Recipe courtesy of Jason Smith

Fish Nuggets with Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad with Fire Cracker Sauce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min (includes standing time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Fish Nuggets:

3 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup lemon iced tea 

3 eggs 

2 teaspoons garlic powder 

2 teaspoons onion powder 

4 tablespoons hot sauce 

Salt and pepper

3 pounds halibut fillet, cut in 1-by-2-inch pieces 

3 cups yellow cornmeal (not self-rising) 

1 teaspoon garlic powder 

1 teaspoon onion powder 


Vegetable oil, for frying

Firecracker Sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons hot sauce 

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

Juice of 1/2 lemon 

Corn-Tomato Salad:

4 ears corn

3 large heirloom tomatoes (yellow, pink or orange), diced 

4 Roma tomatoes, diced 

1/2 red onion, diced 

1 green bell pepper, diced 

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 

1/4 cup vinegar 

1/4 cup vegetable oil 

3 teaspoons sugar 

1/4 cup lemon tea 

Salt and pepper


  1. For the fish nuggets: Mix the buttermilk, iced tea, eggs, garlic powder, onion powder, hot sauce and some salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the halibut and toss to coat. Let stand for 45 minutes.
  2. Mix together the cornmeal, garlic powder, onion powder and some salt in a large bowl. Toss the fish nuggets in the breading and then fry in 350-degree oil for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towels.
  3. For the firecracker sauce: Combine the mayonnaise, hot sauce, cayenne and lemon juice in a bowl and mix together.
  4. For the corn-tomato salad: Roast the corn on a grill. Cut off the kernels and let cool.
  5. Place the heirloom and Roma tomatoes, red onions, bell peppers and parsley in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, lemon tea and some salt and pepper. Add the corn to the tomatoes, pour dressing over and toss.
  6. Serve the fish nuggets over the corn-tomato salad. Drizzle with firecracker sauce.
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