Super simple panko-crusted fish baked to crispy perfection and wrapped in a soft tortilla with the most delicious creamy cilantro lime slaw that adds lots of crunch and flavor! Drizzle with spicy fish taco sauce and finish with all your favorite toppings!
I’ve always been a fan of fish and shrimp tacos! They’re such a fun and fresh take on regular beef tacos. And when I think of fish tacos, I think of fish coated in a crispy breading, crunchy coleslaw and a spicy, creamy fish taco sauce. So crave worthy!! So that’s what I made… my perfect fish taco!
Although I love fried food as much as the next person, I would rather save the deep frying for restaurant chefs. The mess and the smell that frying fish makes is often not something I want to avoid. I save that for special occasions and preferably when it’s summer and I can deep fry outside. That said, I wanted a tasty, but easy, alternative to fried fish, and this baked fish can definitely compete! The breading is super crispy and I don’t miss all the grease that comes with fried food. Also making these fish tacos healthier. Sounds good to me!
White fish. White fish is not a specific fish, but a type of fish that is mild in flavor and typically more inexpensive than other fish. You can use really whatever white fish you prefer. I used cod.
Panko breadcrumbs. Recipe calls for plain but you can also use Italian if it’s what you have on hand.
Flour. All-purpose flour gets mixed with panko to bread the fish.
Garlic powder. To mix into the panko mixture. It’s okay if you don’t have any one hand.
Eggs & mayo. The two get whisked together to create a wet mixture to dip the fish in before the breading. Egg helps to create a golden crispy breading, as does the mayo. Mayo is also high in fat, which mean flavor. That mayo also helps the egg stick nicely to the fish.
Mayo & sour cream. These two are the base of the fish taco sauce and the sauce for the cilantro lime slaw. You can swap the sour cream for greek yogurt, if you prefer.
Lime juice. Fresh squeeze or from a bottle. Either works.
Granulated sugar and salt. The sauce craves a little sweet and salty. You can also swap the sugar for honey.
Sriracha. Sriracha gets mixed into the taco fish sauce to add a little heat. You can add as much or as little as you would like.
Cabbage. You will need about half a large head of cabbage or one small head. Either purple or green cabbage works great. To prepare the cabbage, I first cut it in half then cut out the core. Place flat side down and thinly slice.
Cilantro. I LOVE cilantro, but I know that not everyone feels the same. The cilantro gets mixed into the cilantro lime slaw, but if you’re not a cilantro person just leave it out and the slaw will still taste great!
Green onion. I like the middle onion flavor green onions add to the slaw. I suggested using 2 in the recipe, but use as many as you would like!
Tortillas. For fish tacos, I like to use small taco shells. You can use corn or flour. I went with flour shells and I added 2 pieces of fish to each taco.
Toppings. When it comes to taco toppings, the options are endless. I went with quick pickled red onion, avocado, and Cotija cheese. Other great options include: tomato, jalapeños, radishes, and that’s all I can think of right now lol. Quick pickled red onion takes about 5 minutes to make but needs about 20-30 minutes to sit and pickle, so I suggest making that first if you’re planning to make it.
More of my favorite taco recipes!
Crispy Baked Fish Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Lime Slaw
- 3-4 firm white fish filets (such as cod, tilapia or halibut)
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Olive oil cooking spray
Spicy fish taco sauce & cilantro lime slaw
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 teaspoons sriracha (or to taste)
- 4-5 cups purple and/or green cabbage (about half a large head), shredded
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
To assemble the tacos
- 12-16 small flour or corn tortillas
- optional toppings: red onion (quick pickling recipe in the notes), diced avocado, crumbled cotija cheese, sliced jalapeño, diced tomatoes, etc.
- Cut the fish filets into 2-3 inch pieces. To do this, I simply cut the fish filets in half and then cut the halves down the center lengthwise, so you're left with 4 pieces of fish from each filet. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the panko, flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. In a seperate small bowl, whisk together the eggs and mayonnaise.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with olive oil.
- Dip a piece of fish into the egg mixture then into the panko mixture. Make sure that you're coating all sides. Lay the piece of fish on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining fish. Careful not to overcrowd the baking sheets otherwise the fish won't get as crispy.
- Once all fish is coated, spray the tops and sides of the breaded fish with olive oil cooking spray. This helps the breading cook and get crispy. If you don't have olive oil spray, you can lightly brush or drizzle the pieces with olive oil.
- Bake for 8 minutes, then flip the fish and cook another 3-5 minutes, or until breading is crispy and the fish flakes easily with a fork. While the fish bakes, make the slaw and fish taco sauce.
Spicy fish taco sauce & cilantro lime slaw
- Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, garlic, sugar and salt.
- In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, cilantro, green onion, and about two-thirds of the sauce.
- Mix the remaining sauce with sriracha – this is your spicy fish taco sauce. I also like to mix in about 1-2 tablespoons of water to thin the sauce out to drizzling consistency.
- Fill a tortilla with cilantro lime slaw, crispy baked fish, and desired toppings. Drizzle with spicy fish taco sauce and enjoy!