Fish / Main Dishes / Writing

Cinco De Mayo Crispy Fish Tacos

Roberto’s Fish Taco

My mother told me long ago to travel while “you can still climb the stairs.” She was talking about  Europe’s cathedrals and Rome, but I heed her words. Spiraling up Costa Rica’s Guanacaste tree  to the zip-line  platform over the rain forest, Torrey Pines Beach State Park”s trail traversing to the ocean, the surfer steps carved into the cliffs of Del Mar, or the ocean weathered planks on the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, I walk and climb grateful for her dictum.

Torrey Pines Trail to the Pacific Ocean

Southern California holds for me… family, friends, memories and Roberto’s Tacos! For our first meal  on a recent visit in San Diego Melodie, Veronica and I stopped at Roberto’s Tacos In Mission Beach. And my memories lived up to the promise.

Aldo our server, gracious, smiling and fun added to our experience. Aldo suggested radishes spritzed with lime wedges and sprinkled with salt, pineapple coolers, and marinated carrot slices while we wait under the street side umbrella tables. Our fish tacos arrive on a flowered paper plate— a flavor fusion of oceanic complexity and initial taste, creamy, crisp and tangy. A virtual tide-pool of interactive undertones anchored in a corn tortilla. (Couldn’t resist!)

Oceanic Not Fishy Taste

Veronica, Kristin, Victoria and I tried to recreate the recipe with the help of a California Pinot Noir.  The results are here, and we weren’t disappointed. Ask Bob and Ryan!

Crispy California Fish Tacos Inspired by Roberto’s in Mission Beach.

1 pound tilapia, cut into 4-by-1½  inch pieces    (Makes about 12 Fish Tacos)

12 corn tortillas warmed

2  cups Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

3 large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil for frying

Four Steps Before Frying

½ cup flour

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Veronica’s Fish Taco Sauce*

3 tablespoons mayonnaise or Vegenaise (egg and dairy free)

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons lime zest

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon cilantro finely chopped

2 dashes hot sauce

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

In a bowl whisk together.

Taco toppings:

Veronica’s Fish Taco Sauce*

1 white onion chopped

2 limes cut into small wedges

Fresh tomato salsa

Iceberg lettuce shredded

Guacamole your favorite or Victoria’s Guacamole recipe next week if she sends it.

Victoria’s Guacamole

Rinse tilapia, pat dry with paper towels and cut into 4 inch pieces

In a shallow bowl whisk, flour, paprika, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper

Beat eggs in a shallow bowl for egg wash.In another shallow bowl put Panko bread crumbs

Dip tilapia pieces into egg wash.Dredge in flour mixture.

Dip floured tilapia in egg wash again and then into Panko breadcrumbs.Transfer fish to a waxed paper lined platter.

Fry Until Golden and Crispy

In a large skillet heat the oil to 350°. Add as many fish as you can without crowding and fry over moderate heat, turning once, until golden, about 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining fish.

Keep fried fish warm and crisp on baking sheet rack in 300F. oven until ready to serve.

Serve fish in the tortillas and start piling on the toppings.

Pile on the Toppings

I Ate the Whole Thing… Thanks Roberto’s


42 thoughts on “Cinco De Mayo Crispy Fish Tacos

  1. Yum!! I’m going to try this one with all that white bass that the boys are going to catch this weekend. The breading is so crisp this is a keeper! Thanks…

  2. Those fish tacos look amazing!

    My granny recently went on an European cruise a few years back with her sister/her sister’s husband and a few other people her age. There were some countries that she didn’t even getting off the boat for when they docked because she knew that her body would never be able to take all of the steps and hills involved. I hate that for her, so I agree with your mom!

    Emily @ The Southern Belle Blogs

  3. Yummy!!! Those look absolutely delcious, and I really do think that needs to be our dinner on Cinco De Mayo. Thank you so much for sharing the great recipe and your mother’s philosophy on travel (which I totally agree with)!

  4. Love the story and the pictures! I’d like to suggest trying cabbage instead of the lettuce — I think it holds up better and has just the right crunch.

  5. Yum! The food looks awesome. Seeing “Torrey Pines” reminds me of La Jolla summer – sniff, sniff. Lucky you!

  6. Love your blog and your fish tacos, one of my favorite foods, especially the ones I had in La Paz, in Baja. Will try your recipe. Went to Costa Rica a year ago too, beautiful jungle, zip ride, volcano. Good to meet you today.

  7. I am so touched by all your response to this blog. Thank you all for your encouragement and taking the time to let me know your thoughts. And a margarita sounds terrific! ¡Ay, caramba! Adagio

  8. Great writing. The pictures turned out fabulous! They make me excited to come home and try out more recipes with you!

  9. Hi Adagio! I just wanted to say I really enjoyed reading your blog. I am so glad you stopped by the store today and reminded me about it. Everything looks so good and the pictures are wonderful!

  10. Thank you for the great fish taco recipe! I stumbled across your blog because it was featured on WordPress. The recipe was amazing, nothing but good things to say. I also substituted cabbage for the lettuce and was very pleased. Thanks for such a creative, easy to follow, recipe!

    • Thanks Chelsea, I appreciate your comments and I’m sure Bryan will enjoy that fact you followed his suggestion with cabbage! The response has been terrific. Thank you all it makes Blogging so much fun.

  11. I found your site from the page which has several sites that are strong enough to make the page. Your site is wonderful and beautiful.

  12. I love crispy fish tacos! Yum, we have a place here call Nick’s Crispy that I will be writing about in a few…but wow, I may make this at home now. 🙂

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  16. i’ve been to roberto’s in ocean beach, and we were there this summer. that is going to be a must stop by if we ever visit again.


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