Let the Mexican food continue! In celebration of Cinco de Mayo next week, I posted a recipe for Mexican BBQ Burgers on Monday and now I’m following up with a fabulous recipe for Crunchy Baked Tilapia Tacos with Fresh Salsa and Mexican Crema.
Two savoury recipes in one week? That must be a record on Pink Recipe Box! But don’t you worry guys, I’ve got an awesome cocktail recipe to share with you on Friday. It’s sweet, it’s spicy and it’s pink! What more could you want?
But more about that on Friday. Today, we’re going to concentrate on these tacos.
Tacos are one of my ultimate favourites when it comes to main meals. They’re just so versatile and come in so many different flavours and textures. Whilst I love all kinds of tacos, I do have a soft spot for fish tacos. Specifically tilapia tacos, with thick and juicy strips of tilapia covered in spiced breadcrumbs and baked to golden perfection.
But let’s be honest – the tilapia wouldn’t be nearly as fantastic without the creamy, zingy crema and fresh, flavour-bursting salsa. Shove all those elements inside a warm and fluffy tortilla and you have a Mexican delicacy that you won’t be able to get enough of.
Last November, My Official Treat Taster and I went on vacation to Mexico. I was super-excited about all the delicious food before we went, but when we got there I was a little…disheartened? I know it sounds harsh, but the food just didn’t live up to what I expected.
I imagined that my ideas of Mexican cuisine might be a little exaggerated, but, in all honesty, my ideas didn’t even resemble the food locals were eating. Not only were dishes such as enchiladas and nachos completely non-existent, but the flavours weren’t there at all. We went on an authentic-style Mexican tour and stopped off at a restaurant that the tour guide swore served down-to-earth real food just like the locals ate. My opinion? The flavours were bland and the textures were dull.
Now, whether that’s because I was unlucky enough to be served rubbish food during my vacation or because my expectations were so ridiculously warped, I’m not really sure. But either way, these tacos are a world away from any bland tacos you might have experienced in the past.
Don’t let the thought of having to coat the fish in breadcrumbs and bake it in the oven put you off. If you really don’t want the hassle, you could always ditch the breadcrumbs and fry the fish in a pan. Or maybe buy fish fingers/fish sticks? I’m not sure how lazy you’re feeling today.
Overall, the recipe is really simple to prepare and can be on the dinner table within 30 minutes, making it ideal for a weeknight, right? Whatever you do – just don’t forget the accompanying margaritas!
Crunchy Baked Tilapia Tacos
for the fish
- 4 tortillas
- 2 medium-sized tilapia fillets
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 medium-sized egg
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
for the salsa
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 small onion
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- salt and pepper
for the Mexican crema
- 1/4 cup yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Mexican cheese grated
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- optional: hot sauce to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line a baking tray with foil or parchment paper.
- Prepare your dredging station by filling one shallow dish with the flour, salt and pepper, a second shallow dish with the egg and a third shallow dish with the breadcrumbs and remaining seasonings.
- Stir the salt and pepper into the flour, beat the egg, and stir the seasonings into the breadcrumbs.
- Slice your tilapia fillets into evenly-sized chunks and, in turn, dip each chunk into the flour. Shake it to remove any excess flour.
- Then dip it into the beaten egg. Shake it to remove any excess egg.
- Finally, dip it in the seasoned breadcrumbs, ensuring the fish is entirely covered.
- Place the piece of fish on the baking tray and repeat with the other fish chunks until they're all done.
- Bake the fish chunks in the centre of the oven for around 20 minutes or until they're cooked through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
- Whilst the fish is cooking, get to work on the salsa: roughly chop the cherry tomatoes, onion, jalapeño and garlic. Place them in a small bowl.
- Add the red wine vinegar, white sugar and ground coriander into the bowl.
- Stir well and taste. Add more vinegar, sugar, coriander, salt or pepper if desired.
- For the Mexican crema, stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings if you need to.
- To serve, spread the Mexican crema on a warm tortilla, scatter on some salsa and add a couple of pieces of crunchy tilapia. Fold or wrap the tortilla around the ingredients and enjoy!
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