Tasting Table SF: Fried Rock Cod Tacos With Pumpkin Seed-Pepper Sauce

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To learn more about this recipe, see our related story, Home Sweet Casa, in our San Francisco edition. 

Fried Rock Cod Tacos With Pumpkin Seed-Pepper Sauce

Adapted from Mateo's Cucina Latina, Healdsburg, CA

Yield: 12 tacos

Cook Time: 20 minutes


3 pounds rock cod (substitute halibut, black cod or any flaky white fish)

Kosher salt

¼ cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds

3 jarred roasted red bell peppers

½ small can Nestlé Media Crema

2 cloves garlic, peeled

¼ cup orange juice

1½ tablespoons sherry vinegar

½ teaspoon hot Spanish paprika or pimentón

¼ cup semolina flour

Canola oil for frying

Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas

12 leaves Red Leaf lettuce

Flaky sea salt


1. Slice the fish into 12 finger-size strips, season with salt and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a blender, combine the peppers, Media Crema, garlic, orange juice, vinegar, paprika and reserved pumpkin seeds and blend until smooth. Set aside.

4. Line a cooling rack with paper towels. In a rimmed dish, coat the fish strips in the flour, shaking off any excess. In a high-sided pot set over medium-high heat, heat 2 inches of oil until the oil registers 400° on a deep-fry thermometer. Add the fish and cook until golden-brown, about 4 minutes. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon and place on the prepared rack.

5. In a medium skillet set over medium-high heat, warm the tortillas by turning them over every 30 seconds until pliable. Spread each with 1 tablespoon pumpkin seed-pepper sauce. Top with a piece of Red Leaf lettuce and place 2 fish strips on top. Spoon 2 to 3 spoonfuls of sauce over each serving and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.



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