Fish Tacos with Purple Cabbage Slaw

Fish tacos are kind of all the rage around here lately, aren’t they? (And by here I mean where I live in Canada…) Most restaurants seem to have their own takes on them, and I’m pretty much always tempted to order them when I go out. My favourite are from a place called Añejo in Calgary – they also have fantastic guac and margaritas, if you were wondering.


I never really thought about making my own, mainly because I’m not very brave about deep frying things. But then I decided that maybe I didn’t actually need to deep fry the fish to make fish tacos. Maybe coating them with a little flour and spices and then cooking it in a pan with just a lil bit of oil would work just as well? (It did.) Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients here – all you need to do is throw together a quick slaw, cook the fish, and then you’ve got yourself a taco bar and your friends/family can build their own tacos with all of the fixings. Simple, right?


I’d actually never made a cabbage slaw before I made these tacos. I kind of forget that cabbage does not need to be totally coated in mayonnaise in order to make it into a slaw. I actually really enjoyed this one by itself, not only in the tacos. Do you guys have any tips for “shredding” cabbage? A quick google told me that it was easiest not to “shred” it at all, but rather to slice it in a weird way… That’s what I ended up doing, and it worked alright, but I’m interesting in hearing about other methods!


Fish Tacos with Purple Cabbage Slaw 

Makes about 12 Tacos 

Adapted from The Kitchn

For the slaw:

1 small Purple Cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)

1 small Carrot, grated

3 Green Onions, thinly sliced

1/2 Jalapeño, seeded and minced

1 clove Garlic, minced

1 tbsp Lime Juice

2 tbsp Mayonnaise (or alternative – vegannaise, lemonnaise)

2 tsp Honey

Salt & Pepper, to taste

For the fish:

1/3 cup All Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper

1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika or Chipotle Powder

1 – 1 1/2 lbs White Fish (sole, snapper, tilapia, etc.)

2 tbsp Canola Oil

To Serve:

12 Corn Tortillas, warmed

Torn Cilantro Leaves

Avocado Slices

Lime Wedges


Sour Cream

1. To prepare the slaw, place the shredded cabbage in a bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Massage and squeeze the cabbage with your hands to help it release its liquid and begin wilting. Transfer the cabbage to a strainer set over a bowl and set aside to drain for about 15 minutes.

2. Squeeze the cabbage of its excess liquid, one handful at a time, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the grated carrot, green onions, and jalapeño. Toss to combine. Whisk together the minced garlic, lime juice, mayonnaise, and honey. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the cabbage mix and toss to combine.

3. To prepare the fish, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and paprika in a shallow container. Pat the fish dry, then dredge it in the flour mixture.

4. Heat the oil in a heavy (preferably cast iron) pan over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmery and flows to coat the entire bottom of the pan. Add the fish to the pan — if cooking multiple fillets, arrange them in a single layer with a little space between. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, carefully flipping once with a spatula, until both sides are golden brown and the fish is opaque and flakes apart easily in the thickest part. Transfer the fish to a clean plate and flake into large chunks.

5. Serve the fish on a platter with the tortillas, slaw, cilantro, avocado, lime and salsa on the side, letting each diner assemble his or her own tacos.


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