Baked Coconut Crusted Fish Tacos
Because corn tortillas last an astonishingly long time in the refrigerator and taste just as good toasted as they do fried.
Because eggs go in tortillas. Because, sure kale can go in tortillas. Because, yea toss those lentils in there. Or that smear of peanut butter, or that quarter of an avocado from the other day, or maybe just a swipe of butter and a sprinkling of salt.
Whatcha got besides a tortilla? Fold it up. Call it a taco. It’ll all be ok.
Now… when you have a plan and a piece of fish… things start to get much more interesting.
Coconut-baked. Topped with fresh avocado, sliced jalapeños, cilantro and salsa. Lots of fresh lime.
Crunchy, spicy and admittedly way better than lentils and leftover cheese in a tortilla.
Here’s where we start. Fish first.
Tilapia is a really affordable fish option. Wild grouper or cod, snapper or mahi mahi are great white fish options.
I sliced the boneless fish into too-big-for-a-single-bite pieces and drizzled the chunks with olive oil, fresh lime juice, lots of sea salt and black pepper. This will sit still and chill while the breading comes together.
In a shallow dish I tossed together unsweetened shredded coconut, panko bread crumbs, lots of ground cumin, ground garlic, chili, salt and pepper. Earthy, spicy, grounding flavors for our fish. Coated generously.
Fish pieces meet a greased baking pan.
I’ll be honest here, greased parchment paper on top of the baking pan in best. Living and learning.
The fish is cooked at high heat until cooked through and lightly golden. The coconut and panko brown happily and smell pretty dang delicious.
Toasted corn tortillas. Don’t be scared. Brown them well. Pleasepleaseplease don’t leave them raw. That’s a rude taco move.
Now for the layering.
What do you feel/ what’s in the fridge?
Thinly sliced red onion, fresh jalapeno slices, and loads of spicy salsa. I used mango salsa because mango + coconut felt like the right thing to do. Cilantro, too!
If we’re counting, I ate four… very quickly. Layer your tacos with whatever feels fresh, bright and summer satisfying. The remaining stack of tortillas will last in the fridge for a long long long time and make for deeply delicious breakfast tacos.
Photos with my dear friend and uber talent Jon Melendez.
- 3 tilapia or any white fish filets, but into large bitesize chunks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- juice of 1 lime
- sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, crushed finer
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 12 corn tortillas, toasted on a stovetop
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- any mango or pineapple salsa you love
- sliced jalapeno
- thinly sliced red onion
- fresh cilantro leaves
- lime wedges
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place fish pieces in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil, lime juice, and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- In a separate medium bowl, toss together coconut, bread crumbs, spices, salt and pepper. Add the moistened fish pieces to the bowl to generously coat in the spiced coconut topping. Place the well coated pieces on the prepared baking sheet and continue until all the pieces are coated and placed on the pan.
- Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 12 minutes. You shouldn't have to flip the fish pieces, but take a peek in the oven at about 8 minutes to see if you'd like to flip.
- While the fish is baking, toast the tortillas over a gas stovetop. Gather all of your taco toppings.
- Remove the fish from the oven once browned and cooked through. To assemble the tacos, pile a few pieces of coconut fish into a toasted tortilla. Top with salsa, avocado, jalapeno, onion and cilantro. Drizzle with lime juice and enjoy!