The idea of fish tacos is appealing to me. Until I read the description on the menu. That’s because most restaurants make these tacos with fried fish. I know, I am not typical, but I don’t enjoy most fried foods. To me, the crunch of the batter is not worth the heaviness and greasiness of frying. So, I almost never order fish tacos at restaurants.
Last week I decided to try making fish tacos at home. The first option I considered was marinating the fish to give it lots of flavor and then broiling it. However, I know that for my daughter and husband these wouldn’t be the fish tacos that they were envisioning. Another option would be to make one set of fish for them and one set for me, but that seemed a bit ridiculous when cooking dinner for only three of us. I was then left to wonder, how could I make a fish taco that pleased everyone?
As I was shopping for the fish and other groceries, it occurred to me that the solution was rather simple- use panko. Panko provides a delightful crunch without deep frying. I would get a healthier version of fish tacos, and my family would get the crunch they’ve come to expect in fish tacos. To add even more crunch we topped our tacos with cole slaw mix rather than lettuce, which seemed to be a hit, as all three of us added the shredded mix to our tacos. Finally to keep these tacos healthy, I made a spread out of plain Greek yogurt. With the tanginess of sour cream but fewer calories, it rounded out the palate of flavors quite nicely.
For those of you that are discriminating readers, you might have noticed that September is focused on sandwiches. You may be asking yourself, why is there a taco recipe? My answer is that a taco is a sandwich. 1. You eat it with your hands. 2. It has an exterior that is basically a very thin bread. 3. It is filled with a condiment, meat/fish, and garnishes. Thus, fish tacos fall into the sandwich category, at least to my mind.
- 1-1/2 lbs. haddock
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup panko
- 1 Tb. chili powder
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
- 6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 lime
- 1 Tb. fresh cilantro
- White or wheat tortillas
- Cole slaw mix
- Tomato, diced
- Cut haddock into large chunks and place into large bowl.
- Add milk, stirring so that all of the fish is covered.
- Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- In a wide dish, such as a pie plate, combine panko, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
- Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Brush the bottom of the pan with olive oil.
- Take a piece of haddock out of milk and dredge in panko mixture. Transfer to frying pan. Repeat with additional pieces of haddock until frying pan is filled without being crowded.
- Cook fish for 2-3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Move cooked haddock to a plate.
- Repeat with any remaining pieces of haddock.
- Pour yogurt into a small bowl. Juice half of lime into yogurt.
- Mince cilantro, and add to yogurt. Stir well.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread one tablespoon of Greek yogurt spread down the center of tortilla.
- Top with cooked pieces of fish to fill the center of the tortilla.
- Sprinkle cole slaw and tomatoes on fish, if desired.
- Writer’s note: We were so excited for this meal that we didn’t think to take pictures until the fish was gone. Thus, you get a picture of a lonely tortilla instead.