Aim for just a light coating of flour on the fish for minimal oil absorption--you should only use about 1/4 cup of the flour mixture. We attempted this recipe with whole-wheat flour, but the natural oils from the whole grain didn't allow the crust to crisp properly.
8 cups canola oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 teaspoon sugar
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 (4-ounce) tilapia fillets
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
How to Make It
Clip a candy/fry thermometer to a Dutch oven; add canola oil to pan. Heat oil to 365°.
While oil heats, combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, cabbage, and next 4 ingredients (through jalapeño pepper) in a bowl; toss to coat. Let stand 15 minutes. Stir in lime juice.
Heat tortillas over a gas flame or in a hot cast-iron skillet for 30 seconds on each side or until charred on edges. Keep warm.
When oil reaches 365°, adjust heat to maintain a steady temperature. Place egg white in a shallow dish. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and red pepper in a shallow dish. Dip fillets in egg white; shake off excess. Dredge fillets in flour mixture; shake off excess breading. Carefully place fillets in hot oil. Cook 4 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally. Make sure oil temperature does not drop below 350°. Remove fillets from pan using a slotted spoon; drain well on paper towels. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut fillets into 8 equal pieces.
Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top with cabbage mixture and cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.
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These were pretty tasty; a bit more involved to make on a weeknight (cleaning up the oil is not fun either). But with a family who finds fish questionable under the best of circumstances, it was good enough to make again. It really needed some guac or slices of avocado.
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