Add the lime juice and sprinkle of salt and mix.
- Taste and adjust the salt if needed.
- Cover and refrigerate to let the flavors meld before serving.
- Mix together the ingredients for the spicy mayo and taste.
- Adjust the Sriracha and lime to taste, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Using a thermometer, heat the coconut oil in a sauté pan until it reaches 345 F. Make sure to keep the oil 5-10 degrees below its smoking point. From this point, be very careful with the hot oil and don’t leave it unattended.
- While the oil is pre-heating, mix together 3⁄4 cup tapioca starch, coconut flour, eggs, sparkling water, salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl.
- Place the 1⁄2 cup tapioca starch in a separate medium bowl for dredging.
- Trim the tilapia into pieces of the desired size, we cut the fillets in half lengthwise, but you can also cut them in bite-sized pieces or thinner strips. Just keep in mind smaller pieces may cook faster.
- Once the oil is ready, pat the tilapia dry with a paper towel, coat each piece in the tapioca starch and shake off any excess.
- Put the coated fish fillets into the batter mixture, using tongs to lift them out letting any excess batter drip off.
- Immediately transfer the fish from the batter into the oil and cook for about 1 minute. Turn the tilapia over and cook for another minute, until the fish is golden brown and white and flaky inside.
- Once cooked, remove the fish from the oil and place them on a paper towels to absorb the cooking oil.
- If needed, cut the fillets in half on a diagonal to make assembling the tacos easier. Place a small amount of cabbage on a cauliflower tortilla, then a piece of tilapia, top with pico de Gallo and spicy mayo.
- Serve with additional lime wedges if desired and enjoy!