Weeknight Shorts: Fusion Fish Tacos

Fusion food makes me happy. Southern fried chicken with kimchi is beyond amazing. Heavy German meals get new lightness when paired with Japanese sides. And one of my favorite dishes to blend cuisine flavors in is tacos!

Fish tacos already give me a lot of joy. Because fish is naturally fairly light, I can easily work heavier elements into the mix without feeling like dinner is going to make my stomach feel like it's filled with bricks. But when I blend traditional flavors (think cayenne and smoked paprika) with Asian ones (think toasted sesame and wasabi), something truly magical happens. You could make the fish in a skillet or the oven, but I like that the air fryer lets me focus on other parts of the meal so that it can be on the table in under a half hour.

You could serve these with any number of sides: chips & salsa, a marinated cucumber and edamame salad, or even a salsa featuring cucumber and edamame if you really want to extend the fusion approach! Me? I just had three tacos and a cold beer!

Fusion Fish Tacos

  • 1 lb. skinless white fish fillets, cut into 1-inch strips - I used walleye
  • 2 T. mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. southwestern seasoning
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ c. toasted breadcrumbs
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 c. shredded cabbage
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • ½ red onion, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ½ tsp. wasabi, horseradish, or spicy mustard
  • Flour tortillas, for serving

Brush the fish with the mayonnaise. Set aside.

In a shallow dish, combine the next 5 ingredients (southwestern seasoning through breadcrumbs). Carefully dredge the fish in the seasoned breadcrumb mixture.

Place the fish on parchment in your air fryer basket along with the olive oil - if you have an oil mister, this would be an excellent way to use it. Set the fryer to 370°F; cook for 8 minutes. Turn the fish; cook 4 to 6 minutes longer or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

While the fish cooks, add the toasted sesame oil to a nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage, pepper, and onions and stir fry lightly until crisp-tender. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and remove from the heat.

Crush the avocado with the wasabi (or other spicy option listed) until a chunky paste forms.

To serve, arrange the stir-fried vegetables and crispy fish in flour tortillas. Top with spicy avocado and enjoy!

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes