Jerk Fish Tacos Recipe

Fish tacos spiced and slathered

Tasting Table's National edition editor, Kaitlyn Goalen, challenged the Test Kitchen to come up with the ultimate mayonnaise recipe for our monthlong celebration of burgers. In addition to a basic mayonnaise, we devised nine easy ways to boost it, including one with Corvette-red Peppadew peppers. With Peppadews on our brains, we added them to a speedy homemade tartar sauce served on these simple jerk-spiced fish tacos.

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Jerk Fish Tacos With Peppadew Tartar Sauce
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Jerk Fish Tacos with Peppadew Tartar from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 15 minutes
  • Tartar Sauce
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3 Peppadew peppers, finely chopped, plus 1 teaspoon Peppadew juice from the jar
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • ½ small shallot, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Tacos
  • 2 tilapia, or other mild white fish fillets (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise and each halve sliced crosswise into 3 pieces
  • 2 limes, 1 halved and the other cut into wedges
  • ½ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons Jamaican jerk seasoning, divided
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 12 warm corn tortillas
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for serving
  1. Make the tartar sauce: In a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, Peppadew peppers, scallion, shallot, salt and pepper. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  2. Make the tacos: Place the tilapia pieces in a medium bowl. Squeeze the juice from the lime halves over the fish and turn the fish to coat; set aside. In another medium bowl, stir together the panko, cornmeal and 2 tablespoons of the jerk seasoning. Remove the fish from the lime juice and place on a plate. Sprinkle the fish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of jerk seasoning, then dredge the pieces in the panko mixture, one piece at a time, pressing the coating firmly onto both sides of the fish before returning each piece to the plate.
  3. In a medium nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, after about 1 to 1½ minutes, add about half the fish pieces. Reduce the heat to medium and fry on both sides until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes total (when the fish is semi-firm to the touch, it is done; especially thick pieces of tilapia may take a little longer to cook through). Use a spatula to transfer the fish to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. Repeat with the remaining fish pieces.
  4. Place a piece of fish in the center of a warm tortilla. Top with a generous dollop of the tartar sauce and a few cilantro leaves and serve with a lime wedge.
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