My love affair with cassava flour continues!
I’ve made this grain-free tortilla recipe quite a few times (I was trying to perfect it, ahem) and one of those instances involved a serious fish taco craving. As Arizona natives with Mexican blood running through both our veins, fish tacos are an important part of lives. (seriously)
There are a few ways to pull them off but our favorite is Baja-style, hands down.
Fruit salsa, chopped cabbage, ripe avocado, and a creamy-dreamy-smoky crema. Maybe a little bit of cotjia or queso seco if we’re feeling rebellious.
The cassava flour made for the very best grain-free breading I’ve experienced EVER. Previously I relied on a combo of coconut flour and tapioca starch but then you’ve got coconut-flavored fish tacos… 😒 Not the best.
These taste 100% exactly like fish tacos that are made with regular old white flour.
So crispy and flaky and moist on the inside. They’ve pieced together a little hole in my heart that was the lack of a seriously good Paleo-friendly fish taco.
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Baja Fish Tacos with Tropical Salsa
For the fish:
1 lb. flaky fish like rockfish, halibut, or cod
¼ c. filtered water (optionally you could get a little crazy and sub a good GF beer)
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. sweet paprika
¼ tsp. dried oregano
dash cayenne or chipotle powder
½ tsp. baking powder
⅓ c. + 2 tbsp. cassava flour, divided**
For the Tropical Salsa:
2 medium tomatoes, chopped small
½ large red onion, diced small
1 mango, cubed small
½ c. chopped pineapple
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced (about 2-3 tablespoons of juice)
½ c. chopped cilantro
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
Splash of red wine vinegar & extra-virgin olive oil
For the Chipotle Crema:
¼ c. coconut cream or plain grass-fed yogurt
1 tsp. adobo seasoning
1 tsp. smoked paprika
¼ – ½ tsp. chipotle powder (use caution, it’s spicy!)
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. honey
Pinch of sea salt & black pepper
Tortillas (recipe for the grain-free version can be found here) or lettuce cups for wrapping
Fresh avocado slices
Prep the fish by patting dry with paper towels and slicing into long strips about 2″ thick. Combine the egg, water, onion powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne, baking powder, and ⅓ cup of cassava flour in a wide bowl. Whisk until a thick pancake-like batter forms. Place the additional 2 tablespoons of cassava flour in another wide bowl. Set them aside to pan-fry just before serving.
Prep the Topical Salsa by combining all the salsa ingredients in a medium bowl. Toss well and set it aside to let the flavors meld. This can be done the day before and kept in the refrigerator.
Prep the Chipotle Crema by whisking the crema ingredients together in a small bowl. Set it aside until serving. This can also be prepped ahead and kept in the refrigerator.
To assemble, chop the cabbage into thin strips and slice the avocado. Fill a heavy-bottomed pan (I prefer cast iron) about 1″ deep with coconut oil. Heat over medium high until the oil begins to shimmer. To pan-fry the fish: dip a piece of fish in the plain cassava flour, shake off the excess, then dip it into the batter to coat it entirely. Allow some of the excess batter to drip off and gently place the fish into the hot oil, laying it down in the direction away from you to keep splatters from coming at you. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Move the cooked fish to a cooling rack and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
Serve immediately layered into tortillas with cabbage, avocado, Tropical Salsa, and Chipotle Crema.
Note: if you haven’t already read, cassava flour is a great grain-free flour. You could use other flours in its place (not straight starches like tapioca) but the amounts may differ slightly. My advice is to add the flour of your choice to the batter one tablespoon at a time until it resembles the consistency of pancake batter.
**Edit: with time, I’ve found that using different varieties of cassava flour can greatly impact the results with a recipe. Many are more absorbant than others. To be safe, add the cassava flour one tablespoon at a time until it resembles the consistency of pancake batter.