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Southern Fish Tacos & Trail Slaw Recipe

  • Author: Debbie Lawrence


  • 4 tilapia filets (you can use any fish that is fairly firm. Catfish, Halibut and Grouper are our favorites)
  • 3 large eggs beaten til frothy
  • 1/4 cup Creole mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • juice of 2 meyer lemons
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tablespoon garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 to 6 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying

Slaw Ingredients:

  • 1 cup finely chopped cucumber
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 pound shredded white cabbage (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 pound shredded red cabbage (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or craisins)


  • 8 home made flour tortillas ***

Pico Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds yellow or red tomatoes (seeded and chopped)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 serrano chiles* (seeded and minced)
  • Pinch kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper


Pico Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl, and toss to combine. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  2. This salsa can be made 4 hours ahead.

Fish Instructions

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the fish filets into 1-inch thick strips on the diagonal. Place fish in a large zip lock bag along with the wine,lemon juice, Creole mustard, hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and cayenne pepper and stir to thoroughly combine.
  2. Seal and shake well to coat all fish. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. In a shallow plate or bowl combine the flour and remaining spices.
  4. Dredge each piece of fish in, the egg wash then the flour mixture until well coated on all sides. one more trip back to the egg wash then dredge in the panko.
  5. When the oil is hot, gently place the fish in the hot oil and deep fry until the fish is golden-brown on all sides, about 2 minutes.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish to a paper-lined plate to drain. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tortilla Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet or a deep fryer until a thermometer registers 350 degrees F.
  2. Using tongs, quickly dip the corn tortillas in the hot oil until they begin to sizzle. Transfer to paper-lined plates to drain briefly, then serve, with the catfish and slaw divided among the hot taco shells. Garnish with a slice of lime, fresh pico and an avocado wedge.

Slaw Instructions

  1. Meanwhile, make the Trail Slaw by combining the cucumber, tomato, pepper, mayonnaise, honey and lime juice in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Stir well, then add the shredded cabbage, red onions, green onions and stir to thoroughly combine.
  3. Sprinkle with cranberries.
  4. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and refrigerate until ready to assemble the tacos.


*The serrano chile is a fresh, small, green chile. Traditionally used in salsas it is slightly hotter than a jalapeno chile and can be found at most supermarkets, Latin specialty markets or online. If you’re in a rush… HERDEZ makes a great salsa verde that we love to use as well as a pico which in a pinch works in this recipe too.. yummy!
NOTE: ***My Friend Lori has a great video tutorial for making your own flour tortillas here: . I can promise you’ll never want another store bought one after you’ve made these.. super simple!