It’s cold out there, and you’re having the blues of a winter night. You’re craving a mouthful of something that can turn the chill into bluebird summer. If so, then these pan-seared fish tacos will turn your winter frown upside down.
Simple ingredients, quick and easy steps, and packs of delectable flavors are some of the highlights of this recipe. It is actually a meal that satisfies a crowd and leaves picky eaters speechless. And above all, it’s a welcomed shift from beef and poultry.
What is Pan-Searing?
Pan searing is a technique of cooking meat at high temperatures. In this case, beef, poultry, or seafood is sautéed in a pan until a brown crust appears. This gives the meat a crispy and favorable texture. It also yields a more appetizing appearance.
In so many cases, meat is pan-seared then boiled on the stove or cooked in the oven. In this recipe, pan-searing the fish creates a perfect match between the fish’s crispiness and the tacos’ crunchiness.
Alternative Cooking Methods
The fish in this recipe is originally seared in a pan, but you can cook it differently.
One alternative is grilling. First, brush a preheated grill with some oil. Then, place the fish pieces on the grill and keep them for 3-4 minutes on each side or until the fish is entirely white.
Another option is to bake the fish in the oven. Just spray a cooking tray with some grease, and place the fish on it. Bake in a preheated oven to 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
No matter what cooking method you choose, pan-searing remains the best method in terms of texture, taste, and color.
Useful Tips for the Best Fish Tacos
The best fish size for tacos is 5 cm. So try to cut the fish into fingers of about 2 inches in thickness.
Before you cook the fish, make sure not to overly marinade it. The maximum time for marinating is 30 minutes. Otherwise, the fish becomes mushy.
When it comes to pan-seared fish tacos toppings, you have a variety of options. You can drizzle the sandwiches with a combo of finely chopped red and white cabbage; or top them with avocado and cilantro. But the best topping remains lime or a lemony sauce!
You can serve the crispy fish tacos with sour cream or mayo dressing. However, it’s very common for Middle Easterners to serve fish dishes with the tangy and distinct tahini sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although tilapia fish gives the best results, you can still replace it with any white, flaky fish. Cod, Hake, Halibut, Sea Bass, sole, haddock, or cod are great options.
You can keep the leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for no longer than two days. When you’re ready to enjoy, you can simply take out your leftovers and reheat them over high temperature in a pan drizzled with some oil.
This is not recommended since it will have unfavorable effects on both texture and taste.
What You Need to Make These Fish Tacos
Making these gourmet fish tacos requires a few affordable ingredients as follows.
Tilapia Fillets: These are by far the best type of fish to be used in this recipe. But you can go with any kind of white fish cut into thick pieces.
Seasoning: A bunch of spices creates a distinct, satisfying flavor. You need some onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, and paprika.
Salt: It helps balance all flavors and reveal them equally.
Lemon: You need to squeeze a lemon and use its juice. Lemon juice is by all means fish’s best companion.
Oil: Since the fish in this recipe is seared in a pan, you need to grease the pan with any kind of vegetable oil.
Tacos: Get some good-quality, store-bought tacos.
How to Make the Pan-Seared Fish Tacos
Making these yummy pan-seared fish tacos can’t be simpler and more convenient.
The first step is seasoning the fish. You have to mix all of your spices together; onion and garlic powder, paprika, cumin, black pepper, and salt.
Then, season the fish strips with the spice mixture and let them sit for half an hour.
After that, drizzle a pan with oil. Fry the fish pieces in the pan for 3-4 minutes on each side.
Finally, place the cooked fish on the warm store-bought tacos, and enjoy!
As for the topping, you can decorate the sandwiches with whatever veggies or sauces you choose. Serve them with guacamole, avocado salsa, tahini sauce, or any other dipping.
Easy, Pan-Seared Fish Tacos
- 4 Tilapia fillets cut into thick pieces
- 1½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 lemon squeezed to get its juice
- 4 tacos store-bought
- Bring all the spices and salt into a good mix.
- Season the fish strips with the spice mixture.
- Let the pieces sit for 30 minutes.
- Pan fry the fish in a pan greased with oil for 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Distribute the cooked fish over the warm tacos.
- Top the fish with chopped veggies or dressing of your choice.
- The best fish size for tacos is 5 cm. So try to cut the fish into fingers of about 2 inches in thickness.
- Before you cook the fish, make sure you do not overly marinade it. The maximum time for marinating the fish is 30 minutes. Otherwise, the fish becomes mushy.
- You can top the fish tacos with a variety of garnishes as a combo of finely chopped red and white cabbage, avocado, cilantro, or a lemony sauce!
- You can serve the crispy fish tacos with sour cream or mayo dressing. However, it’s very common for Middle Easterners to serve fish dishes with the distinct tahini sauce.