Crackling Fish Tacos with Chipotle Tartar Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 2 min
  • Prep: 35 min
  • Inactive: 20 min
  • Cook: 7 min
  • Yield: 8 tacos
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For the tartar sauce: 

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 to 2 chipotles in adobo sauce seeds removed, finely chopped

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 scallion, white and light green parts only, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


For the tacos:

2 pounds skinless red snapper fillets (or other firm, flaky white fish) 

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups vegetable oil, for frying

8 8-inch flour tortillas

1 cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces 

2 cups arugula leaves

1 cup fresh cilantro

Zest of 2 oranges

Lime wedges, for serving


  1. Combine all the tartar sauce ingredients in a small bowl, using salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 
  2. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1-inch pieces and put in a bowl with the Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. Turn the fish to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes or up to 4 hours. 
  3. Place the flour in a shallow dish and toss the fish pieces in it, a few at a time, until evenly coated. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. (To see if it's hot enough, place a small piece of bread in the oil; it should sizzle immediately.) Carefully add a few pieces of fish at a time, shaking off excess flour before placing them in the oil. Fry until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. 
  4. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tortilla and warm for 10 to 20 seconds on each side. Place on a plate and cover with a kitchen towel; repeat with the remaining tortillas. 
  5. Spread a dollop of the chipotle tartar sauce on a warmed tortilla. Add a few pieces of cucumber and top with 3 or 4 pieces of fish, a few arugula and cilantro leaves and a little orange zest. Serve with lime wedges and more tartar sauce on the side.