One Pan, Two Plates is our favorite new book for easy weeknight dinners. Carla Snyder's recipes are fast, flavorful and minimal on the clean-up (which is always okay by us). Summer is the official season of the fish taco — give this warm-weather dish a twist with hearty catfish.
My siblings and I used to fish for catfish in the Ohio River when we were kids. As soon as we caught them, we’d throw them back into the murky waters, waiting for the next “big one” to take the line. Today catfish are farm-raised, and these delicious fish are perfect for fish tacos because they’re firm and hold their shape. The crunch and smoky spice of the red-and-white chipotle slaw is my favorite filling to go with these crispy fillets all wrapped up in a warm tortilla. No need to drop a line.
- 1 teaspoon minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup very thinly sliced white cabbage
- 1 cup very thinly sliced red cabbage
- 1 green onion, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs, plus more if needed
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 8 to 10 ounces catfish fillets
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- In a large bowl, combine the chipotle, mayonnaise, honey, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and stir well to mix. Add both cabbages and the green onion and toss and stir to combine and coat the vegetables well with the chipotle mayonnaise. Set aside.
- In a large, shallow bowl, whisk together the egg with a splash of water, a pinch of salt and the hot sauce. Pour the panko and flour onto two separate large plates. Pat the fillets dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.
- Dredge the fish in the flour and knock off the excess. Dip the fish into the egg to coat it completely and then coat it thoroughly with the panko. Place the fillets on a platter as they are breaded.
- Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. When the oil shimmers and is very hot, slip the breaded fish into the pan and brown it on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn and brown the other side, another 3 minutes. Transfer the fish to paper towels to drain.
- Pour off the oil in the pan (pouring it into a metal can in the sink works well) and return the pan to the heat. Dump the slaw mixture into the pan and toss it for about 1 minute to warm it up. Don’t cook it so long that it completely wilts. You want it to have a little crunch. Return the slaw to the bowl so that it doesn’t overcook.
- Warm the tortillas wrapped in microwavable plastic wrap until soft and pliable, 20 to 30 seconds. Lay the fish down the center of the tortillas and top it with the slaw. Wrap in the sides and bottom and eat these fish tacos with your hands. Use lots of napkins.
Variation: Other fish to fry are cod, tilapia or even salmon cut into wide strips.
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