23 Aug Simple Tilapia Tacos
I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a good fish taco. There’s just something about the mixture of flavors and textures that my tastebuds can’t resist! There are a million ways to serve them… fried, grilled, sauced, or salsa-d, but I find that simpler is usually better.
Anytime we visit my parents in Nashville, we eat lunch at Chuy’s (a delicious Tex-Mex chain with authentic New Mexico green chiles). They serve an awesome fried tilapia taco with cabbage, a spicy “ranch” sauce, and cilantro, but every time we go I end up feeling stuffed to the gills and full of binge regret. (Some of that may be from the pound of tortilla chips and the frozen margarita I usually shovel down before the tacos even make it to the table, but I digress…)
I made it my mission to re-create the glory of the Chuy’s taco with fresh and light ingredients, and I’m here to tell you: mission accomplished. These babies feature baked, (not fried!) crispy tilapia filets with crunchy veggies and a drizzle of my Creamy Green Chile Sauce. You guys… SO GOOD.
If my hubby wasn’t such a fish-taco hater, we’d be eating these at least once a week. He’s lucky we’ve been married for over 6 years, because if we were just meeting, I would judge Robert’s vendetta against delicious tilapia tacos as a serious character flaw. We’re talking MAJOR deal breaker.
I guess I’ll have to settle for sneaking these into the meal rotation when he is traveling for work, so think of me while you enjoy your fish tacos on a much more regular basis. Solidarity, people!
- 1¼ cups whole wheat Panko bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (plus extra to soften corn tortillas)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ¾ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 tilapia filets (about 8 oz each), sliced into sticks about 1-inch by 3-inches
- 3 egg whites
- 8 corn tortillas
- About 2 cups cole slaw mix (variety of chopped cabbage and carrots - I found mine at Whole Foods!)
- 1 cup (lightly packed) washed cilantro leaves
- ½ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- ½ cup real mayonnaise
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2-3 heaping Tbsp of diced green chile peppers
- juice of 1 lime
- ½ tsp sea salt, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine all the ingredients for the Creamy Green Chile Sauce in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Prepare the breading for the fish. Combine Panko, chili powder, paprika, and sea salt in a small bowl and mix well.
- Heat olive oil in a large non-stick pan. Add Panko mixture to the pan and toast the breadcrumbs for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously. (Be careful not to burn!) Remove from heat and set aside.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Beat egg whites until foamy in a shallow bowl.
- Create an assembly line to coat the tilapia spears. Dip each piece of fish in egg whites, then press gently into the seasoned Panko mixture to coat on each side. Transfer to lined baking sheet and place the tilapia slices about 1 inch apart.
- Once all the tilapia has been breaded, bake at 375 for about 10 minutes (until the fish is opaque throughout.)
- While the fish bakes, prepare the corn tortillas. Lightly spray or brush each tortilla with olive oil and warm over medium heat in a nonstick pan until pliable and soft.
- Serve each taco with 2 pieces of baked tilapia on a warmed tortilla, topped with cole slaw mixture and a drizzle of green chile sauce. Enjoy!
Tilapia recipe adapted from Domesticate Me.