Fish Tacos for a Special Occasion

For the boatless angler, or even the boated angler for that matter, there is no better time to catch a meal of fresh fish than spring. Whether casting off rocky points for walleyes, probing back bays for panfish or pike, or propping up a chair on a windswept shoreline for hungry channel cats, the arrival of spring means opportunities aplenty.

Now while I’m all for keeping a well-stocked freezer, fresh fish is the best fish. For many, spring’s bountiful harvests are a great opportunity to share your lacustrine conquests with friends and family. Special occasions call for something a little extra. For myself a little extra is this recipe.

Fish wise it’s whatever you got, however you want it; fried, baked, blackened all work.

For this occasion, I chose to pan fry bluegills in a commercially made breading.

The slaw adds another level of texture, brightness, and color.

The avocado cilantro sauce is what sets these tacos apart and makes them worthy of a special occasion.

Fish (whatever you caught)
Hot sauce (Franks Red Hot)
Breading (Louisiana Original)
High smoke point oil (Canola)

1 cabbage, sliced very thin or a pre-sliced bag
½ medium-sized onion, diced
½ cup cilantro
Juice of 1 lime

½ cup sour cream
1 ripe avocado, pitted and skinned
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno, chopped and seeded
Salt, to taste

Combine all of the Slaw ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Allow to sit for 1-3 hours in the refrigerator, tossing once again during this time. This allows the lime juice to permeate the mixture.

Combine all of the Avocado-Cilantro Sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until well combined. Place in refrigerator prior to serving. If the lime juice is a little strong, adding a bit more salt will neutralize the lime.

Coat the fillets in a small bowl or plastic bag with a glaze of hot sauce. In the same bowl or bag, add your breading mixture of choice until the fillets are coated to your desired satisfaction. As is standard protocols for frying all fish use a high smokepoint oil and get it up around 400* and don’t crowd the pan.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat to 400*. Once heated, add in the breaded fillets (don’t overcrowd the pan). Cook a few minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets, Remove the fish from the oil, and place on some paper towels to soak up the excess oil, warm the tortillas in the microwave for 10-20 seconds or skillet over medium heat, cooking for about 30 seconds on each side.
Spread the avocado sauce onto the tortillas using a spoon or butter knife. Break up the fish into manageable pieces and add on top of the sauce-coated tortillas. Top with the slaw mixture and add any other toppings you prefer. Enjoy!

About Cody Grewing

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