Easiest Fish Tacos, Red Rice and Black Beans

Two fish tacos on a plate decorated with all the toppings
Prep Time
30 min
4 servings

Rachael tosses tilapia in a blend of spices, lightly fries it up and layers it with fresh pico de gallo. Hints of jalapeno throughout this meal create a powerful fusion of flavors.




large fillets of tilapia or other sustainable white flesh fish
About 1 ½ cups milk
About 1 ½ cups Wondra superfine flour
Salt and pepper
About 1 ½ tsp or scant half palmful chili powder
About 1 ½ tsp or scant half palmful granulated garlic
About 1 ½ tsp or scant half palmful granulated onion
About 1 ½ tsp or scant half palmful ground cumin
About 1 ½ tsp or scant half palmful ground coriander
Safflower or other neutral oil, for shallow frying

Red Rice

small to medium white or yellow onion
cloves garlic
vine tomato
About 2 Tbsp olive oil or neutral oil
cup white rice
Salt and pepper
About 1 ½ tsp or scant half palmful pimenton or smoked paprika
About 1 tsp chili powder
1 ½
cups chicken stock or water
oz can chopped green chilis
cup fresh or frozen green peas

Black Beans

small to medium onion
clove garlic
jalapeno pepper
Tbsp olive oil or safflower oil
Salt and pepper
tsp ground cumin
bay leaf
piece of cinnamon stick
oz can black beans, drained of some of the liquid
tsp cayenne pepper sauce, such as Frank's Red Hot

Pico de Gallo

jalapeno pepper
red finger or Fresno pepper
small red onion
large clove garlic
plum, Roma or vine tomatoes or yellow vine tomatoes
A small handful of fresh cilantro

To Serve

small head savoy cabbage
lime, cut into wedges, plus 1 lime, for juicing
- 10 corn tortillas or 4 to 6 flour tortillas
oz jar Mexican crema or 1 cup sour cream, in a squeeze bottle
About 3 Tbsp jalapeno hot sauce, such as Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce
Pickled sliced jalapeno peppers, for topping tacos


Step 1

Cut the fish into 3-by-1-inch batons and place in shallow dish or plastic bag. Cover with milk.

Step 2

Combine flour with salt, pepper and dry spices in shallow dish or metal pan and set aside.

Step 3

Place very large shallow skillet on stove with thin layer (about inch) of neutral oil, about ¼ cup. Place foil-lined tray and wire rack near stove for cooked fish.

Step 4

Peel and finely chop onion and grate or chop the garlic. Grate the tomato.

Step 5

Heat a 2- to 3-quart saucepot over medium to medium-high heat with oil, 2 turns of the pan; add onions and garlic and stir a minute or 2, then add rice and salt, pepper and spices. Stir a minute or 2 more, then add stock and chiles and bring to boil; cover and reduce heat to low. After 12 minutes or so, add peas and tomatoes and cook 3 to 4 minutes more until rice is just tender. Let stand a few minutes, adjust salt and pepper, fluff with fork.

Step 6

Peel and finely chop the onion and grate or chop the garlic. Seed and finely chop the jalapeno pepper.

Step 7

Heat oil in a skillet, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat; add onions, jalapeno and garlic, salt and pepper, cumin, bay and cinnamon. Stir a minute or so, then add about ½ cup water and let it absorb. Add black beans and hot sauce, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until ready to serve.

Step 8

Seed and finely chop chile peppers, put in a bowl and wash hands. Finely chop and add half an onion; reserve the rest. Add grated or chopped garlic, salt, juice of 1 lime. Seed and chop tomatoes; add to bowl. Chop and add cilantro; toss.

Step 9

Halve the cabbage, remove core and very thinly shred; reserve the other half for another use.

Step 10

When rice and beans are about ready, heat skillet with oil over medium-high heat. Remove fish from milk and shake off excess, then coat fish in flour. Fry to crispy and brown, then remove to rack and serve with lime wedges.

Step 11

Char tortillas over gas burner or in a stainless pan preheated over high heat to blister and soften.

Step 12

Build tacos: Tortilla, fish, cabbage, pico, crema, hot sauce and pickled jalapenos. Add juice of 1 lime to beans. Serve tacos with rice and beans.

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