Fish tacos spice up Lenten Fridays

  • Fish Tacos with Cilantro Tartar Sauce Patricia Beck/TNS

Detroit Free Press
Published: 3/24/2017 6:19:18 PM

On Fridays during Lent, many Christians are avoiding meat. And while there are lots of fish fries around town featuring traditional fish and chips, these fish tacos are a nice way to spice up the routine.

Fish tacos continue to be popular. Many area restaurants offer fish tacos on their menus on a regular basis and some even more during Lent. The fish is prepared in many ways: battered and fried, sauteed, grilled or baked.

The fish in this recipe is battered and served on warm tortillas with crunchy cabbage and topped with a cilantro tartar sauce. Any firm fish such as tilapia or mahi-mahi can be used in place of cod. You can also substitute any variety of tartar sauce.


Makes 12 tacos

Use any firm fish for this recipe. Mahi-mahi and tilapia also work well.


1 cup low-fat mayonnaise

⅓ cup cilantro, freshly chopped

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons capers, plus a little caper juice

1 small jalapeno pepper, minced (with seeds, if desired)


1¼ to 1½ pounds cod fillets

1 cup Drake’s Crispy Frymix (or favorite fish-fry mix)

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste

½ teaspoon favorite chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup oil for frying

12 flour tortillas (5- to 6-inch size)


2 cups finely shredded cabbage

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 avocado, halved, pitted, diced

To make the tartar sauce: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Set aside. You can make this a day in advance.

To make the fish: Rinse and pat dry the cod fillets well. Cut fillets into 2-by-1-inch pieces. Set aside.

Place the fry mix in a bowl. Whisk in ½ to ¾ cup water. The batter should be very thin, like pancake batter. On a shallow dish or pie plate, mix the flour, cayenne pepper, chili powder and salt and black pepper.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

When ready to fry, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. The oil should cover the bottom and come up at least ¼ inch in the skillet.

Working in batches, dredge several pieces of fish in the flour mixture and then dip in the batter, allowing the excess batter to drip off.

Place in the hot oil and fry on all sides until browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep the fish hot. Repeat with remaining fish.

Microwave the flour tortillas to warm.

to Assemble, Place Some Cabbage on Each Tortilla. Top with 2 to 3 Pieces of Fish and a Dollop of Tartar. Garnish with Green Onions and Diced Avocado.

From and tested by Susan Selasky in the Free Press Test Kitchen.

Analysis per 1 taco with Cilantro Tartar Sauce.

290 calories (45 percent from fat), 15 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 27 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein, 644 mg sodium, 29 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber.

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