The Shortcut Cook by Rosie Reynolds

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Easy Fish Tacos from The Shortcut Cook

17 Mar 2021 |

Fish tacos

Fish tacos

I use crushed-up salty tortilla chips to form the crispy coating on the outside of my fish tacos. It’s such a great shortcut – the chips are seasoned to perfection, they taste great and they provide a brilliant crunch that works so well with the tender, flaky fish inside. You can use whatever flavour of tortilla chips you fancy for this recipe: but before you opt for the extra-spicy variety, just remember that you still want to be able to taste the fish.

I serve my fish tacos with a little curtido, a chopped cabbage salad. Cabbages can be tricky to chop, so try using a speed peeler; you’ll get super-thin, evenly cut shredded cabbage, which will marinade much quicker than the chunky hand-cut variety. You can slice your onions with a speed peeler, too.

Serves 4

Prep 20 minutes

Cook 10 minutes


For the fish

150 g (5 oz) salted tortilla chips 1 teaspoon paprika

5 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) firm white fish, defrosted if frozen, cut into 5 cm (2 in) pieces

light-flavoured oil, for frying

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the cabbage salad

¼ red cabbage, shredded

½ red onion, finely sliced

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

drizzle of light-flavoured oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


To serve

12 small tortillas

Handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves

Sour cream

Hot sauce


First, make the cabbage salad. In a bowl, mix together the cabbage, onion, oregano and vinegar with a drizzle of oil and plenty of seasoning. Set aside.

Put the tortilla chips in a strong, sealable sandwich bag along with the paprika and bash to fine crumbs – I use a rolling pin and roll over the bag until the chips are crushed. Leave the crumbs in the bag.

Put the flour on a plate and add some seasoning. Flick a little water over the fish so the surface is just glistening but not really wet, then dip the fish pieces in the flour to coat.  The water and flour should have made a light batter-like texture on the outside of the fish. Drop the fish into the tortilla crumbs and gently toss to coat all over.

Pour oil into a large non-stick frying pan to a depth of 5 mm (1/4 in). Heat over a medium high heat until the oil is hot – the surface of the oil should be simmering. Carefully place the coated fish into the hot oil (in batches if necessary) and cook for 2 minutes, then flip over with a spatula and cook for 1 minute, or until the crumbs are crisp and golden. Remove to a plate and keep warm while you fry the rest.

Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm through in a hot oven for a few minutes. Alternatively, place them (unwrapped) on a microwave-safe plate and heat in the microwave.

Serve the crunchy fish pieces on the tortillas with some cabbage salad, a few coriander leaves and some sour cream and hot sauce, if you like.

Make ahead

The crushed tortilla chips will keep well for a couple of weeks in an airtight bag, but the rest is really a last-minute assembly job.

The shortcut

No breadcrumb blitzing, no deep-frying, but the same amount of crunch – winning.


The Shortcut Cook by Rosie Reynolds is available now from your favourite bookshop or online from Waterstones and Amazon.