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Fish Tacos with Crispy Pickled Jalapeños

Canned chile peppers--pickled, roasted or plain; whole, sliced or chopped--can deliver as much flavor as heat. This fresh, light recipe relies on chiles to add tang and taste to warm corn tortillas filled with tender fish.


slideshow  More Mexican Recipes


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • One 4-ounce can green chiles, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon sliced green olives
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 ounces prepackaged shredded coleslaw mix (4 cups)
  • 1 1/4 pounds sea bass fillets, with skin, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup drained pickled sliced jalapeños


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°. Lightly brush the tortillas with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Stack the tortillas, wrap them in foil and bake until warmed through.
  2. Meanwhile, in a mini food processor, combine the green chiles with the sliced olives, smashed garlic, cilantro, scallion and 1 teaspoon of the lime juice and process until a coarse puree forms. Transfer the green salsa to a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded coleslaw mix with the remaining 2 teaspoons of lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Toss well.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 cup of oil until shimmering. Place the fish in a large resealable, sturdy plastic bag. Add the cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Seal the bag and shake to coat. Remove the fish, tapping off the excess cornstarch, and add the fillets to the hot oil. Fry over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until the fillets are golden, crisp and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  5. Add the jalapeños to the cornstarch in the bag and shake to coat. Remove the jalapeños and tap off the excess cornstarch. Add the jalapeños to the hot vegetable oil and fry over moderately high heat until golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the jalapeños to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the fried fish and warm tortillas on a serving platter and serve with the crispy jalapeños, coleslaw, green salsa and cilantro leaves.

Suggested Pairing

Cloudy Bay is arguably New Zealand's premier Sauvignon Blanc producer, and good Sauvignon's herbaceous zing works well with these spicy tacos.

Contributed By Published March 2006

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