Filled with golden crunchy bites of perfection, these Baja-style fish tacos are easier to make than you think. We’ve partnered up with theFeedFeed and Earthbound Farm to show you how to make these delicious tacos, campside.
While we love all tacos equally, we have a special place in our hearts for Baja-style fish tacos. There’s something about crispy breaded fish, refreshing chopped greens, and creamy tomatillo sauce that transports us into a sunny beachside daydream. Even if it’s early spring and there’s still snow on the ground, a fish taco lets us momentarily fast forward to summer.
Up until this point, our experience cooking fish at a campground has been fairly limited. Neither one of us really knows how to fish and we just recently started carrying a cooler with us. So any recipes that called for fish always felt a little intimidating.
I believe our logic went like this: Fish? That sounds complicated. But once we started looking into it, we found that cooking fish at a campsite – especially frying it – is way simpler than we imagined.
In fact, cooking white fish is really really easy. It’s basically like a super fast cooking chicken. We used Pacific snapper in this recipe, but you could use tilapia, cod, sea bass, mahi-mahi, grouper, or even halibut (if you’re feeling fancy).
After slicing the fillets into strips, we dredged them in flour, coated them in egg, and rolled them in panko. Then, in a small pan, we heated some oil and popped in the fish strips. Once they hit the oil, the fish cooks pretty much instantly. But to get a nice golden brown exterior, we rotated them for about 2 minutes before removing them to dry on a paper towel.
The next step actually saved us a lot of time and energy. Instead of prepping the rest of the taco filling ourselves, we took advantage of Earthbound Farm’s Organic Chopped Salad Kits. Their Southwest variety came with everything we needed to fill our tacos: chopped cabbage, romaine, carrots, and cilantro. Plus it had a packet of creamy, tangy tomatillo sauce to top them off with.
When combined with a chopped salad kit, making fish tacos can be a very easy and approachable meal to make a campsite. True, white fish isn’t the hardiest protein to have sitting in a cooler, so you’ll probably want to make this recipe towards the beginning of your trip. But talk about starting off your camping trip off with a bang!
Why It Works
‣ After the fish is breaded and the oil heated, the cooking process goes super fast. Once you get into the swing of it, you can be cranking out roughly 6 tacos every 2 minutes. So if you’re cooking for a group, this recipe could be a great option.
‣ This meal has a lot of production value but doesn’t require a lot of hard work to pull off properly. Tacos are always great, but fish tacos take it to the next level.
‣ You will want to use a small to medium size pan to heat your oil. The fish should be halfway submerged, not completely. So to reduce the amount of oil you need, reduce the size of the pan. With all the flipping that needs to happen, it’s better to do multiple small batches than attempt a single large batch.
‣ How do you dispose of the remaining oil if you’re at a campsite? Great question! We’ve found the best way to get rid of the extra oil is to let it cool and then sop it all up with a paper towel. This prevents a greasy mess in your trash bag, and you don’t have to dump it anywhere.
‣ We used Pacific Snapper for our recipe. While any white fish will work, we found that it’s critical to use fresh, non-previously frozen fish. The freezing process dries the fish out, giving the meat a strange extra firm texture.
‣ We used Earthbound Farm’s Organic Southwestern Chopped Salad Kit, which is basically a fish taco starter kit. The pack contains diced cabbage, romaine, carrots, and cilantro – which saved us plenty of ingredients and chopping. Plus it comes with a packet of creamy, tangy tomatillo dressing which serves as a great sauce for the tacos.
Baja Style Fish Tacos
1/2 cup flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 pound Snapper fillets ((or other mild, white fish))
Optional: red onion & additional cilantro, finely chopped
PREP THE BREADING STATION: Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat them together. Spread the flour and the panko onto two plates (or two sides of one large plate).
BREAD THE FISH: Cut the fish fillets into ½ – ¾ inch strips. Sprinkle the salt over the tops. Dredge each piece in flour, dip in the egg to coat, letting the excess drip off, and then coat in panko. Set aside.
FRY THE FISH: Line a plate with a paper towel. Heat about ½ cup neutral flavored oil in a high-sided skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the fish one piece at a time. Fry until the breading is golden and the fish is cooked through, 30-60 seconds on each side. Remove the fish as they finish cooking and place on the lined plate.
ASSEMBLE THE TACOS: Warm the tortillas on your stove or over a campfire. To build the tacos, lay down a bed of greens from the salad kit, add a piece or two of fried fish, and top with some of the included tomatillo dressing, onions, additional cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.
SERVE & ENJOY!
Cutting board Sharp knife 2 plates Paper towels (optional) Camp stove High-sided pan for frying Tongs Plates + utensils for serving