My dad fishes a lot at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (formerly known as Guana River State Park) in St. Augustine and during the trout and flounder seasons he keeps my freezer stocked up 🙂 I have a ton of both right now so last night I decided to cook panko crusted flounder tacos served with a homemade avocado cream sauce and some store-bought mango salsa. I was considering making the mango salsa, but my local Sam’s Club has one that is really good so it was probably cheaper to just buy it there. If you want to make your own then just Google “mango salsa” and there are a million recipes.
This recipe is fairly straight forward, relatively healthy and incredibly tasty. I’d like to point out a few things that I do for this recipe that you may want to consider. First, in order to get the panko to stick well to the fish (or other seafood for that matter…), I like to toss the fish in flour (mixed w/ your favorite fish seasonings) first, then dip the flour-coated fish in an egg wash then finally, coat them liberally with panko crumbs. Some people skip the flour part and just dip in egg wash then straight to the panko, but if you have a flour base first, then that’s what the egg wash will stick too. If you don’t have it, a lot of the wash will run off and it will be harder to get the appropriate amount of panko to stick. Second, I like to use peanut oil when I fry most foods, especially seafood. It’s a just a tad more expensive, but it burns cleaner that vegetable oil, has a higher reuse rate and more than anything, the food just doesn’t taste greasy like foods fried in vegetable oil. Lastly, if you really want these to be as authentic as possible, then you have to toss the flour tortillas into a skillet with a bit of oil and button and let them get slightly crispy on both sides. Most restaurants that serve fish tacos do this. You can zap them in the microwave if you’re feeling lazy or don’t have much time, but the tacos just won’t taste as good if the tortillas aren’t nice and crisp.
For this recipe, my wife Jenn was helping out so it went quite smoothly. While I was prepping and frying the fish, she made the avocado cream sauce and began prepping the tortillas. I’ve got the cooking steps, recipe for the avocado cream sauce and pictures below. Hope you enjoy and thanks for looking!
I used 2 large flounder fillets and it was enough for 6-8 people. It was just Jenn and I so we have a ton of leftovers. Mahi mahi, halibut, tilapia and flounder are all good choices for fish tacos.
1/2 – 3/4 cup flour
Seafood seasoning – I used Everglades seasoning for this recipe
1 – 2 cups panko crumbs – Make sure you have plenty. Panko is cheap, so have a lot on hand.
Cut the fish fillets into strips. Cover in the flour/seasoning mix, then dip in egg wash, then coat with panko. Pour about 1/2″ or so of peanut oil into a skillet and heat on medium. If you go much higher than medium the fish will burn in about 10 seconds. Please believe me….I’ve made this mistake many times. I have found that medium heat is perfect for panko crusted seafood. After 5-10 minutes gently add the panko crusted fish strips into the oil and fry for about 1 – 2 min on each side. You want a nice golden color like you see below in the pics. Remove when done and let sit on a plate with several paper towels to soak the excess oil up.
Avocado Cream Sauce
1 large avocado
1/4 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of mayo
Pit and cut the avocado into chunks – I cut the avocado in half, then slice it inside the skin (without piercing the skin), then spoon out the sliced pieces into a medium bowl. Squeeze fresh lime over the slices. Add the mayo, sour cream and the remaining ingredients to taste. Blend together until creamy (I use a hand-held blender).
No recipe so share here, b/c as I mentioned earlier, I cheated and bought some pre-made from the store 🙂
Once you’ve fried your tortillas for about 30-45 seconds on each side, side aside to cool down for a few minutes then fill them with the fish, mango salso and avocado cream sauce and serve.