I’m not a chef, not a foodie, and I rarely eat at fancy restaurants, but I can make a mean fish taco.
Today, I’m going to break down the quick and straightforward process of frying and assembling fish tacos. This recipe highlights bluegill, but I’ve used this same process with perch, crappie, northern pike, walleye, catfish, and rock bass.
We won’t cover how to clean a fish but learn more on that here – How To A Fillet A Fish
You can substitute ingredients to your preference or convenience but this is what I like to use.
- Vegetable oil
- Fish Seasoning (Cajun Style)
- Corn Tortillas
- Red Cabbage
- Garlic Powder
Step 1 – Washing The Fish
Start by running the fish fillets under cold water. Rubbing your fingers along the meat as the water rushes over the fillet allows you to start with a clean plate. Then set fish fillets in a bowl and fill that bowl with milk. Soaking fish in cold milk helps reduce the fishy taste while adding flavor. Cover the bowl and set fish in the fridge.
Don’t Forget The Milk
Step 2 – Chopping The Vegetables
Get out a few bowls and start chopping vegetables to accompany your meal. Preparation is half of the battle so take your time and slowly slice each vegetable before worrying about the fish, the oil, or anything else.
I chopped red cabbage, tossed it in a bowl topping it with ranch and mustard. Then I sliced and smashed each guacamole ingredient and put those into a separate bowl. Finally, I chop cilantro and set that to the side.
Step 3 – Batter Up!
Now the busy work was complete; I turned my attention to the fish. Pulling it from the fridge, removing it from milk, and then patting it dry with paper towels. Getting the fillets as dry as possible is essential. Waste is awful, but this one of those times where I grab a few extra paper towels.
Step 4 – Let’s Get This Breading
Once the fish is dry, I pour half of the fish seasoning into a large ziplock bag, followed by half of the fish fillets. There can be an entire article about the best breading for a fish fry but my personal favorite is the pre-mixed bags that you can find at the grocery store. The Cajun flavor from virtually any brand will work.
Next, I firmly grab the top of the bag and roll it over once or twice. Quickly shake the bag and let the air-filled pocket serve as the dance floor for your fish and seasoning. It should resemble a t-shirt being tossed around in a dryer.
Step 5 – Drop The Fish
Once the fish is ready – I start warming the oil. You need the oil hot enough to fry fish but cool enough not to burn the oil which according to Google is between 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Instead of using a thermometer, I sprinkle a little fish seasoning into the oil to see if it’s ready. You want that flour or seasoning to fry the instant it hits the water, that’s when you know it will be ready.
Step 6 -That Golden Brown Finish
Bluegill fillets only take a few minutes to cook, I look for a golden brown finish before pulling the fish from the pan. Once cooked, I set the fish on a plate covered with paper towels helping absorb the excess oil.
Step 7 – Adding The Crunch
I finish things off by deep-frying fresh corn tortillas. While not necessary, the added heat, moisture, and crunch make the tacos pop.
Step 8 – Set The Table
Set the table with the veggies, condiments, tortillas, and fish.
Step 9 – Let’s Make a Taco
Step 10 – Share With The Squad
Enjoy and share your delicious meal with family or friends.`
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