Thursday, August 30, 2012

Panko Crusted Fish Tacos

I have been dying for fish tacos practically the entire summer. I ordered them at a few restaurants, but they never lived up to my expectations. So I decided with only a few days left of summer, I had to make fish tacos the way that I envisioned them. Needless to say, they were perfect.

I am a diehard advocate of panko breadcrumbs. The crunch is incomparable to any other breadcrumbs I've ever tried. Besides for the great crunch you get from the panko breadcrumbs, the fresh red cabbage slaw is the perfect balance between the kick of the chipotle and the mildness of the fish.

For this recipe, I used talapia. Normally I am not a huge fan of this fish, but it seemed to work the best (and happened to be the cheapest). This could easily be replicated using any other kind of mild, white fish. It is best to use a mild fish as you don't want the salty, fish taste overwhelming the chipotle sauce.

I honestly think this may be my favorite meal I've cooked all year. Sure, my need for good fish tacos probably played in to this; but the flavors all came together so perfectly that even today as I write this I still can't get that dinner out of my head.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 6-7 minutes

Panko Crusted Fish Tacos
Serves 4

4 fillets of talapia (1/2 fillet per taco)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Chili paste (amount depends on taste)
2 eggs
Chipotle powder
1/2 cup of flour
Olive oil
Soft tortillas
1 lime

Red Cabbage Slaw
1/2 head of red cabbage
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
1 tbsp of honey (or sugar)
Pinch of celery seed

Chipotle Cream Sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chili paste
Juice of 1 lime
Chipotle powder (to taste)

  1. Chop up red cabbage into thin strips then mix all ingredients together. Put aside for serving later.
  2. Mix together ingredients for chipotle cream sauce and refrigerate until serving.
  3. Heat up oil in a skillet until it is at medium high heat.
  4. In three separate dishes combine panko breadcrumbs with some chipotle powder; 2 eggs with chili paste (1 tsp works); and flour with some salt and pepper.
  5. Cut the fillets into two strips lengthwise, then cut in half horizontally.
  6. Dip the talapia fillets in each of the dishes and get a nice thick coating on the pieces.
  7. Add the talapia pieces to the skillet making sure not to overcrowd. Cook for 2-3 minutes each side.
  8. Set your talapia into the middle of the taco and top with chipotle cream sauce and red cabbage slaw. Squeeze a slice of lime onto each taco for a little extra zest.

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