crispy air fried cod tacos
There's just something about tacos. I don't know why they are so good but the best part is that they are so versatile. As with everything, tacos have moved way beyond the taco trucks that we remember (well that I remember especially being born in Texas). Don't get me wrong -- greasy, delicious tacos from a mom and pop food truck are THE best and hits the spot like nothing else can. But the humble taco sure has gone a long way in evolving. We have a place in Chicago not that far from me that makes these Korean Beef tacos wrapped in a crispy buttery paratha (Indian flat bread) and it is to die for! Like sooooooo unbelievably flavorful. I just made Indian style paratha tacos (can be called Kati rolls) just the other day. Tacos make a great vehicle to house all sorts of flavor combinations and one of my favorite ways is to make fish tacos.
I didn't grow up eating much (i.e. any) fish because my mom is (was) vegetarian. She eats limited meat now but growing up, we basically ate what she made and what she made she grew mostly in her garden and consisted mostly of South Indian vegetable dishes with some roti's and rice. That was our basic diet. My sister, brother and I all grew up eating meat (mostly at school or the occasional fast food meal) and it was always a treat but never seafood. I don't know why that is except for that we just were not familiar with it. Having made my career in catering and event planning, I was introduced and grew an appreciation for all sorts of proteins and seafood was very prominent in that education. So now I love cooking it at home but I will be completely honest...I like to buy my seafood at the grocery store and always go for the ones that don't look like itself. Nice skinned filets and peeled shrimp are my go-to's. When I lived in Japan and went to a fish market for the first time...well I still haven't recovered! There was stuff there that only could have lived in my nightmares or on another planet...I have never seen anything like it and it was always in it's natural form. I am sure I took pictures somewhere -- I'll have to dig up my old Japanese cell phone one day soon!
Back to my awesome tacos! Fish tacos are a particular favorite of mine because they are lighter than the traditional beef ones with their crispy shells and seasoned meat and cheese. By light, I don't just mean in calories, I also mean that because fish is so delicate, you can really introduce a multitude of flavor profiles in your taco so that not one ingredient overshadows the rest. It's also super fun to play around with the flavors and even bring in fruit like pineapple and mango with fun and spicy salsas and things. For today's taco, I kept it pretty simple with ingredients that I had on hand.
Don't they look so colorful and fresh??
Air Fried Cod Tacos
1lb skinless cod filets
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 Tbsp chili sauce
1/2 dozen 6"corn tortillas
1/2 cup red bell peppers, cut in thin slices
1/2 cup carrot, cut in thin slices
1/2 cup shishito peppers, cut in thin slices
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
sliced jalapeños, lime and cilantro for garnish
First make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients together. Set aside.
Second make the slaw for the tacos by mixing the vegetables (this is what I had in my fridge but you can use what you have - cabbage, sweet peppers and spring onions would be delicious), lime juice and soy sauce together in a bowl. Set aside.
Preheat your air fryer at 400F for 5 minutes.
Cut the cod filets into 1 inch pieces. Make sure that they are very dry by patting them down with a paper napkin.
Set up a breading station in two separate bowls - one for your egg mixture and one for the breadcrumbs. Bread your cod by first dipping it into the egg mixture and then coating the fish with breadcrumbs.
Once all of the fish is breaded and the air fryer is preheated, spray the bottom of the basket with avocado spray.
Place the breaded fish in the air fryer basket in a single layer so that they are not crowded. Spray lightly with avocado oil.
Cook for 5 minutes at 400F. Gently flip the fish and spray with the avocado oil. Cook for an additional 5 minute or until the fish is crisp.
Toast up your corn tortillas directly on the flame of your stove or if you have electric, heat up on a cast iron or heavy bottom pan. Add a generous amount of cod, slaw and sauce on all the tortillas. Garnish with a squeeze of lime, some sliced jalapeños and fresh cilantro.
I even got around to making a very quick video of the process. Hopefully tacos are a staple in your kitchen and this is just another one to add to your Taco Tuesday line-up! Enjoy!