Fishing & Boating in the Northwoods

Fish Tacos Recipe

fish tacos

Many restaurants at which we have dined have featured fish tacos on the menu. Having thought it was a novel idea, I decided I should maybe try to make some in my own kitchen! So, just the other day when I wanted to have fish for dinner, the image of fish tacos popped into my mind.

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But before going to the market, I made one last check of my freezer… and discovered a couple of forgotten walleyes. Unfortunately, these fish had reached a freezer age beyond which most folks won’t even bother to open them.

Now, I know that usually I have no problem with fish that have been in the freezer for an excessive amount of time. If they have been properly prepared for the long, cold rest, and especially if I am the one who packaged them, I have no problem in preparing them for dinner! But since these were “on the edge” of prime time, I thought that I would try something different, just in case the fillets weren’t at their peak of flavor.

As I mentioned above, I had heard of – and seen on several menus – fish tacos, but I had never tasted any. Sounded a bit strange at first, but the idea grew on me, and I decided I would to try to make some. I’m glad I did, because the results were incredibly good, and the recipe is really easy.

Ingredients for Fish Tacos

  • 1 Taco Kit, complete with crispy corn tortilla shells and taco seasoning packet (we prefer Ortega, but any brand will work)
  • 4 small to medium-sized fish fillets (~ 12-16 oz. total)
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 1/4 C breadcrumbs
  • “Fixin’s”: chopped onions, tomatoes, lettuce, avocados, cheese, beans, etc.
  • Salsa or Taco Sauce


Soak the fish fillets – I used my “aged” walleye this time, but I’ll guarantee you that just about any fish will work well – in an egg and milk mixture for about an hour to help revive the flavor. This works especially well if the fish have been frozen for a while. (Fresh fish require less soaking time.) Cut off and discard any visible freezer burned flesh.

Thoroughly mix 1 package of your favorite taco seasoning (I like Ortega best — it has less sodium in it…) with about ¼ cup of flour and ¼ cup of breadcrumbs in a large plastic bag. Ad additional Spanish spices as desired. (I like to add chili powder and cumin.)

breaded walleye pieces

Remove the fish from the egg wash, cut it into bite-size chunks and put all the pieces in a plastic bag with the taco-seasoned flour/breadcrumb mix; shake well to fully and evenly coat the fish.

To a pre-heated/very hot pan (non-stick works best, but a heavy-gauge aluminum or cast-iron pan works quite well too), add about two tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter. Note: Heat the pan first and then add the oil and butter!

seasoned and cooked walleye pieces

Add the fish pieces to the pan – a few at a time until all pieces are in the pan – and allow them to get well-browned on all sides. The best way to do this is to move the pan back and forth while moving the fish pieces with a wooden or non-stick spatula.

Place several pieces of fish into warmed taco shells, add your favorite fixin’s, top with some salsa and avocado and there you have it!

The meal was quick and very easy to prepare. The results were outstanding! We like to buy dried pinto beans and make our own refried beans as a side dish. Along with some freshly sautéed zucchini, onions and mushrooms, they make a great addition to this meal. I also have a great recipe for the beans, as well as Spanish Rice!

Next time I head to the lake, I’m bringing along a taco kit and betting that the fresh perch from the lake will really make for a great fish taco meal. Enjoy!

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R. Karl

Angler, Author & Epicure

Fishing since the age of eight.  Seriously writing since the age of 16. Chef and foodie from the age of 22 years… and counting. So much to learn and so little time. I have enjoyed every minute of it all.  Whether on the water (where I like it best), in the kitchen, or at the keyboard, churning out content, I feel like I have found my place.  I am sharing it with you in the hope that some of what I love to do will rub off on you. I hope to see you On the Lake!

R. Karl