Mont-Mex tacos

Mont-Mex tacos

Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 2 to 3 hours | Serves 6. By Tom Dickson.

This story is featured in Montana Outdoors March-April 2017 issue

I’ve always loved fish tacos—slices of avocado and crunchy fried chunks of white meat surrounded by coleslaw wrapped in a warm tortilla. But until recently I had never found the right combination of fish and other ingredients. Often there is not enough fish or too much slaw or the spices are off. Then, while visiting an island in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, my wife and I were served the real deal. They were perfect, and I took notes.

Upon returning to Montana, I went ice fishing for perch at Holter Reservoir so I could make those Baja fish tacos myself. I did a little experimenting, and this is what I came up with. Any white, firm-fleshed fish will work, including sport-caught walleye, pike, or drum or store-bought cod, pollack, or tilapia.Bear bullet

Tom Dickson is editor of Montana Outdoors.


Vegetable oil, for frying
1½ c. thinly sliced red cabbage
(about one-quarter of a cabbage)
½ c. roughly chopped cilantro
I t. lime juice, plus wedges for serving
1 t. honey
½ c. mayonnaise
Salt and pepper
6 flour or corn tortillas
¾ c. all-purpose flour
2 t. McCormick’s chipotle chili powder
or Tajin Classico* seasoning
1 egg, beaten with 1 t. water
1 ¼ lbs. skinless fish fillet, cut into
2- by ½-inch pieces
1 ripe avocado
½ c. fresh salsa or chopped tomatoes

Over medium-high heat, start heating ½ inch of vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet or tall-sided frying pan.

Meanwhile, toss the cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, honey, and mayonnaise in a bowl.

Season with salt and pepper.

Warm the tortillas by wrapping in a damp cloth and microwave for 20 seconds. Keep them warm in the cloth.

Mix the flour and chipotle chili powder in a shallow bowl.

By now the oil should be hot. Dip the fish in the beaten egg and then roll in the flour mixture. Fry in batches until golden and just cooked through, turning once, 2 minutes per side.

Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Season with salt and pepper.

Halve, pit, and slice the avocado. Fill the tortillas with the fish, avocado, slaw, and salsa (or tomatoes).

Serve with lime wedges.