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Crispy fish tacos on a plate topped with lime, slaw, and radishes.
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Gluten Free Fried Fish Tacos

These easy gluten free fried fish tacos are light, crisp, and juicy, topped with a zesty kale cabbage slaw. These crispy fish tacos will definitely be on rotation for your Taco Tuesday!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: fish tacos, gluten free, mexican, seafood, taocs, tilapia
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 523kcal
Author: Elise Shivamber

Equipment

  • frying pan
  • cutting board
  • sharp knife

Ingredients

Kale Cabbage Slaw

  • 1 cup shredded kale
  • ½ head small green cabbage, shredded about 2 cups of shredded green cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Pan fried fish

  • 2 tilapia filets
  • ½ cup gluten-free flour I recommend King Arthur’s or Bob’s Red Mills gluten-free 1:1 flours
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon tequila lime or chili lime seasoning like tajín or Trader Joe’s
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup neutral oil

For the Tacos

Instructions

Make the Kale Cabbage Slaw

  • Toss shredded kale and green cabbage in a medium bowl with fresh lime juice and salt to combine completely. Set aside.
    1 cup shredded kale, ½ head small green cabbage, shredded, 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice, ¼ teaspoon salt

Prep the Fish

  • Pat tilapia filets dry on both sides.
    2 tilapia filets
  • Cut the filets in half, down the middle (it typically separates towards the top, simply follow that line down to get two equal sized pieces). Next, slice the thicker half (usually one side is thin and the other almost twice the thickness) in the middle of the meat, so as to get two equally thin pieces. These two pieces should equal the same thickness as the thinner piece.
  • Mix chili lime seasoning and salt with flour in a shallow dish.
    ½ cup gluten-free flour, 1 tablespoon tequila lime or chili lime seasoning, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Whisk the egg in a separate shallow dish.
    1 large egg
  • Dip each piece of tilapia into the flour mixture and press to cover both sides completely with flour.
  • Then, using one hand, shake the tilapia piece to remove any loose flour and dip it into the egg mixture to coat both sides. If egg is dripping from the piece once coated, give it a little shake to release the drip.
  • Next, place the egg-y tilapia back into the flour, pat down to coat the first side, flip and coat the second side. Push down on both sides to make sure flour is fully coating the fish.
  • Remove fish from the flour and place onto a fresh plate. Repeat with all pieces.

Pan Fry the Tilapia

  • When ready to pan fry the tilapia, heat a pan on the stove for 1-2 minutes on medium heat, adding neutral oil. (Just remember that pan-frying these thin pieces of tilapia only takes a few minutes, so be sure to be ready to eat very soon!)
    ¼ cup neutral oil
  • Prepare a cutting board or plate to the side of the stove, with a large piece of paper towel, to place fried fish once cooked.
  • Once hot, use tongs to place 2-3 pieces of tilapia onto the oil. Make sure there is enough room for each to fry.
  • Allow tilapia to fry for 1-2 minutes on the first side, until you can see the filet is cooked about halfway through on the side. The gluten free flour crust should also be a nice yellow-brown color.
  • After frying for about 2 minutes, flip the fish to fry the second side, about another 1-2 minutes.
  • Once fully cooked through, remove fish and place onto prepared paper towel. Repeat with additional pieces of tilapia until all are fried.

Assemble the Tacos

  • While all fried tilapia rests on the paper towel, heat all corn tortillas through, either directly on the stove, in the microwave, in a skillet or in the oven.
    6 corn tortillas
  • Place coleslaw on top, using a slotted spoon so as to not get too much of the lime juice liquid.
  • Top warm tortillas with one piece of fried fish each.
  • Garnish with your favorite taco fillings like limes, guacamole, radishes, pico de gallo, sour cream, or cilantro. Enjoy immediately!

Video

Notes

Let the fish sit on a paper towel after pan frying: The process of removing the fried tilapia from the skillet and onto a plate or sheet pan with paper towel is really helpful. This allows the paper towel to soak up some of the oil left from pan-frying.
Cutting the tilapia helps it all cook evenly: Usually tilapia has two halves. One half is always about twice the thickness of the other, making it uneven to cook. To help, I suggest cutting the thicker piece in half lengthwise through the center, to create two equal length and thin, long pieces. These two pieces should equal the same thickness as the thinner side, meaning the pieces will all fry at a similar time. This helps in creating perfectly cooked tilapia.
Don’t skip the double-flour: Doing two layers of flour helps create a nice thin crust that becomes fried in the pan. Skipping the first layer of flour could result in a much less crispy fried fish.
A note about gluten free flours: Using different kinds of gluten free flours does not always work out 1:1. I’ve tested this recipe only using All Purpose Flour (non-gluten free) and gluten-free one-to-one flours from King Arthur and Bob’s Red Mill. If using coconut flour, almond flour or oat flour, it may not crisp up the same when pan-frying.
Storage note: Fried fish tacos do not fare too well in the fridge. I highly recommend eating these fresh and immediately. If you do need to store leftovers, store fish and slaw separately in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 523kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 724mg | Potassium: 806mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2465IU | Vitamin C: 79mg | Calcium: 194mg | Iron: 3mg