These Crispy Fried Fish Tacos are served with a delicious hoisin mayo sauce and green cabbage and are so, so easy to make at home!
(This recipe for Crispy Fried Fish Tacos was originally published in May 2011, but was updated with new photos in 2018).
I figured since Cinco de Mayo is upon us, why not make some fish tacos for dinner! The last fish taco recipe I followed from Food and Wine made me weep with delight so, naturally, it was the first site I went to when looking for a new recipe. I definitely wanted to use tilapia since I had a package in my freezer that I bought from Trader Joe last week. And since I feel like having a "special sauce" can take a recipe from standard to phenomenal in a matter of seconds I was on the lookout for unique flavor combinations.
I ended up stumbling upon a recipe for Crispy Fried-Fish Tacos and with sauce ingredients including hoisin, sweet pickle relish, and mayonnaise, I knew this was the one!
CRISPY FRIED FISH TACOS RECIPE
These fried fish tacos ended up being super easy to make, which isn't something you can often say when frying is involved. That means they're totally appropriate for a weeknight dinner and that's a good thing since these will make your weeknights SO much better.
To start, in a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the hoisin sauce, pickle relish, and lemon juice. I've never mixed hoisin sauce with mayonnaise before, and I must admit, I've never once even thought about combining the two, especially with relish. But this sauce was "Oh my gosh, this is so good, why didn't I know about this earlier"... sauce.
Would you tell on me if I confessed to you that I ate a couple spoonfuls? And then continued to dip my fingers in the sauce while waiting for the fish to fry? You won't tell. We're all friends here 😉 Plus, I know you're gonna do it, too!
Next, you're going to combine the flour, garlic salt, onion powder, salt, and white pepper in a large zip-lock bag. Seal the bag closed and shake, shake, shake. Then add your fish in and continue shaking, making sure the fish is nicely coated. This is what will make the fish nice and crispy, so a nice coating is key!
Awkward photo of fish in a bag.
In two separate bowls, add the beaten eggs in one and the panko in another.
Dip the fish in the eggs first followed by the breadcrumbs and place on a plate.
Heat your vegetable oil in a large skillet until it reaches 350 degrees. Once heated, begin adding the fish and cook for about 3 minutes (1.5 minutes each side), working to keep the oil at 350 degrees. Place on a paper towel-lined plate.
Now, it's time to construct the tacos! Obviously the second best part. Eating them is, of course, the first best.
Start by adding your lettuce, scallions, and cilantro, as little or as much as you like. Then add the crispy fish. Sooooo crispy. Legit this fish is perfectly fried and I'm in heaven.
But don't forget to drizzle the heavenly hoisin mayo sauce over the top. And squeeze a little bit of lemon over the top. I can honestly taste this all over again right now just from looking at the photo. And it's making me very, very hungry.
I served my fried fish tacos with a side of grilled corn (!!!) all while having the biggest smile on my face (dork alert) because this was melt-in-your-mouth wonderful. If you think it's not possible to have fried fish tacos at home, you are so wrong! You don't have to go out to get potentially greasy tacos and pay a bundle. Isn't that kind of life-changing?
The hoisin mayo sauce is also life-changing. Just a heads-up. If I were to order fried fish tacos when out, I might have to carry a little bottle of this in my purse. Because I can't imagine fish tacos without it anymore!
Oh and by the way, drinking a margarita while enjoying these fish tacos is almost mandatory. And margaritas are much less expensive when made at home.
How are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo? Besides making these fish tacos, that is 😉
If you like these fried fish tacos, try these fish tacos that aren't fried (I promise they're also delicious!). For something a little different, try these salmon tacos with butternut squash salsa and cranberry crema. And now I really want to try these Sriracha Mackerel Tacos from Tasty Food for Busy Mums!
Crispy Fried Fish Tacos
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
- 1 ½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 lb. tilapia or cod fillets, cut into 4x1-inch strips
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 cups panko
- 3 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- 12 corn tortillas, warmed
- Shredded green cabbage, lettuce leaves, cilantro and sliced scallions, for serving
- In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the hoisin sauce, pickle relish, and lemon juice.
- Combine flour, garlic salt, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a large zip-lock bag. Seal the bag closed and shake the mixture. Then add the fish in and continue shaking, making sure the fish is nicely coated in the mixture.
- Place lightly beaten eggs in one large shallow bowl and place panko in a second. Dip the breaded fish in the eggs first followed by the breadcrumbs and place on a plate.
- In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Once heated, begin adding the fish and cook for about 3 minutes (1.5 minutes each side). Place fried fish on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add lettuce, scallions, and cilantro to corn tortillas. Top with fried fish and drizzle mayo/hoisin sauce over the top. Squeeze more lemon on top, if desired.
- Recipe slightly adapted from Food & Wine.