An Ode To The Fish Taco

An Ode To The Fish Taco - Panko Crusted Halibut, Cabbage, Fennel, Carrot Slaw, Fresh herbs, Baja White Sauce, Tortilla Strips

An Ode To The Fish Taco

Panko Crusted Fresh Halibut
Cabbage-Fennel-Carrot-Radish-Pepitas Slaw
Key Lime Serrano Cumin Vinaigrette

Pickled Red Onion, Fresh Herbs, Baja White Sauce
Mexican Lime, Tortilla Strips

Dear Fish Taco – you are irresistible. Your flavors conjure up spicy memories of our saucy adventures in Ensenada. Fresh-caught fried fish, crisp shredded cabbage, salsa, white sauce and a squeeze of lime on a corn tortilla. A fish taco and a margarita are una pareja celestial. Baja California is the birthplace of the fish taco and home to Hussong’s Cantina, where they claim to have invented the margarita in 1941.

Fast forward a several decades since your “invention” where I reimagine your essence. This is perfectly crusted local halibut topped with a cabbage slaw studded with organic rainbow carrots, peppery radish matchsticks, fennel slivers, and pumpkin seeds.  A zippy Mexican lime vinaigrette with sliced serranos, cumin, and fresh thyme dresses the slaw. Corn tortillas are sliced thin and fried for the topping. And it wouldn’t be a Baja taco without your salsa blanca – so here, tangy Mexican crema combined with mayonnaise and minced garlic provides a creamy balance to the crispy golden-brown fillets.

Fish Taco – you have aged gracefully. You are fabuloso! But we will still always crave your youthful side. See you in Baja!

An Ode To The Fish Taco - Panko Crusted Halibut, Cabbage, Fennel, Carrot Slaw, Fresh herbs, Baja White Sauce, Tortilla Strips


  • fresh halibut fillets
  • salt and pepper
  • flour
  • egg, beaten
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • olive oil
  • high heat canola oil
  • mexican lime

How to Make Perfect Panko Crusted Fish Fillets

Mexican/California (or “Local”) Halibut – are found in the waters from Baja norte to San Francisco Bay, this halibut is wild-caught and has a good sustainability rating.

Let fillets sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to ensure the center of the fish is cooked through while the breadcrumbs develop a deep golden color.

Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, press the seasoning into the flesh. Dredge in flour – shaking off the excess, bathe in a beaten egg, then coat with panko breadcrumbs. Make sure the oil is hot before adding the fillets, then sauté in half olive oil/ half canola over medium to medium-high heat until golden-browned and crispy, then flip and cook the other side. Remove to paper towels. Finish by seasoning the fish with a squeeze of lime juice and a pinch of kosher salt.

An Ode To The Fish Taco - Panko Crusted Halibut, Cabbage, Fennel, Carrot Slaw, Fresh herbs, Baja White Sauce, Tortilla Strips

Key Lime Serrano Cumin Vinaigrette

  • 1 T. mexican (key) lime juice
  • 2 1/2 T. olive oil
  • 1/4 t. ground cumin
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper

Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Add serrano and let the chile marinate in the dressing, at least 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Key Lime Serrano Cumin Vinaigrette

Tortilla Strips

Slice corn tortillas in very thin strips. Fry in hot canola oil until golden. Remove to paper towels. Season with salt.

White Sauce

Whisk together equal parts Mexican cream and mayonnaise. Add minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

Pickled Red Onion

Thinly slice red onion, place in a bowl, sprinkle generously with raspberry vinegar and a little sugar. Let sit until ready to compose salad (about 30 minutes), then drain.

Cabbage-Fennel-Carrot-Radish-Pepitas Slaw

  • cabbage, shredded
  • fennel, very thinly sliced
  • organic rainbow carrots, sliced into ribbons
  • radishes, cut into matchsticks
  • pepitas

Toss 3 parts cabbage and 1 part fennel with the Key Lime Serrano Cumin Vinaigrette. Gently fold in carrots and radish, sprinkle with pepitas.

An Ode To The Fish Taco - Panko Crusted Halibut, Cabbage, Fennel, Carrot Slaw, Fresh herbs, Baja White Sauce, Tortilla Strips


  • pickled red onion
  • mint, chiffonade and small leaves
  • tiny thyme leaves
  • fennel fronds
  • fennel flowers
  • mexican limes, sliced

Smear a generous swoosh of white sauce onto the plate. Offset halibut over the sauce. Arrange slaw in a linear fashion over the fish cascading onto the plate. Place a few pickled red onion rings over the slaw. Garnish with mint and thyme, fennel fronds, fennel flowers. Top with fried tortilla strips. Serve with limes and enjoy with a margarita.

Food Network

Food Network



#SummerSoiree is a season long franchise where Food Network editors team up with bloggers to share recipes about everyone’s favorite SUMMERTIME dishes. This week, it’s SLAW.

Get inspiration from our very popular Pinterest Board with over 450,000 followers called Let’s Pull Up A Chair here. And if you’re looking for some creative slaw recipes, check these out:

Creative Culinary: Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw

The Mediterranean Dish: Mediterranean Coleslaw and Salmon Bowl

The Mom 100: Spicy Coleslaw

Devour: 5 Ways to Make Your Picnic Slawsome

The Wimpy Vegetarian: Vegan Mango – Melon Slaw with Ginger and Lime

The Heritage Cook: Variations on Coleslaw – How To Make It Your Own (Gluten-Free)

Taste with the Eyes: Ode to the Fish Taco – Fancy Halibut with Cabbage Slaw

Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Raw Papaya and Green Mango Slaw

Healthy Eats: 7 Summer Slaws That Put the Store-Bought Stuff to Shame

In Jennie’s Kitchen: Fennel & Mint Slaw

FN Dish: 8 Ways to Be in Awe of Slaw

9 thoughts on “An Ode To The Fish Taco”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.