OVEN-BAKED BAJA FISH TACOS
These wonderful baja fish tacos make for a wonderful combination of fresh flavours and textures. A soft corn tortilla proves the perfect foil for crisp, lightly spiced fish, piquant pickled cabbage and a wonderfully tart and superbly spiced taco sauce.
The fish in these tacos are usually battered and fried – we’ve chosen to breadcrumb and bake this version – making them a little healthier, whilst also affording you some hands-off cooking time.
250g Cod Loin, sliced into 1cm slices
40g Plain Flour,
1 tsp. Paprika,
1 tsp. Dried Oregano,
½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper,
½ tsp. Ground Coriander,
1 Large Egg, whisked
Panko Bread Crumbs
3 tsp. Sour Cream
3 tsp. Mayonnaise
2–3 tsp. Chipotle in Adobo, depending on spice preference
1 Garlic Clove,
Juice of ½ a Lime
PICKLED RED CABBAGE
½ Small Red Cabbage, finely shredded,
1 Shallot, finely sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, finely sliced
2 tsp. Caster Sugar
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Coriander Seeds
300ml Apple Cider Vinegar
Coriander, a few leaves roughly chopped
Warm Corn or Flour Tortillas
THE PICKLED CABBAGE
TIP – This will yield 2-3 Jam-Jars worth of pickled cabbage – ideally, prepare this in advance and leave in the fridge. This must be refrigerated as it is not shelf-stable.
- Place the water and vinegar into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the sugar, salt and coriander seeds into the liquid and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the shredded cabbage, shallot and garlic into the brine, mixing together thoroughly.
- Divide the mixture and place into sterilized jars, topping up with the brine. Once cool. Refrigerate.
- To prepare the sauce, combine all the ingredients together until fully mixed together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
PREPARING THE FISH
- Place the flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs seasoned with oregano in separate bowls.
- Season the flour with the paprika, cayenne pepper, coriander and salt and pepper. Add the pieces of cod into the flour, making sure they are entirely covered and there are no bald spots.
- Dip the flowered cod pieces in the egg using one hand and then transfer to the bowl with the breadcrumbs, covering the fish pieces entirely with breadcrumbs using the other hand (ie the wet-hand-dry-hand method). Transfer the breaded fish to a plate and repeat the process until all the fish is breaded.
COOKING THE FISH
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/390ºF (FAN).
- Lightly oil a large cooking tray and place in the oven for 5 minutes to heat up.
- Remove the tray from the oven and evenly lay out the breaded fish on the tray. Drizzle/spray the fish with a little olive oil and transfer the fish to the oven to bake for 6 minutes.
- Turn the fish pieces over, they should be golden brown on one side, and return to the oven. Bake for a further 6 minutes until crisp and golden.
- Remove the fish from the tray and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve immediately with warm corn or flour tortillas (I would always vote for corn). Assemble your baja fish tacos starting with your tortillas, fish and topping with the pickled cabbage, taco sauce and a squeeze of lime juice.