Buttermilk Battered Fish Tacos with Chipotle Slaw

May 23, 2011 § 3 Comments

This weekend was so social, if felt like we were making up for all those weekends in January and February we spent holed up in our apartment.  From out of town visitors, to multiple meals out and a housewarming party- it was non-stop. On top of that, the weather could not have been more perfect (though I could have done without the sunburn).

I had every intention of making these fish tacos last week, but my recent schedule has unfortunately afforded me less time than usual in the kitchen.  After back to back days of dining out, I was very glad to get back into our dinner making routine last night.

I am a lover of fish tacos.  Well, good ones (I’ve had a handful of bad).  After trying various versions of this dish in different restaurants, I’ve come to the conclusion that when preparing this type of taco, simple is best. There shouldn’t be a slew of toppings, only a handful of quality ingredients- one of which should always be a slaw of some sort.  This recipe is inspired by City Oyster in Delray Beach, Florida, which serves the best fish tacos I’ve ever had.  Their tacos consist of lightly seasoned fish, topped with a spicy slaw, fresh salsa, and lime crema.  Though slightly different, this recipe hits all the flavor notes of City Oyster’s tacos- crunch and heat in the slaw, creaminess from the guacamole, and tang from the lime and cilantro.  Overall, this meal feels incredibly fresh, which was a welcome alternative after dinners consisting of take out Indian and greasy pizza.

Buttermilk Batter Fish Tacos with Chipotle Slaw adapted from Bon Appetit  

Serves 4

For the fish:

1 lb tilapia filets, cut into 2 inch pieces

1/2 c flour

1 c buttermilk

1 tsp salt

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

canola or vegetable oil

For the slaw:

1 head green cabbage, washed and thinly sliced

4 carrots, peeled and grated

handful chopped cilantro

1/2 c good mayo

3 chipotle and adobe peppers (in sauce), finely chopped

2 T freshly squeeze lime juice

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

For serving:

12 corn tortillas


lime wedges, hot sauce, and chopped cilantro for topping

Make the slaw: Toss together together the cabbage, carrots, and cilantro.  Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, and pour over the slaw mixture.  Toss well, cover, and let sit in fridge for at least two hours before serving.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wrap tortillas in foil and let warm while you prepare the fish.

Make the fish: Stir together the flour, buttermilk, salt, cumin, and chile powder.  Set a large sauce pan to medium heat. Coat the bottom of the pan generously with oil.  Let heat for 5 minutes.  Dip a third of the fish in the batter, and drop into the oil, cooking for 3 minutes on the first side, and 2-3 minutes on the second size.  When the batter turns golden brown, the fish is done cooking.  Let rest on on paper towels, while you cook remaining fish.

Assemble Tacos:  Take a warmed tortilla, place 1-2 pieces of fish inside.  Spoon slaw over fish, and top taco with guacamole, lime juice, hot sauce, and more cilantro.


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