I love Sunday evening dinners. Especially when they are like this:
We used Haddock (caught sustainably by bottom longline) for this dish. We kept it simple – essentially fried fish on a variation of tartar sauce.
What the heck is a “variation of tartar sauce”? Most tartar sauce is, essentially, a combination of mayonnaise and sweet pickles or relish (sometimes with a few other things thrown in). Instead of using traditional ‘pickles’, we used large pieces of quick-pickled sweet vegetables and served them on a bed of mayo. The large veggies gave a lot of crunch and added a fresh, seasonal taste.
We avoided the rest of traditional taco fillings and you could easily eat this with a salad instead of the tortilla (we purchased them this time but you can make your own easily by following these directions). The result was a light, full-flavoured meal.
Ingredients (6 tacos)
- 12 pieces sustainable fish (this was about 0.75 pounds).
- 1-2 cups of quick-pickled sweet veggies (we added cilantro to that recipe)
- 0.5 cups (or less) homemade mayo (that link shows you how to make it in 30 seconds or less)
- 0.5 cups cornstarch
- 2 eggs
- 0.5 cups Cornmeal (coarse is best)
- Optional: spices to add to the cornmeal (we used a teaspoon or oregano, 1 teaspoon mustard powder, 0.5 teaspoon paprika, salt and pepper)
- Oil for frying (0.25-0.5 inches in your frying pan)
- Start by making the mayo and quick pickles (links above).
- Assemble 3 bowls – cornstarch in one, egg in the next and cornmeal (and optional spices) in the last.
- Pat your fish dry.
- Toss the fish, one piece at a time in the corn starch. Ensure it is completely covered.
- Dip the fish in the egg bath, using your off-hand (since I am right-handed, I use my left hand). This is your ‘wet’ hand – do not let it come in contact with any of the remaining dry goods (i.e. don’t dip it in the cornmeal).
- Using your wet hand to handle the egg-dipped fish, rest it in the cornmeal bowl (from this point on, handle the fish with your dry hand). Gently shake the bowl to coat the fish.
- Lay the breaded fish on a dry plate and repeat, trying not to layer the fish until complete.
- Wash hands and place a heavy-bottomed pan on medium-high heat (I love our cast iron pan for this).
- As the pan just begins to smoke, add 0.25-0.5 inches of vegetable, coconut or other oil (I used a non-GMO soya oil for this).
- Your oil will begin to ‘shimmer’ before it smokes (if you’re not certain, carefully dip an end of a piece of fish it and it should sizzle vigorously) – this is the time to carefully lay your fish in. You may need to cook two batches – don’t crowd the pan or it will steam the fish.
- Flip once (avoid tongs as they may take some of the breading with them).
- When finished (the crust will be firm), place on paper town in a covered pot or in the oven, uncovered at 200 degrees or serve immediately (this will be the best method).
- Serve by spreading a dollop of mayo, a bunch of pickled veggies and a few pieces of fish. Hot sauce is optional.
Click here if you’re looking for a more traditional take on fish tacos try this one (it includes a killer apple-pear slaw).
What’s your favorite topping for fish tacos?