I seriously love good fish tacos. They are so rare where I live that if I see them on the menu, I am compelled to order them. The most frequent result? Total and complete disappointment because they are not the type of fish tacos I fell in love with. My beloved fish tacos are most easily found from south of San Francisco to San Diego. They are sometimes referred to as “Baja Style”. For me, in order to be properly done the fish is fried, the tortillas are corn, and the toppings are cabbage, lime, and cilantro. A spicy, creamy sauce is also allowed. Flour torillas and cheese and straight tomato salsa in this context are just wrong, in my opinion. This rigidity is really weird for me as I rarely feel so strongly about messing with recipes. I usually treat recipes as suggestions rather than rules. But, in this case the rules are there for a reason. Since I can’t afford to fly to California every time I want fish tacos I needed to figure out how to make the silly things at home. These are wonderful, easy, and not-fried! Both the fish and avocado sauce are on the spicy side, so you might want to adjust the spices to your personal tastes. Because this recipe is fairly high in points, I like to serve them with 0 point sides, like chopped up jicama and Jalapeño Marinated Carrots (recipe below).
Baja Fish Tacos
- 4 six ounce cod or snapper fillets, cut into 1 oz strips
- 1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 /2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 8 six inch corn tortillas
- finely shredded cabbage
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- Spicy Avocado Sauce (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Combine buttermilk and egg in a shallow bowl (big enough to dip fish pieces in) and beat well. Combine dry ingredients (breadcrumbs and spices) together in another shallow bowl. Dredge each piece of fish in egg/buttermilk mixture then dry mixture, pressing well on each side. Place fish on prepared cooking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes (depending on thickness of fish pieces) until fish is cooked through and flakey. Serves 4 – two tacos each – 9 points per serving. Each taco consists of 3 pieces of fish, one tortilla, 1 tablespoon sauce, and cabbage/squeezed lime/cilantro to taste.
Spicy Avocado Sauce
- 1 ripe Hass avocado
- grated zest of one lemon
- freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (can be lowered to 1/4 teaspoon if too spicy)
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1 cup plain, nonfat yogurt
- 1 teaspoon salt
Peel avocado and remove flesh from seed. Mash in bowl with fork and lemon juice until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and whip with fork until smooth. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to serve. Tastes best if allowed to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Jalapeño Marinated Carrots
- 1 lb bag organic baby carrots
- 1 12 oz jar pickled sliced jalapeño slices (I prefer medium heat)
Combine entire jar of jalapeños (liquid and all) with carrots in large plastic container. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.