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Crispy Baked Fish Tacos with Fresh Green Tomato Salsa

Crispy baked fish tacos with green tomato salsa
Susan Russo for NPR /

I created this recipe for a lighter, lower-calorie fish taco that doesn't sacrifice flavor. Green tomatoes (which are simply unripe red tomatoes) have a firm texture and zesty, lemony flavor, but if you can't find them, substitute tomatillos.

Makes 4 servings


2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus 1/8 teaspoon grated zest

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1 cup red bell pepper, diced

1 cup green tomato (or tomatillo), diced

2 tablespoons jalapeno pepper with seeds, diced

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Salt, to taste

Whisk in a small bowl ginger, vinegar, honey, lime juice and zest and set aside.

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook 2 to 3 minutes until slightly browned. Add red bell pepper, green tomato and jalapeno and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add ginger-vinegar mixture to pan and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, until slightly bubbly.

Place in a bowl and gently stir in cilantro. Season with salt.


2 egg whites

4 (4-ounce) servings of a white fish, such as tilapia or halibut

1/2 cup coarse cornmeal or grits

Salt and pepper, to taste

8 (6-inch) whole wheat tortillas

1/4 cup cotija anejo cheese***

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place egg whites in a shallow bowl and lightly beat with a fork. In another shallow bowl, place cornmeal seasoned with salt and pepper.

Pat fish dry with paper towel. Dip each piece of fish in the egg whites then dredge in the cornmeal. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, turning once mid-way through. The fish will be cooked when the cornmeal becomes golden and crunchy and the fish is opaque when pierced with a fork.

To assemble tacos, heat tortillas on a dry griddle over medium heat for 1 minute per side or, using metal tongs, simply hold over an open flame until warmed and slightly charred. Place a layer of salsa on each tortilla, then some cheese, then a fish fillet. Top with more salsa and cheese. Serve immediately.

***Cotija anejo is a mild-flavored Mexican cheese with a crumbly texture that can be found in the refrigerator section of most major supermarkets or in Latin American markets. If you can't find it, queso fresco cheese is a good substitute.

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