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Make “Taco Tuesday nights” more exciting and a crowd pleaser by filling each taco shell with tangy shredded vegetables and crispy gluten-free fried fish, drizzled in a Tex-Mex crema dressing.
Tex-Mex Crema Dressing
There’s a lot of crispiness in these tacos but the dressing mellows this down to a well-balanced flavour and texture.
The crema dressing is a combination of sour cream, buttermilk, minced garlic, lime juice, fresh coriander, pickled jalapeños and pickled pimiento/red pepper pieces. Not only does it go well with tacos, but also in potato salads, baked potatoes or fresh salads.
is added to the cornflour mixture used in the fish crumbing, giving it that lively Tex-Mex spice. If you are keen to make your own, click on my homemade Fajita seasoning recipe here. It takes no more than 5 mins to prepare with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen cupboards.
Are store-bought tacos gluten-free?
Basically, corn tortillas should be 100% gluten-free as they are made from Masa Harina, which is dried corn that has been soaked in calcium hydroxide and then finely ground to make Masa Harina, literally translated from Spanish as flour dough. As with all store-bought items, double-check the packaging ingredients label.
Can you make homemade taco shells?
Yes, but it is a lot of work! The first step is to make “soft” corn tortillas, which is straightforward if you can purchase the flour, Masa Harina easily. The recipe for this is found in my Homemade Fajitas with Gluten-Free Corn Tortillas.
Once the tortillas have been made, the next step is deep frying them one by one and shaping them into a taco by folding the tortilla in half with tongs. This is the tricky part as each taco looks different – some wider than others, some over-cooked, etc. Once fried, the taco is drained upside down on a rack. As you can imagine, it is a messy job, so unless you are up for the challenge, I would head to the supermarket to buy tacos!
Which fish cut is best for Fish Tacos?
Any white firm fish will work, but my top choices are cod, tilapia, catfish and for those lucky to come across this gem, barramundi – a fantastic fish from Australia and some Indo-Pacific countries!
Buy skinless fish fillets and as always, check for any tiny bones by running your fingers along the flesh on both sides. If you do come across some, remove them with small, sterilised tweezers or your fingers to pull the bones out.
Some cooking tips:
Prepare the dressing and fillings before frying the fish.
Use a heavy bottomed pan such as a cast iron pan for frying.
Make sure the oil is well heated for shallow frying to medium-high. Any lower than this will result in soggy and unpleasant-looking fish from absorbing too much oil.
Do an oil test run with one piece of fish before frying all of them.
Once all the fish has been fried, only at this point heat up the tacos according to the packaging instructions. Normally they take seconds in the microwave or 5 mins in a low oven. Leave the provided oven-proof divider between the taco shell so that they don’t close up while heating.
Gluten-Free FISH TACOS
Gluten-Free Crumbed Fish Fillets
- 5 medium fillets of firm fish, (E.g; cod, barramundi,)
- 100 g cornflour
- 1 tbsp store-bought or homemade fajita seasoning
- 1 egg
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp water
- 100 g store-bought or homemade gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 50 g polenta
- 70 g shredded white cabbage
- ½ red peppers/capsicum, sliced thinly
- ½ yellow peppers/capsicum, sliced thinly
- 1 red onion, sliced thinly
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 2 spring onions, chopped finely
Tex-Mex Crema Dressing
- 250 ml sour cream
- 2 tbsp buttermilk or single cream
- ½ lime, juiced
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped finely
- 1 tbsp pickled jalapeños, chopped finely
- ½ tbsp pickled pimientos (red pepper/capsicum)
- Sunflower or vegetable oil for frying
- 12 store-bought gluten-free corn taco shells
- fresh coriander leaves to garnish
- slice pickled jalapeños to garnish
- 1 red chilli, cut into tiny pieces to garnish
- 1 lime, quartered for serving
Homemade Fajita Seasoning
- If you intend to make homemade fajita seasoning, click this link for the recipe
Tex-Mex Crema Dressing
- Chop the fresh coriander, pickled jalapeños and pimiento red peppers finely.
- Combine all the crema dressing ingredients together in a medium bowl. Set aside or chill until needed.
- Shred the cabbage finely and slice the peppers and red onions into thin strips. Sprinkle the lime juice over the vegetables.
- Chop the spring onions into thin slices and soak them in ice cold water for 15 mins to remove their strong flavour. Drain and set aside in a container or plate with the rest of the fillings.
Gluten-Free Crumbed Fish
- Lay the fish on a plate or wire mesh and pat dry on both sides with paper towels.
- Slice small strips of fish about 2-3cm wide, trimming the ends if needed.
- Choose three wide bowls and in each bowl prepare the following three mixtures:
- Combine the cornflour and fajita seasoning together. Set aside.
- Whisk the egg/s with salt, pepper, hot sauce and water. Set aside.
- Mix the breadcrumbs and polenta together. Set aside.
- Start crumbing each fish strip by first coating them in the cornflour mixture, then the egg mixture followed by the breadcrumb mixture.
- Place all the crumbed fish onto a large tray and either chill to fry later or fill 2cm of oil in a frying pan and heat to medium-high heat.
- Shallow fry the fish in several batches so not to overcrowd the pot. Fry for 4 mins, turning over once.
- Drain the fried fish on paper towels or over a wire mesh.
Filling the tacos
- Warm the taco shells either in a low oven or in the microwave by following the instructions on the packaging.
- Spread some Tex-Mex crema dressing at the bottom of each taco shell.
- Sprinkle a mixture of shredded cabbage, peppers and red onions over the dressing.
- Place between 4 to 5 bite-size pieces of fish over the salad combination.
- Drizzle some more dressing over the fish.
- Scatter some spring onions, jalapeños, fresh coriander leaves and tiny fresh chilli pieces over the dressing.
- Serve immediately.
- Best eaten on the same day made.
- Tex-Mex crema dressing keeps chilled for 3 days.
- The assembled pre-fried crumbed fish may be frozen, providing fresh fish was used. Do not refreeze frozen fish. Keeps for 2-3 months frozen.