Fish Tacos with Flour Tortillas

More than a decade ago, when my company had an office out in Thousand Oaks, I traveled to LA fairly regularly. We got a “travel day”, so Friday was a free day in LA. Then my whole group would usually stay the weekend and fly out Sunday night. One of the things I loved to do on Friday or Saturday was drive down the coast and get fish tacos. We’ve gotten a few decent fish tacos in Cleveland, but nothing close to what I remember from the West Coast.

A few weeks ago, I decided to try making some at home. They turned out really well. The ocean perch was a really small filet that needed to be skinned first … which was a LOT of  work. The next time, I used a tilapia which came in a larger filet but didn’t require any prep work. The smaller pieces of fish gave us a crunchier taco, but I think I’d get the larger pieces and slice them.

Flour Tortillas:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons liquid vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 cups
  • Zest of one or two limes

Mix all of the dry ingredients (not the lime zest) in a bowl. Measure water in a measuring cup, add in the oil and zest, and mix well to break up the zest. Pour the water into the dry ingredients and mix to combine into a dough. Knead the dough for a few minutes. Cover with clingfilm and let set for at least an hour.

Grab a ball of dough and roll it with a pin — we roll them quite thick (1/8″ to 1/3″) and have something more like a flatbread than a traditional tortilla. I cook them on an electric griddle/grill at 350 degrees F for about three minutes, flip and cook for another two or three minutes (timing is going to depend on how thickly the tortillas are rolled).

Fish:

  • 1 lb of light white fish (we’ve had ocean perch and tilapia)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

Mix the oil, lime juice, zest, and ancho powder. Place fish in a low baking dish, pour marinade over fish, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for twenty minutes. For grilled fish tacos, grill or saute the fish at this point.

Fish Breading:

  • Combine zest of one or two limes with bread crumbs in a bowl (add some of the chili powder if you want a spicier completed dish)
  • Combine all purpose flour, salt, and pepper in a second bowl
  • Combine two eggs and a little milk in a third bowl

To bread fish, dip it in the egg mixture, then dredge in flour. Shake off, dip in egg mixture again, then dip in bread crumbs. Pan fry in a good bit of oil, place on paper towels to absorb some of the oil.

 

To serve, take a warm tortilla / flat bread. Place fish onto tortilla and top with broccoli slaw, shredded cabbage, or mixed greens with diced tomatoes and onions. My broccoli and cabbage slaws are usually Mark Bittman’s spicy slaw sauce which has no mayo. Sometimes, though, I’ll do a creamy sauce of Greek yogurt, lime juice, and celery seed.

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