Pan-Fried Flounder Tacos

If you’re tired of ordinary tacos, give these a taste.

There’s no special story behind this recipe–I had some good ingredients scattered around the kitchen, and a HUGE stack of corn tortillas staring at me, so there was only one correct choice.

I used flounder this time for two main reasons: 1. I got a good price on filets at the farmer’s market, and 2. Flounder tends to taste like the crustaceans it eats in the wild, giving it notes of both white fish, and crab. You can use any white fish, like tilapia, or swai, that you prefer. This preparation is basic, and flexible enough to give you lots of milage, and room for experimentation. For example–I didn’t use any salsa this time, but feel free to add some to yours–especially ones that will complement the natural sweetness of the fish. I was in a rush, so I decided to sautée the ingredients I would normally blend into salsa to tone down the sharpness of the garlic, and bitterness of the peppers. I really wanted to be able to enjoy the flounders flavor.

You can use any style tortillas you like. I prefer soft, corn tortillas, but when I want something crunchy like a tostada, I’ve started to bake the tortillas until they get crispy. If you want something closer to the classic American hard shell shape, you can drape the tortillas over the grate in your oven, and hold it in place with a little foil until it dries out, and hardens. From there, you can fry them in oil if you want, but I usually just let them bake a few minutes longer until they turn golden.

Anyway, let’s cook.

You’ll need:

Fish fillets, split in half

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1 bell pepper, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 Avocado, sliced

Corn Tortillas

2 tbs flour

Salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and paprika to taste

  1. Pat the filets dry with a paper towel, then season on both sides with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 (for your tortillas).
  3. Heat 1 tbs of vegetable oil in your pan on med-high heat, then sear each filet on both sides, and then lower the heat to medium, and cook until the fish begins to flake. Squeeze lime juice over the fish, and set aside.
  4. Slice onions, peppers, and garlic thinly, then sautee in a separate pan* (if this were chicken, or other meat, I would use this to deglaze the same pan I seared it in, but I use a separate pan to avoid the veggies picking up a fishy flavor). Stir occasionally as the onions and peppers begin to soften. Add salt, black pepper, and cumin, stir, and remove from heat.
  5. Chop cilantro, and slice the avocado for the table–be sure to squeeze lime juice over the avocado to keep them green and fresh.
  6. Brush a small amount of oil on both sides of your tortillas, then carefully drape them over the rack inside of your oven, and allow them to warm up for about 10 minutes, and remove. If you want crunchy shells like the ones in the picture, continue to bake until they start to turn golden brown, then remove and allow to cool.


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